By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Those involved in Millington schools the past 10 years will tell you James “Bo” Griffin never really left.
After his departure from Millington Central High School as assistant principal a decade ago, Griffin stayed in contact with his colleagues and former students. Then a few years ago his son Eli enrolled at EA Harrold Elementary.
As Griffin moved up in the ranks with Shelby County Schools through Bolton and Raleigh-Egypt, he remain a presence in Millington. Then the opportunity came to be superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools with the departure of Dr. David Roper.
This past summer Griffin was selected by the Millington School Board to become the second director of schools for MMS. Since officially being on the job, Griffin has become a consistent presence in the hallways of Harrold, MCHS, Millington Middle School and Millington Elementary School.
He has introduced new policies to improve the curriculum for all Millington Schools and is currently building relationships between the schools and other Flag City entities.
Readers of The Millington Star have taken notice and voted Griffin 2019 Readers’ Choice Man of the Year.
“I am very humbled but there are people out in the community that deserve this award more than I do,” Griffin said. “It’s an amazing honor. It’s not an honor I deserve by myself. There are a lot of people like Mr. Terry Roland, Coach Hank Hawkins, Mr. Cary Vaughn who deserve to be here.
“When I think of Man of the Year, I think of a Mr. Ed Haley,” he continued. “I think about somebody like Mayor Terry Jones. I think about our Police and Fire chiefs. Those men make a difference everyday. I’m just very blessed and thankful for this amazing honor.”
The vote of confidence for Griffin has come from several throughout the past five month.
The new leader of Millington schools said the public has received him well along with those he works with everyday.
“First and foremost I appreciate the confidence and I just want to pay it forward,” he said. “It’s not about me. It’s about us — team. Nobody is above team. I’m just another spoke in the wheel. I do have a lot of accountability and responsibility. I love the fact I get to come to work everyday. I don’t have to come to work in Millington… I get to come to work in Millington. That’s the most important thing.”
Griffin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, a Masters of Education degree at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville and an Education Specialist degree at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson.
He has been a history, world geography or government teacher and assistant football, baseball, basketball or track coach at Munford, Jacksonville, Ark., Covington and Millington Central high schools.
At MCHS, he was also head baseball coach, athletic director and assistant principal.
Griffin also previously served as assistant principal, vice principal and athletic administrator at Bolton High School and principal of Raleigh-Egypt Middle School.
“I’m more blessed to say I taught three of our Teachers of the Year in class,” Griffin noted. “Not to say I had a major factor in that but to say there was something special about them. I knew they were going to do something special in the world. They’re doing it right now and a better thing to say they’re doing it in Millington Municipal Schools.”
Griffin’s former students to earn Teacher of the Year honors were Chasity Guy at MCHS, Christina Baker at MMS and Leighanne Naccarato at MES.
“I get more pride in walking in the school building and seeing former students paying it forward,” he said. “Doing what you knew they were designed to do. This is their calling and it shows by the way they take care of the kids.”
Griffin said he will continue join alongside the teachers, faculty, administration and the central office to provide the best education for the children of Millington.
“I hope they don’t see anything about Bo Griffin in the paper,” he said. “Instead seeing Millington Municipal Schools and the accomplishments of our students, teachers, faculty and staff. If something goes wrong, that’s on me. All the accolades and success goes to those people who are doing the real work. That’s your teachers in the classroom.
“Those administrators in the building making sure the teachers have what they need in order to take care of our kids,” he concluded. “I hope they see the positive relationship I try to build everyday not only in our community but also with our students, faculty and staff. It’s relationships. It’s people, not programs. I think that’s our No. 1 asset here our people. That’s what makes Millington so great. Hopefully they want see pictures of me but the success of our student everyday. What our teachers are doing everyday. Every once in a while get a picture of me being able to celebrate with our student, faculty and staff.”