SAA-SDS Honors 2020 Albertus Magnus Recipient Michelle Griggs
03 May, 2020
St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School Jr. High Theology teacher Michelle Griggs is the 2020 recipient of the Albertus Magnus Award. Presented annually by the Board of Trustees, this award recognizes an outstanding educator who demonstrates the Four Pillars of the Dominican charism - Study, Prayer, Community and Service.
“Michelle Griggs is an exceptional teacher who cares about her students’ lives far beyond their academic achievements,” said Tom Hood, President, St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School. “Michelle has fully embraced our Dominican mission and made it part of her daily life.”
In 2004, Mrs. Griggs joined the faculty as the St. Agnes 6thgrade teacher, and in 2013 she moved to the Jr. High where she teaches religion to our 8thgraders. Known for her kindness and compassion, Mrs. Griggs has that special ability to connect with each of her students, letting them know that they are unique individuals with profound potential. A parent described Mrs. Griggs saying, “Simply stated, Mrs. Griggs puts all her heart and soul into this school. She genuinely loves and supports her students as individuals. The year my daughter spent in her class did wonders for her self-esteem.”
Mrs. Griggs builds community among her students, creating a classroom environment where everyone feels safe and is encouraged to express opinions and ideas. Her love of God is shared with her students as she challenges them to become the young men and women God calls them to be. She has coordinated the 8thgrade weekly visits with the students at Madonna Learning Center and facilitated the annual food deliveries to Project Outreach in Fayette Count. She is a past recipient of the St. John Bosco Award for the Total Christian Formation of Students.
A cheerleader for all, Mrs. Griggs’ enthusiasm and support of her students extends far beyond the classroom. She can often be found cheering them on at their plays, sporting events, musical performances and other endeavors. On many afternoons former students can be found visiting in her classroom. She is regularly sought out to be a Confirmation sponsor. “Once she makes a relationship with you, it’s for life,” said Kathy Boccia, Dean, St. Agnes Academy Lower School.
“I’ve certainly had my fill of amazing teachers, but nothing can compare to what Mrs. Griggs has meant to me,” said SAA alumna Elizabeth Pettit. “Though grades were always an important aspect, she paid more attention to what her students were to become in life. We always knew where her heart was. Her door was open to all, becoming that friend and mother-like figure when you needed advice.”
Mrs. Griggs is a Dominican Associate and has volunteered many hours over the years serving at Ave Maria, the Poor Clare Monastery and Manna House. She is always one of the first to volunteer to help with any school event, and she generously open her home for any occasion, hosting Dominican Sisters, welcoming visitors from Africa, and celebrating special occasions with her coworkers. Michelle and her husband Jody have one daughter, Halle, a 2008 graduate of St. Agnes Academy.
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