New Educators at USD 234: Missy Miller and Sydney Griffetts

This is a series featuring new educators to the Fort Scott School District.

Winfield Scott Elementary School Principal Melissa Miller with her family, front row Courtney and Jake, back Melissa and Keith. Submitted photo.
Melissa (Missy) Miller, 50, is the new principal at Winfield Scott Elementary School in Fort Scott.
This is her 20th year in education.
Education: BS from Emporia State University, MS from Baker University.
Tonganoxie, KS now Fort Scott
Husband Keith, Courtney & Jake and 2 dogs Bella & Spike
Hobbies/community involvement reading, spending time with family, live going to the beach and swimming
Why did you become an educator?
I love kids, helping them succeed and being a positive influence in their lives
Did someone inspire you?
Tim Brady, 8th American History Teacher
What is the best part of teaching for you?
Building relationships
What are the greatest challenges?
Watching students struggle.
Sydney Griffetts.
Sydney Griffetts, 26, is a new 3rd-grade teacher at Eugene Ware Elementary School. This is her fifth year teaching.
She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education and a Master’s of Science degree in Elementary Education.
Hometown: Bentonville, Arkansas
My husband, who is the Eugene Ware Art teacher, and our cats, Mia and Lupin.
Hobbies/community involvement:
Making educational resources, reading, cooking, spending time with my family, taking our boat on the lake, and traveling.
Why did you become an educator?
I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. When I was in the second grade, I loved playing “school” at home with my stuffed animals and teaching my neighbors the dances I learned at the dance studio I attended. I also moved around a lot growing up because of my military family and the kindness I experienced from all of my teachers made the transitions so much easier. I wanted to be that for kids who were like myself when I grew up.
Did someone inspire you?
Yes! My biggest inspiration to become a teacher was my 5th/6th-grade teacher, Mr. Wayman. His passion for education and for student relationships was what drove me to set teaching as my goal. I have also gained inspiration from both of my parents and my stepmom, all of which have spent their lives working for the community. Their dedication is admirable and I have strived to be like them in my career.
What is the best part of teaching for you?
There are so many but I’d have to say making meaningful connections with students. It’s so important to me to have fun and teach my students to love school so building those relationships and making our class a family is the best part of being a teacher.
What is the greatest challenge?
Letting go of the family you built over 180+ days and watching them move on to bigger and better things. It’s so rewarding but so difficult to understand as a teacher too. Each student I teach has a piece of my heart and truly becomes my family so watching them move on is hard at times. But I cherish my time with them and love seeing them accomplish big dreams and goals throughout the years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *