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Updated: 07/16/2014 10:22:01AM

Vivian Griffin retires from 35 years in the classroom

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Brian Hurley / News-Journal

Vivian Griffin speaks with friends she shared a table with at her retirement party.

Brian Hurley / News-Journal

Pastor A. J. Walker of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church spoke the praises of Vivian Griffin who has retired from her teaching career after 35 years in the classroom.

Brian Hurley / News-Journal

The crowd numbered more than 60 when friends, parents of students and former students gathered to thank Vivian Griffin for 35 years as a school teacher.


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Vivian Griffin is retiring after 35 years of public school teaching. A dinner reception in Griffin’s honor was held Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Lake Placid. About 60 of her friends and a few former students attended the reception.

Pastor A. J. Walker of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church gave an invocation to open a time of celebration and testimonials led by Stacey Leveridge.

Griffin is very active member of her church. In his testimonial, Pastor Walker remarked that it was okay for her to retire from public school teaching, but would she please not retire from teaching Sunday school at the church. The comment brought a good laugh.

Several testimonials were offered by friends and former students including Evon Taylor, Dee Blackstar, and Nate Williams of Avon Park. Tracy Blackstar sang a solo in honor of Griffin.

The guest of honor recognized those present with love gifts including the person who came the farthest (Miami) and a parent and child both of whom Griffin taught. It was evident from the testimonials that Griffin was more than just a teacher to her students, she was a friend even after they were no longer her students and had grown up.

Griffin spent two years teaching at Madison High School in Madison, Florida before coming to Lake Placid. She has spent the last 33 years teaching Social Studies, American History, and Geography in grades 5, 7, and 8 at Lake Placid Middle School.

Somehow, Griffin says, she was never tasked with teaching sixth grade in all those years.