Home » University of Kansas » Mary Morningstar: Until we meet again!

Mary Morningstar: Until we meet again!

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Sorcha Hyland
Lara Mann
Deb Griswold
Elizabeth Kozleski


We celebrate our friend and colleague, Mary Morningstar as she moves to her next adventure in Oregon. Mary, you will be missed by your colleagues and students! We found some pictures and quotes to share with you.MM

A few quotes!

Dr. Gary Clark, Professor Emeritus, University of Kansas
Mary and I have been friends and collaborative colleagues since her arrival here to begin her doctoral studies and direct the Full Citizenship project. Our mutual interests in transition programs and services gave KU a unique situation of not one but two people committed to this area. I was always impressed with her creative ideas, her grant-writing skills, and her collaborative approach with colleagues and students to stay engaged and focussed on her goals and career passion. How she did this while juggling family and professional demands was remarkable. She left a clear legacy here and will be sorely missed.
Dr. Ryan Kellums, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University
When I first started working with Mary, I was a high school History teacher. I happened to sit next to one of her doc students at a conference—and I didn’t know then, but that casual meeting would prove to be a pivotal moment in both my personal and professional life. Spurred by Mary’s encouragement, I applied for the doctoral program in Special Education at the University of Kansas. I was accepted and Mary was my adviser. Throughout the course of my PhD program and dissertation research, Mary spent hundreds of hours teaching and mentoring me. As I started my career, Mary not only gave me access to her vast knowledge but she also introduced me to her professional network.  As I have progressed in my career, Mary has become more than a mentor and doctoral advisor—she is a valued and trusted colleague and friend. Much of the success that I’ve experienced as a professional can be traced back to Mary’s patient guidance. I feel privileged to have been counseled at her hands and wish her the best in all future endeavors.
Sarah Hannon, BSE
Although I have only worked with Dr. Morningstar for about one year, the insight, the instruction, and the lessons I learned from her are invaluable. I will truly miss her when she is gone and will keep working on inclusive education for the students I serve with her values and methods in mind. I hope to stay in touch and to always keep learning from Dr. Morningstar. Thank you for everything!
Jeff Harkin, Principal, LMCMS
Dr. Morningstar has been a great support to our staff and students at LMCMS.  She has generously contributed her time by conducting professional development and collecting observation data.  She has gained the trust and respect in working closely with our 7th core academic team and has enhanced our inclusive practices.
Lauren Johnson, HS Teacher
Mary is without a doubt the craziest teacher I’ve ever had! She beautifully sets high standards for herself and others around her while showing us grace through her own mistakes and flexibility. What an amazing person to learn from and grow with! Unforgettable!
Yilke Pacarizi
Dear Mary, Having you as a supervisor during my stay at KU has been the highlight of my experience there. Thank you for the trust, the guidance, the motivation you’ve given me to fight for inclusive education, for all the car rides and for making me feel at home. I couldn’t have asked for a better person and expert to guide me and support me. While the program at KU has been only the beginning of my journey to fight for the provision of inclusive education, I am honored and lucky to have started this journey with you. I hope you continue to leave a mark in people’s lives as you did in mine.

Hugs from Kosovo


 With students and colleagues at the Thanksgiving Celebration!



Always with a smile and sense of humor! Mary and colleagues!


We won’t say goodbye…we wish you Godspeed*!

*”good fortune; success (used as a wish to a person starting on a journey, a new venture)” Dictionary.com 



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