Each month the faculty and staff at Harker Heights High School gives a shout-out to any staff member they believe deserves one.
Once the month ends, the staffers add up all the shout-outs and the two teachers who receive the most are recognized as Staff of the Month.
In the month of December, that award went to Scarlet Griffin and Virginia Davis
Griffin is the mother of four children and she has lived in the Central Texas area for more than 20 years.
Griffin graduated from Ellison High School in 1986, and she is the daughter of an Army veteran. Griffin has been in the Killeen Independent School District for several years and has been a certified teacher for one year.
When asked where she went to college, Griffin said, “I completed my degree in English through Ashford University, and then I subbed in the district for more than 10 years. I love what I do!”
Griffin believes she received the Staff of the Month award because she comes in early every day and she stays late, she wants to be there for her students in any way possible and she genuinely cares about her students as young adults.
“I don’t judge my students; I listen to them and insert objective views when I can,” Griffin said.
“I was in hospitality management for a very long time and I wanted to change jobs. A friend suggested subbing to me while I decided what I really wanted to do.
“At first I tried other levels of education and it was fine and I liked it OK, but then I got my first high school assignment and it was all love from then on! I could not wait to get to work and talk with the kids about the subjects and listen to the way they saw the material. I knew this was the thing that I was looking for,” Griffin said.
“There is a saying about loving what you do and you never work a day in your life? Well, that’ me,” Griffin said.
Griffin said she really enjoys the way the Harker Heights staff works together to bring the students to the next level and provide a meaningful high school experience.
Virginia Davis is the daughter of a career Army officer. Davis lived primarily in Atlanta, Georgia, Fairfax, Virginia, San Antonio and Fort Hood.
“I first came to the area when my father was stationed here and I attended school in Copperas Cove ISD for grades 5-7,” Davis said. “My father retired here after 30 years of service here at Fort Hood.”
When Davis’ father became ill, she decided to return to the area to help care for him and has been here ever since.
“My first experience with education was as a peer tutor for English Language Learners when I was in the fifth grade. I was apprehensive when my teacher asked me to help but proud to have been chosen. This turned out to be a rewarding challenge as we all learned from each other.
“I felt so happy to be part of helping my peers become less isolated. It was one of the first times I was able to empathize with the feeling of being an outsider in a foreign environment,” she said. “This experience served me well when I found myself as the outsider while living in Europe,” Davis said.
Davis graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Communication.
“I decided to go into the education field as a profession after volunteering with youth literacy and technology programs for under-served communities, and working in distance learning for a global software and services company,” she said.
Davis started out at Harker Heights High School as a Special Education Inclusion teacher for three years.
“This year I’m working with U.S. History and Chemistry,” she said. “In my two previous years I worked with U.S. History and English I. I started with Killeen ISD in 2012 as a paraprofessional for English Language Learners at East Ward Elementary, then transferred to Special Education at Harker Heights High School, before obtaining my certification and moving into an inclusion teaching position. I’ve been a proud Knight ever since, Davis said.
“I think I was chosen for this award because I was able to support my hard-working co-workers at a busy time when help was needed. We have an excellent team at Harker Heights High School, from our secretaries and paraprofessionals, to custodians and food service, and everyone on staff.
“Several of my teammates have come to my aid when I needed help and I am glad to do the same for them.”
In the future Davis plans on continuing to work in the field of education; however, she may venture off to another area.
“I’ve developed a strong interest in digital learning and want to pursue training in that area. I see it as an excellent way to differentiate and customize instruction for learners, whether they are on, below, or above level,” Davis said. “It’s also an outstanding option to promote inclusion for homebound students. I am a lifelong learner and certain that I will continue to share knowledge with others in any way that I’m able.”