2005 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll
Washington High School, 1972
Johnson County District Attorney Paul Morrison is one of the most prominent and well respected prosecutors in Kansas. In 2001 he was named Prosecutor of the Year by the Kansas County and District Attorney’s Association. But he believes he would not be where he is today without his high school debate experience.
Morrison was one of many students active in debate during his years at Washington High School. Competitive, and always ranking in the top five in the state, the team taught him discipline, leadership skills, and gave him a competitive spirit that carries over into his work today.
Morrison has been with the District Attorney’s Office for 25 years, first serving as assistant district attorney under Congressman Dennis Moore, before being elected to his current position in 1989.
His office has initiated a number of programs which deal with fighting juvenile crime problems, domestic violence, and the marshaling of community groups to help prevent violence and the escalation of crime within Johnson County. He has given his time to many community groups over the years, including Sunflower House and SafeHome, Inc. In 2004, he was chairman of the Johnson County United Way fund-raising effort.
Morrison credits his parents and his debate coach, Alan Gould, for giving him reasons to believe in himself while growing up in the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. He said he had a number of quality teachers who saw his potential and challenged him. Growing up in such a diverse mix of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds also helped him to see the world as it is, and he is grateful for that.
Morrison’s advice for today’s students is, “Discipline yourself to finish school and go on to college or trade school. Develop yourself educationally because education allows you to realize your potential.”