New Inca principal ‘warmly received’

Veronica Griffin arrived before the school year began to get to know her staff and students. (Photo courtesy Inca Elementary School)

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski

Inca Elementary School’s Veronica Griffin wants students to get over their fear of principals.

The Buckeye school’s new leader is helping to alleviate that fear by visiting with children, saying hi to them in the hallways and by generally exuding a positive attitude around the campus.

Her effervescent demeanor has already affected the pupils and Griffin’s coworkers.

“I officially started July 1, but I came in a little earlier than that to get acquainted with the administration and a few of the teachers at the school,” Griffin said. “I love it here.”

Griffin, who previously was the campus director for the Brightmont Academy in Chandler, brings 25 years of educational experience to this role, including two years as a school principal.

“Mrs. Griffin brings a wealth of knowledge and boundless energy to this role,” said Buckeye Elementary School District Superintendent Dr. Kristi Sandvik. “Her experiences in the K-8 education system is a tremendous asset for the teachers and students at Inca, but also for the district as a whole.”

One of Griffin’s goals is to reach out to the community. So, she created postcards announcing her hiring and the benefits of the 750-student school.

“I asked them if they wanted to use our facilities, or participate in any of the fairs,” she said. “We want to be partners with them. We’ve already had a few bites. One company provided water for our meet the teacher night. Another gave us pizza for our staff. It’s really working out just making our presence known.”

However, her No. 1 goal is to ensure that every student is provided with a high-quality education in a safe and supportive learning environment.

“I am committed to ensuring that student needs and interests help shape instructional and extracurricular activities, leading to confident, happy, healthy students learning at optimal levels.”

Griffin earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Jackson State University and her master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from ASU. In addition to her experience as a principal, Griffin has more than 16 years teaching experience in the classroom and seven years as a school, district and university instructional coach and professional development facilitator.

Griffin lives in Avondale with her husband, Daren. They have five grown children. One of the draws to the principal position was that the school is close to home.

“The small district was a huge draw for me, too,” she said. “When you’re in a small district, it really feels like family. I felt it would be that way. I’m learning everyone already, and I’ve been received warmly from the governing board to the parents and the teachers. It’s been a wonderful reception.”

The school is located at 23601 W. Durango Street, Buckeye. For more information, call 623-925-3500.

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