He might hold a doctoral degree, but Stanley resident Morgan Phenix is still taking classes at Laurel Ridge.
He is “so proud” to have been inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the national honor society for two-year colleges, this fall. Students must have completed at least 12 credits and have a minimum 3.5 GPA to be inducted into PTK.
Phenix, who works part-time as an educational specialist at Laurel Ridge’s Luray-Page County Center, is taking his 11th class with English Professor Brent Kendrick.
“It’s memoir writing,” says Phenix, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Muhlenberg College, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in English and curriculum design from Teachers College, Columbia University. “Taking Professor Kendrick’s class is the only way that I will force myself to write, and I really want to write another book.”
After his third time in Kendrick’s class, he realized he had enough material to write his memoir, “A Life Worth Living – A Story Worth Telling.” His second book, “Elizabeth’s Story” is a novel.
“I never in my life would’ve published a book if I hadn’t taken one of his classes,” Phenix, who was formerly Laurel Ridge’s associate vice president for instruction, says. “Professor Kendrick provides me with a reason to finish something. He’s so inspiring, a superb teacher.”
Born in New York City, Phenix spent eight years in Denmark in the 1970s and 1980s, before coming to Page County in 1992 and serving as principal of Page County High School until 2008. He served on the Laurel Ridge College Board from 2000-2008, and in 2009 was named dean of humanities, math and social sciences at Laurel Ridge following a short period as interim dean.
Now working part-time for Laurel Ridge, Phenix is also chairman of the Page County Board of Supervisors.
“I’ve just been blessed up and down by virtue of working at Lord Fairfax,” he says. “I can’t put into words how much it has meant to fall into the position of interim dean after retiring as Page County High School principal.”
In turn, Phenix has blessed the college and the students at his former school by establishing the Page County High School Phenix Endowed Scholarship in honor of his late parents, Dr. Philip and Gena Phenix. The scholarship is awarded to Page County High School graduates headed to Laurel Ridge.
Also a generous donor to the Luray-Page County Center building campaign, Phenix was selected by the Laurel Ridge Foundation in 2015 to be the recipient of a prestigious state recognition, the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.