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Teacher in the Spotlight: Hayden Meadows Elementary

Marilyn Griffitts, K-5 Music

Marilyn Griffitts chearing: Hayden Meadows Elementary


By Taylor Shillam 

Marilyn Griffitts, K-5 music teacher at Hayden Meadows Elementary School, has been a teacher for 16 years. Now, she is set to retire after the 2023-2024 school year and is making the most of every moment. 

Marilyn says what she enjoys most about teaching is watching her students learn how capable they are. “I love it when kids learn something that they thought was hard but kept at it until they were successful,” she says. “The smiles are worth all the effort! And, realizing that they’ve really learned that they are capable of great things.” 

In her 16 years of teaching, Marilyn has been able to watch some of her students grow up. 

“I’ve seen several former students around town over the years,” she says. “It’s always exciting to find out what they are doing with their lives. Many times, they’ll reference something they experienced in a music class that continues to inspire them to reach higher, or comforts them when they are stressed.” 

Marilyn says teachers often spend an “amazing amount” of time preparing to teach lessons that are memorable for their students. 

“I’m always borrowing cool supplies from classroom teachers to enhance my lessons, or loaning out puppets, black lights, microphones to them for some special thing they’ve got planned,” she says of her coworkers. “I’ve never met so many creative, fun-loving and dedicated people under one roof.” 

Along with the memorable lessons presented in her classroom, Marilyn hopes to share with her students the lifelong lessons of hard work paying off. 

“If you want to be successful, absolutely nothing is more important than hard work,” she says. “You’ve got to want it bad enough to sacrifice time and energy, but if you do, it’s pretty much a guarantee of success!” 

Jonathan Mahn, Communications and Multimedia Specialist at Coeur d’Alene Schools, calls Marilyn “very passionate about music education.” As she prepares to retire, her passion is as apparent as ever. 

“How am I celebrating my last year of teaching? I’m pulling out all the stops! No excuses,” Marilyn smiles. “I’m having so much fun doing everything the best way I know how, and having the most fun with the students. I do not want to leave this job wishing I'd tried 'one more thing.' I'll be 'resting on my laurels' soon enough, so all my energy is going to the kids for now. That really feels good!” 

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