On Sunday, Oct. 21, hundreds of family members, friends and Aldine ISD administrators and staff members gathered for the dedication ceremony of Merlin D. Griggs EC/Pre-K/K School.
The school is named in honor of former Aldine ISD Board Member Merlin D. Griggs, who passed away in December 2016.
Mr. Griggs, a local businessman, was appointed to the Board in May of 2007 to fill the unexpired term of former Board member A.W. Jones. He was elected to the position in November 2007.
Mr. Griggs was a resident of Woodcreek and was active in Aldine schools for many years. He served as a S.N.A.P (Students Need a Pat and a Push) mentor, president of the Nimitz High School booster club and was a member of the Nimitz Peer Review Assessment Team. He also gave of his team to speak to students at numerous career days during his years in Aldine.
He also served as chairman of the Needs Assessment Committee for the successful 2007 bond referendum election.
Mr. Griggs was a senior Oil & Gas underwriter for Fairmont Specialty Inc., a subsidiary of Crum & Forester Insurance Company. He worked in the commercial insurance industry for more than 30 years in various management and technical positions. He received a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Management from Prairie View A&M University. He was a founding board member of the Aldine Education Foundation and sat on the board of directors for Manning Family Services.
Mr. Griggs was a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and served faithfully as an ordained deacon at Fallbrook Church.
Mr. Griggs’ wife Cathy and their sons Merlin, II and Justin addressed the audience during the dedication ceremony.
Cathy thanked the Board for naming a school in her husband’s honor.
“Today is such an incredible day, and I would like to thank each one of you for joining us for the dedication of Merlin Douglas Griggs EC/Pre-K/K School,” she said. “I appreciat the Aldine ISD School Board for honoring my husband in this special way and I want to thank (former superintendent) Dr. Wanda Bamberg and (former deputy superintendent) Dr. Archie Blanson for your leadership and support of my family. Thank you to all of our family and friends who are here today, you all meant the world to Merlin and I cannot express how grateful I am to see your faces today.”
She also thanked her Fallbrook Church family, Mr. Griggs’ Alpha Phi Alpha brothers and members of the Griggs family for their support over the years.
“Thank you to our Fallbrook Church family and Merlin’s Deacon Brothers for the way you have always loved on our family,” she said. “It means so much that you chose to be here today. To Merlin’s brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, thank you for your continuous support.
“And now the Griggs family, Merlin’s brothers Terry and his wife Ann, Ralph and his wife Rosie and his sister Sheila and her husband Warren. Thank you for being with us today.”
She concluded her remarks with a fond remembrance of her husband.
“To everyone here who knew my husband, you all have a special place in my heart and the things you poured into him, brought us to this place today,” Mrs. Griggs said. “To each of you my hopes are that you will remember my husband for his work ethic, his kind spirit and the moments he shook your hand or gave you a hug and made you smile.”
Abel Garza, Aldine ISD’s assistant superintendent of community and governmental relations, opened the ceremony by introducing Aldine’s Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney and her executive leadership team. Also in attendance were former Board members A.W. Jones, Rick Ogden, and former superintendents Dr. Wanda Bamberg and Nadine Kujawa.
Griggs students Brianna Pavon, Alan Sorano and Elizabeth White led the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Pledge to the Texas flag and Rev. Michael Pender of Fallbrook Church delivered the invocation.
A video highlighting Mr. Griggs was shown, which was followed by a musical performance by Griggs students.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner presented the family with a proclamation on behalf of the City of Houston and delivered remarks praising Mr. Griggs for his dedicated service as a Board member.
Board President Steve Mead accepted the school on behalf of the Board of Trustees, while Griggs principal Gladys Moton accepted the school on behalf of the administration. Griggs teacher Jamila Thomas accepted the school on behalf of the staff, student Skykyn Hoskin accepted the school on behalf of the student body and Jasmine Powell accepted the school on behalf of the community.
Members of Alpha Phi Alpha than presented the Griggs family with a plaque to thank Mr. Griggs for his dedicated service to the fraternity.
Mrs. Griggs and her sons then unveiled the portrait of Mr. Griggs that will hang in the school and Dr. Goffney then delivered closing remarks.
“It is truly an honor to be here at the dedication ceremony for Mr. Merlin D. Griggs,” Dr. Goffney said. “The district is in a greater place because of the work and vision of our previous leaders. The work Mr. Griggs did will always be remembered by the students and families of Aldine.”
Director of Public Information Aldine ISD
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