WELLBORN'S GRIFFIN NAMED ALFA TEACHER OF MONTH
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Branded across televisions, throughout magazines and on thousands of billboards and bumper stickers, the Army has challenged soldiers and civilians alike to "Be All You Can Be" for more than 25 years. For scientist, soldier and teacher John Griffin, this charge was more than a suggestion -- it has served as a guiding principle in his daily life.
Faced with the challenge of teaching in a public school located in a high-poverty area, Griffin consistently battles the elements resulting from such an atmosphere. Since 1993, Griffin has witnessed Wellborn High School students grappling with the "accompanying ills of absenteeism; lack of role models; living with single parents, grandparents, friends, relatives or in group homes; drugs; gangs; violence; pregnancy; and hunger."
Though many teachers would struggle to reach students in such a difficult environment, Griffin has become the right man for this job.
"He never has any difficulty in motivating or teaching these students," explains Mary Jones, Science Department Chair at Wellborn. "He meets each student, each day and each subject with enthusiasm and high expectations."
It's for his ability to find solutions to a multitude of problems that Griffin earned the designation as Alfa's Teacher of the Month for October. As October's honoree, he will receive $1,000 from Alfa Insurance. His school, a division of Calhoun County Schools, will receive a matching award from the Alabama Farmers Federation.
After building a strong foundation of leadership as an Army officer for 24 years, Griffin has expanded his leadership activities to include co-chair of Wellborn High School's budget committee and chair of the Math Department. He is also the lead math teacher for the Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative (AMSTI).
Griffin received his bachelor's degree in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his master's degree in mathematics education from Jacksonville State University. A member of the Alabama Education Association, he earned his educational specialist degree from the University of Alabama in 1995.
During 2010, Alfa Insurance and the Alabama Farmers Federation are honoring one outstanding teacher from each of Alabama's eight state board districts, two principals and two private school teachers. Application information is available under Ag Links in the Agricultural Resources section of AlfaFarmers.org.