As a youth, Scottie J. Griffin, EdD, admired the contributions of family members who worked in the educational and medical sectors. She also naturally gravitated toward teachers and administrators whose dedication significantly improved the lives of people in her community. Many of them grew up locally, obtained degrees, and returned or remained home where their impact meant the most. For these reasons, Dr. Griffin proudly joined their ranks as an educator. She also is a candidate for the United States Senate in 2024, running on a platform to improve girls’ education.
Dr. Griffin is the founder, president, chief executive officer, and international leadership consultant of Griffin Enterprises, specializing in national and international consulting in educational leadership. This includes heading up international mission teams; developing leadership initiatives and comprehensive, transformational plans for operating school systems in developing countries; conducting presentations; advising educational executives; developing and implementing strategic initiatives focused on enhancing agencies’ effectiveness; leading and training teams to improve their efficiency; and assisting multiple organizations to accomplish shared interagency teamwork — all of which she plans to continue doing in the foreseeable future. Previously, Dr. Griffin was an educational organizational consultant at Griffin Enterprises, an administrator and academic coordinator for the Juvenile Services Education Program within the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, school district superintendent, principal, charter school executive director, teacher, and mentor, amid many other career-related roles.
Dr. Griffin earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in special education with a focus on learning and emotional impairments. She was motivated to help people with special needs remembering a childhood friend who did not attend school because she had polio and developed severe emotional disorders. Growing up, Dr. Griffin also saw disparities in how women, especially African American women, were treated as related to developing their minds, accessing education as a profession, and getting the jobs they desired. The women in Dr. Griffin’s family noticed these deficiencies as well and encouraged her to use her expertise to help. She is confident that she is making strides.
Among her many achievements, Dr. Griffin points to career highlights that followed her years of service as an experienced educational executive. She focused on critical initiatives to increase the quality of services and meet the educational and instructional needs of students and staff by securing $10 million from the United States Congress to organize and open a residential public charter school in Washington, D.C., which eliminated enrolling students in programs across the country and paying out-of-state tuition; awarding $1 million in grants from the federal government to start an extended learning mentoring program for students enrolled in the Department of Defense Education Activity schools around the world; and creating a community partnership model that is being implemented worldwide between the school, home and external organizations to improve educational services and prepare students to meet challenges of the 21st century. She also participated in international seminars with the American Association of School Administrators, PLATO Learning, and the National Association for Multicultural Education. In addition, Dr. Griffin is conducting comprehensive assessments of the educational systems as a United States delegate to analyze and identify educational strengths and weaknesses in India, Hong Kong, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Vietnam, Scotland and China.
Dr. Griffin attributes her success to being from a well-educated, caring family. During her formative years, they ensured she was exposed to different professions, and concerned and highly skilled teachers served as her mentors. Invaluable relationships with academic and executive colleagues and friends also contributed to her personal and professional advancement. Dr. Griffin, in turn, prioritizes being a mentor.
She has forged positive relationships that have provided guidance to personnel in developing students’ intellect and skills, such as equipping them to form coalitions and resolve conflict, which increased academic achievement. A key change she has noticed during her career is how technology, such as Zoom, is used as a teaching and communications tool in the classroom and has diversified her mentoring efforts. Even with changes, however, Dr. Griffin advises that educators and professionals in any field must have an excellent command of their craft and develop great interpersonal skills.
To Dr. Griffin, accurately and inclusively teaching history is important because students need to know what happened. She cites how some educators refuse to teach about slavery, for example, because they believe it creates problems. However, she believes that most educators share the same sentiment for those who refuse to teach the subject: they cannot decide not to teach the country’s history to students.
Dr. Griffin has won numerous awards. She was honored for exemplary leadership and services as executive director of public charter schools from the District of Columbia State Board of Education in 2000 and as the outstanding presenter at the 15th Annual National Effective Schools Conference by the National School Conference Institute in 1998. Furthermore, she received recognition as a keynote presenter at the Annual School-Home Partnership Conference on “Shared Decision Making” in Panama City, Panama, for 1997-1998; an educator in Flint, Michigan, in 1995; a presenter at the Michigan State Conference for the Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals and the Michigan State Annual Self-Esteem Conference for 1993-1994. Dr. Griffin received the Pioneer Award for Outcome Based Education from Flint Community Schools in 1993 and was a dedicated president of the Jackson State University Alumni Association in 1978, among other honors.
Dr. Griffin is a member of the Democratic National Committee and of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Women’s Democratic Club; the American Association for School Administrators; the National Alliance of Black School Educators; the United Democratic Women; and the National Education Association. She also has been civically active with the Jackson State University Alumni Association, Inc., the Mayor’s Executive Advisory Council in Flint, Michigan, the International Association for Refugees (IAFR), and the National Presbyterian Church.
Recalling her most memorable and personal charity work with IAFR, Dr. Griffin initiated the educational sponsorship of five girls from Kenya. She organized and implemented a three-year international project focused on teaching the girls who resided at the country’s Kakuma Refugee Camp after witnessing the inequalities girls face in many countries around the globe. When Dr. Griffin was asked by the National Presbyterian Church to determine a project that the church would consider funding, she developed a proposal with her team. The initiative was accepted as a signature project, and in Spring 2022, all five girls graduated from high school. Three of them are pursuing college degrees.