Stacy Griswell has been teaching art in Yadkin County for most of her education career. She is also an artist in her own right - one that is as comfortable and creative with a brush as a pencil and with pottery as fabric.
Griswell grew up in Sparta and graduated from Alleghany High before attending Western Carolina. Her husband Josh also attended Western, and following college they moved to Denton, N.C. for four years.
Griswell told The Ripple that she did not have any kids, but joking added “just the 850 plus that I teach.”
They returned to Sparta from Denton and she began teaching at West Yadkin Elementary. She drove back and forth for three years before they bought a parcel of land in Elkin and built a house, where they currently live.
“Art has always been my main interest. I guess in high school I decided I wanted to be an art teacher,” Griswell said. She said teaching at West Yadkin was a great opportunity.
“I love it. We have the best kids around,” Griswell said.
She has been split between schools since the middle schools opened, “but I’ve always been at West Yadkin,” she says. “I’ve been at Jonesville some, now I’m at West Yadkin and Courtney.”
She operates on a six day rotation: two-thirds of the time at West Yadkin and one-third at Courtney. If a snow day happens - anymore that’s a big “if” - she goes to whichever school she was supposed to be at on that day and keeps the cycle going.
She worked Kindergarten through eighth grades before the middle schools were opened.
Free time outside of work is even more artistic for Griswell.
“I like to paint. I’ve really gotten into refashioning clothes now. I like to do stuff like that, I’m not very good yet,” Griswell joked. “I like to do sewing and change things up that I find. I like to draw and I love music. Just anything like that where I can be creative.”
She also enjoys gardening.
Her painting skills are evident in the photos attached with this article. Griswell emailed several self-portraits she has done, the latest of which was two years ago. She hopes the new school year will renew her interest to create something new.
“These are the last ones I’ve painted,” Griswell said, referring to the portraits. “I am hoping to get back into that soon. My students will probably spark my interest again when they come back to school.”
She is also an animal lover. Griswell tries to educate others about the need for better treatment toward animals.
“I try to advocate for the ethical treatment of animals in my own actions and lifestyle and in talking to others,” she said.
Her and her husband have two rescue dogs.
Like many educators, Griswell worries about the state budget and its effects on her schools.
“Because of budget cuts our schools are struggling to come up with money for supplies,” Griswell said. She would like to see the public donate to help whenever and wherever possible.
Her plan would include a call to the schools and checking to see what a teacher might need, then donating that item through the office. Griswell said all teachers, not just the art department, need help getting supplies with the budget.
“I think the best thing for people to do, if they would like to help, is to pick their favorite teacher and ask what they need,” she said. “If a person has some things they would like to donate, call the office of a school and let them know. The secretary can then ask if someone needs the items being donated.”
”We are receiving sometimes only $1.00 per child for the entire year, sometimes even less, so any extra help would be appreciated by any teacher,” Griswell said.
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