North Shore teacher celebrates 24 years of perfect attendance

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Perfect attendance is usually an accolade reserved for students, but one North Shore High School teacher is setting a remarkable example with more than two decades of never missing a day in the classroom.

"The thought has crossed my mind a lot, I should take some time off," said math teacher Sylvester Morris. "But I think about, 'I need to be there for the students.'"

Morris estimates he has taught nearly 4,000 young minds over the course of his 24 years as a teacher, and said there was only one time where he nearly had to call out sick. He had traveled to Michigan for his brother's wedding and was headed back to the airport.

"Traffic was terrible and so when I got to Detroit Metro, my plane was gone," he said.

Morris said he paid $500 for a new plane ticket and managed to make it to class on time.

Being a teacher was never in the plans, Morris said, but his outlook on life and work dramatically changed after a severe accident that had left his face crushed.

"I was (flown by Life Flight) to Memorial Hermann Hospital and I'm not supposed to be here," Morris said. "And they said, 'If he lives, the impact on his brain, he will be a vegetable.'"

Morris has gone on to lead a healthy life and doesn't take it for granted, which is why he believes as long as he is healthy and able, he will be in the classroom.

"People always ask me, 'How do you do it?' And I tell them all the same thing: 'It's not me. It's just the Christ that's in me,'" he said.

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