All creatures great and small are welcome at Dr. Jared Morgan’s Tipton Ridge Medical Center in Pulaski, including kids, which is what prompted Critzer Elementary School teacher Angela Clevinger to seek an award for him.
Clevinger was impressed with Morgan’s generosity in hosting the Critzer kindergarten class’s annual field trip for free. The field trip has taken place for much longer than the two years he’s owned the office; Dr. Randy Vaughan, its previous owner, also had the children over.
“That’s a big deal, the veterinary clinic,” said Clevinger of the trip. She waited in the clinic’s lobby, a Whole Village Award from the Virginia Education Association in her hands. She sought the award, and presented him with it, in her capacity as treasurer for the Pulaski County Education Association.
Of the last field trip, Clevinger said, “We got to see all the animals, the tarantula, the snake that he has, the turtle, the chicken that he keeps. One of the kids got to wear the overcoat and use the stethoscope to listen to the animals, then he talked about the schooling that he had to have to be able to become a veterinarian. He talked about the life cycles, things that hit our science SOLs, and I was so impressed I called to see if I could set up something with my daughter [to see the clinic], and offered to pay, and he wouldn’t let me pay.” She noted that Morgan sent each child back to school with a goodie bag of candy, mementos and a Christmas ornament each.
Dr. Morgan finally caught a quiet moment in his busy morning and popped out to see her. After they greeted, she told him, “When I came over from Critzer, you did all the those field trips for free. So I nominated you for the Whole Village Award—you can hang it up in your office.”
“Well, thank you! I appreciate that,” he said, accepting the award.
“Thanks for everything, we’ll see you next year!” Clevinger said.
An Idaho native, Morgan said he likes Pulaski. “I was looking for a nice quiet community where my family could fit in, and it felt like a good fit. So we’re here.”
Morgan likes hosting the field trips and also does a community day near the end of April, which is like an open house, he said. “We started doing that in conjunction with the Humane Society, so that way we can promote the Humane Society at the same time as having a place for them to show animals for one of their adoption activities.”
Morgan said he’d also like to get some fall activities set up, possibly around Halloween. “We’ve got a big room in the back, that maybe if we get it set up properly, we could maybe get videos and crafts and have animals as well,” he said. “We have ideas of trying to make things fun for people to do. I’ve got five kinds, so having family fun with inexpensive of free activities are always stuff that we’re looking for.”
His free moment over, Morgan gives a firm handshake and heads to the back, award in hand, to pick up where he left off.