Golden Apple: Uyen Griffis

Golden Apple

Another super-high-energy day with Uyen Griffis. An amazing teacher at Hammond Hill Elementary who’s been doing this for 22 years. 

“Children with autism. Children with Down Syndrome. Behavioral. Other health impairments. Speech and language development. So we just cover an array of children with special needs,” Griffis says. 
Her journey to this place started at a very young age. 
“When I was a little girl I grew up with a brother/cousin with special needs.  As a little girl, that’s all you know are the kids that you played with. So having a family member with special needs just really lead me to this classroom and lead me to children with varying exceptionalities.”
Mrs. Uyen says her high energy level is key to the students’ success. 
“It’s so important. We just want our children excited. It’s probably a lot of soda too.  That helps. Maybe lack of sleep helps as well.”
Wherever it comes from, that enthusiasm and interest pays off as these students make progress. 

“You have to have a relationship with the students. Parents see it. They’ll say oh my goodness, Ms. Griffis I didn’t know he or she could say a word or make a sound.”
Congratulations Uyen Griffis.  An extraordinary, energetic educator who shows no signs of slowing down. 
“I hope it comes natural,” she says. “I hope I can do this for the next 20-years. I would want to teach as if they were my own children. I share that with my team, if we can teach our children like they’re you’re own, then we’ve got to be okay.” 

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