After 17 years of serving East Texas Lindale principal retires

Released by Maya Bethany with Lindale ISD:

This school year's graduating seniors were just born when Mike Griffin first joined the Lindale Independent School District. He has seen hundreds of his students grow up and graduate. Now, after 17 years of service to LISD, Griffin is retiring from the district.

Griffin will complete his final semester as principal of E.J. Moss Intermediate School this Friday. He says goodbye to LISD but Griffin will continue to work with the children of East Texas.

Griffin will join Rockin' C Ranch as the assistant director. The Christian camp is one that Griffin and E.J. Moss Intermediate School have enjoyed a partnership with since 2000. Each school year during the fall semester, Griffin has arranged for very fifth grade student to attend the outdoor education program. Students learn history, science, character development and team building.

"I love the outdoors," Griffin explained, "and I wanted kids to experience that. I never dreamed it would turn out like it did. The kids get to be kids, something that is unique in this day and time. They are not distracted from anything other than being a 10-year-old. That is what has made the major difference in the atmosphere of our building."

Griffin first joined Lindale ISD in 1992 after serving as assistant principal at a junior high school in DeSoto, Texas for six years. He stepped into the administrative role after he served as a boys basketball coach and received an invitation to take on the assistant principal position.

Griffin then felt it was time to become a campus principal. At the recommendation of a friend, he applied for a position with LISD. Griffin was hired to be principal of Velma Penny Elementary School, which then housed grades 3-5.

When the current high school was built, the decision was made for the former high school campus to become E.J. Moss Intermediate School and house grades 5-6. Griffin was named principal of the campus and continued his role on there for 15 years.

During his tenure, Griffin has stressed the importance of moral integrity and good character to his students. He and his teachers created the acronym RARE Students as a challenge to his campus. The RARE acronym stands for Responsibility, Attitude, Respect and Effort. Griffin also developed the campus creed the students recite every day as a reminder.

Griffin said there are far too many happy memories of his career with LISD to share them all. He said his decision to retire from the district and join Rockin' C was a decision led by faith.

"I am going from one family to another," Griffin explained. 'My mission here was to always to educate the entire child. Now my mission is to educate their spirituality."