Interview With Mr.Griggs

Interview with one of the most popular teachers in the school.

Mi'Aleysha Carswell, 2023 Gear Up class and Strategies of Academic Success class teacher.

Mi’Aleysha: Good evening, my name is Mi’Aleysha Carswell and who may I have the pleasure of interviewing today? 

Griggs: Hello, I’m Mr. Griggs. I have been here at Westside High school for five years now. I started out here as a math teacher, and then I got selected to help run the Gear Up program here at Westside and now I’ve been doing that for the last four years. 

Mi’Aleysha: Wow, I did not know you were a math teacher here at first, what math did you teach? 

Griggs: I taught Algebra 1a when I started here. 

Mi’Aleysha: When you were selected to teach the graduating class of 2023, were you ecstatic? 

Griggs: I was unsure, because nobody knew what the class was, what was expected, or what kind of curriculum we were supposed to be teaching when I got presented with this. So, I was a little scared.  

Mi’Aleysha: When you were selected to be one of teachers of the Gear Up class, when were you selected to be one of the teachers of the Strategies of Academic Success class also known as SLS. 

Griggs: Well best way to put this is that I positioned myself to do SLS. I did this because as you know it is good to have experience teaching a college course if I want to move on to teach a higher level of education. So, me having a master’s degree which few have here at Westside put me in a position to put my hat in the ring. To teach SLS, but I am credential for Edward Waters University and FSCJ to do Strategies of Academic Success. 

Mi’Aleysha: If you don’t mind me asking, what is your master’s degree in? 

Griggs: I have a master’s degree in management and leadership, as well as a master’s degree in teaching English. 

Mi’Aleysha: Through all your four years teaching the Gear Up class of 2023 and SLS, what do you believe is one of your biggest accomplishments that you will remember for the rest of your life? 

Griggs: Wow that’s a hard question to answer because I got a long way to go with this, but for right now the biggest accomplishment was seeing people go to college who said they weren’t going to go to college in the beginning of the year. Even those same people get excited about going to college, while also making moves to go, and to secure scholarships to go. I mean there were a couple of people who had no intention of going to college when they walked in that door at the beginning of the year but now, they are going with money in their pockets. So yeah, now that’s probably the most significant thing so far. 

Mi’Aleysha: What drives you every morning to come to Westside Highschool with a smile on your face to push your student to go above and beyond, even in your most difficult of times? 

Griggs: As a community I see how much we keep ourselves in a box, and I want my kids to know that there’s more out there than what they see up and down 103rd street, that’s what really pushes me. 

Mi’Aleysha: What is one thing that you are going to miss moving forward about the class of 2023, since you have been with them since 2019? 

Griggs: The relationships. Them coming into class every day, even as much as they get on my nerves, I’m going to miss it. I know they’re not over, but I’m still going to miss it. Don’t tell them that though. 

Mi’Aleysha: What is something that you are looking forward to next year with your brand-new Gear Up graduation class of 2027? 

Griggs: What I’m looking forwards is starting over because there are a lot of lessons learned from the four years I did the Gear up program. So, to go through a whole cycle of a new one, I will look forward to it being bigger a better while also working hard at getting them to buy in post-secondary education. 

Mi’Aleysha: Ok, so what about the upcoming graduating class of 2024 since you will be having seniors for the Strategies of Academic Success class next year as well? 

Griggs: Oh wow, I forgot about y’all. Well, I’m hoping to get them to understand about full secondary education, trying to get them to buy into it, while really probing their brains. While asking them where they’re going and what they want to do and try to help out where I can. 

Mi’Aleysha: Ok, so last question of the mini-interview today. What is one message you would like to relay to all the graduation senior class of 2023? 

Griggs: Don’t give up on yourself and keep pushing.