Award Year: 2022

Morris Hill Elementary

4400 First Division Road
Fort Riley, KS, 66442-1016

(785) 717-4650

Mrs. Melisa Burgess, Principal at time of Nomination

Geary County School District

School Website

School FaceBook


A place where students, families, teachers, and community work together in a partnership to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment, ensuring the highest levels of achievement and the development of productive citizens who are lifelong learners.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 14%
  • White: 40%
  • Hispanic: 26%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 5%
  • Asian: 3%
  • Native American: 2%
  • Two or more races: 11%
Morris Hill Elementary students enjoying our Panther Picnic.

Morris Hill Elementary students enjoying our Panther Picnic.

Morris Hill Elementary has been the home of the Panthers since 1957. We are one of four elementary schools on the army military installation of Fort Riley, Kansas. Our school has a high mobility rate with our military families. What makes Morris Hill stand out from other elementary schools is the supportive relationships we build among ourselves, our students, and their families. Families come from all over the world, sometimes we are the first American school they have ever visited, much less attended. When families call our school with questions or visit our front office, they are welcomed with open arms. We see the relief on their faces when questions are answered, and language barriers no longer exist. We have staff who speak German, Spanish, and Chinese. The culture shock families may experience at first diminishes once they begin working with our staff. Many on our staff are either presently or previously military spouses. The warm welcome families receive, and the one-on-one assistance creates trust between the school and family. Once trust is established, academic and social/emotional growth excels. The trusting relationship established from the beginning helps create a smoother path for success. When our active military soldiers retire and choose to stay in the region many request to have their child continue attending Morris Hill due to the relationships established. Morris Hill has received several accolades over the years and when asked what makes us so successful it comes down to the relationships we build with our students and their families.