James Morton has been destined for greatness from the day he was born, September 11, 2001. With his birthday serving as a day of remembrance each year, James felt a calling to serve this country, calling it his duty to those who died in those attacks to “make a difference in the world” and to prevent it from happening again. He says, “I have wanted to serve in the military for as long as I can remember,” and in the fall, this goal will begin to come to fruition as he heads off to West Point, where he will pursue a degree in History.
Before coming to Christ Church in the sixth grade, James had lived in three different countries and four different cities (Dallas, TX; Paris, France; Franklin, TN; Oakville, Canada). He says that Greenville has been his favorite out of all the places he has lived in, but it was also a hard transition in the beginning. Thankfully, he grew to love Greenville and CCES. He speaks very highly of his time at the school and says, “I have made friendships with my peers, coaches, and teachers that will last a lifetime.” He specifies three men within the school community that have made a profound impact on him, stating: “Without Mr. Charlie Woodward, Coach Joe Cummings and Coach Rodney Adamee, I would not be half the man I am today.”
It should not come as a surprise to those who know him that James has been heavily involved in a wide variety of areas and that his list of accomplishments is long. He has been a member of the Cross-Country and Lacrosse teams as well as being involved in Students in Action, Student Ambassadors, Running Club, YIG (Youth in Government), and Speech and Debate. He has been All-State for cross-country all four years, was named MVP as a freshman and a sophomore, and received the Rodney Adamee Award his junior and senior year. For lacrosse, he received the Rookie of the Year award as a freshman and was named the Offensive MVP as a sophomore. Additionally, last year as a junior, James was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and received the West Point Leadership Award which “recognizes outstanding high school juniors who have demonstrated exceptional performance in academics, athletics, community service, leadership, and moral character, and who promote the values of national service as exemplified by Dwight D. Eisenhower.”
James was named captain of both the Varsity Cross-Country and Lacrosse teams starting his junior year, speaking to his natural leadership qualities. James is appreciative of all of the opportunities he has had at CCES to grow as a leader. He describes leadership as “setting a high standard and doing everything in your power to help people reach that standard.” With the help of his coaches, James has grown as a leader as he has been forced out of his comfort zone and been able to figure out his own style of leadership.
James is described by those around him as a humble leader, a hardworking student, and is highly respected among his peers. His college counselor, Bartley Sides, says of James: “He is steadfast, loyal, and motivated. But what makes him unique is that he brings others with him. He is not embarking on a solo journey; no, he looks to make the world around him a better place by simply being a better person.” James will certainly take this mindset with him as he graduates from CCES and continues on to West Point.
James applied to four other schools (UNC, Michigan, USC Honors and Virginia) and was accepted to three, but West Point has always been the goal. One of the many veterans James spoke with told him that “not all of the officers I served under were great, but the best were always from West Point.” James states: “I want to be the very best leader and man I am capable of becoming, and West Point is the place to become that person.” West Point has a good one in James Morton and he will undoubtedly achieve success no matter what he encounters in his future.
JUST FOR FUN!
Most recent book (not for school) you’ve read? Sea Wolf by Jack London
Who is someone who has greatly influenced your life? Graham Proffitt, my youth group leader
Favorite historical figure and why? C.S. Lewis. After seeing the worst of humanity in the trenches of WWI, Lewis abandoned atheism and became one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century. He has helped millions of people, myself included, figure out just what it means to be a good person.
Top three bucket list travel destinations? Jerusalem, Mt. Katahdin, Scotland
If you had one day as the president, what would you do? Communicate with the aliens.