Lexington schoolteacher says he will retire if elected to Lexington District One's School Board
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) - Lexington County School District One teacher Charles “Mike” Griffin says that he will retire again from teaching to serve if elected to the school board that governs the district in November. Griffin is currently teaching through the Lexington Online Learning Academy as part of the district's efforts to educate students who have returned to the face to face / online hybrid or the all online model of learning. Prior to this, he was an instructor at the district’s Alternative Learning Academy.
Griffin lives with his wife Deborah close to Lexington High School. The couple have two sons, both of whom are serving in the United States Marine Corps.
To call Griffin a career educator in the most traditional sense would be confusing. Prior to beginning to teach school, Griffin was an FBI agent and held several other interesting and diverse careers. No matter what he did for a living, he says he always circled around to the “First love of his life”, teaching. As Griffin was giving a telephone interview recently his wife chuckled in the background when he identified teaching as the, “First love of my life.” Deborah is also a dedicated and talented educator with many years of experience who works in Lexington School District One. The couple have been married for almost 49 years.
Griffin says that he loves Lexington District One but feels like there are some areas where it could use some work. “The issues are many,” Griffin said while speaking on the telephone one afternoon recently. “I feel the school board should represent the people,” according to Griffin. “I'm afraid that too often, the board has fallen into the role of simply rubberstamping whatever the staff presents to them. I believe that when people vote for school board members, they are electing them to ask the questions the voter can’t ask themselves,” Griffin continued.
Griffin says that the coronavirus pandemic has introduced new challenges to the way we educate. “I've told students that no matter how they are being taught, there are still some basic fundamentals that are a must in their education. You can never stress enough the importance of a student reading,” Griffith said. “You can provide them with the best technology and even insert the best educators but if they cannot read for themselves, they will always struggle to learn in any subject.” He went on to say that if he had a student that was struggling with any topic he would gladly give them his personal contact information so that he might spend extra time communicating with them to help them keep up with their studies. “Whether we're communicating online or face to face I am more than willing to help a student that has fallen behind,” Griffin said.
Griffin says he also believes in full transparency from the school district. He said that there is no reason that a member of the public should not be able to see how where their tax dollars are going or what those are being spent on while educating the students of Lexington District One. Often, more than 33% of a taxpayer's annual property tax bill is spent by the school district.
Griffin is running for one of the four seats that are up for grabs this year. The election that takes place on November 3rd will either return any or all of the three incumbents to their seats or see a mixture of candidates elected to serve as the district positions itself for the challenges of the next four years. Incumbents Anne Marie Green, Doctor Brent Powers, and Mike Anderson are all running for reelection. Cindy Smith, the current board chair, has said she is retiring and will not seek reelection.
You can find out more about Griffin by calling him at (803) 463-7208 after normal school hours. He’d says he’d enjoy speaking with you about how he’d like to help Lexington County School District One plan and meet its goals in the future.