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Gloria Williams Griffin

She was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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A native of southwestern Oklahoma, Dr. Gloria Williams Griffin has lived in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area for over thirty years. Her academic degrees are B.S., M.A., and Ed.D. from the University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Gloria Griffin is the superintendent of Millwood Public Schools, Oklahoma City, OK. She has held this position since October 1994. She is the educational and administrative leader of a system that has consistently provided top quality education for children at all grade levels PreK-12. She is the first female superintendent of that district. Out of 542 superintendents in the Oklahoma she is currently one of the three African-American superintendents in the state.

With more than 30 years in education, she began her teaching career in the Crooked Oak Public School District. In 1974, she was employed by the Oklahoma City Public Schools, where she remained for 20 years. Her assignments in that district included teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of middle schools and fifth grade centers, director of secondary schools, and director of high schools and adult education.

She has many firsts in her life. She is a first generation college graduate in her family. In 1981, she became the first African American principal at Taft Middle School in Oklahoma City. She was the first female principal at Rogers Middle School, when she returned to that school in 1983. In 1987, she became the first female director of the middle schools and fifth grade centers in the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Her publications include "Linking Superintendent Behavior to Schools Effectiveness," in the Journal of School Leadership and "Shadow Discipline: An Option," in the Oklahoma Middle Level Education Association Journal. She has made presentations at local, state and national educational conferences. Dr. Griffin is the 12th Lecturer in Ira D. Hall, Sr., Endowed Lecture Series at Langston University.

Students, staff and patrons know her not just for her leadership, but also as a role mode. As Millwood's leader, she has set the stage for hundreds of children. The standards are high; the level of performance is high; the rate of success is high! The district has been recognized by the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth for its Parent University and has received the State Superintendent's Award for quality delivery of career technical education related to School-to- Work. The district has been awarded in excess of $3 and a half million in external funds, including a School-to- Work grant, a Technology Education grant, a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant and two Comprehensive School Reform grants.

Within the church and in the community, Dr. Griffin is most active. She is member of Fifth Street Missionary Baptist Church, where she serves as an usher and a trustee. She has been a judge for the Miss Black Oklahoma Pageant for four years. She is past president of the Oklahoma City Capitol Rotary Club and past chairperson of the Higher Regents' Oklahoma Minority Teachers Recruitment Center Advisory Board.

A long-time community volunteer, she has been appointed to lead the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation in 2006. She has served the Memorial in a volunteer capacity since first working on the committee that wrote the story board for the Memorial Museum in 1998. Griffin was later appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the Memorial Trust in 2002. She has served as the Chair of the Memorial Education Committee since that time.

In addition, she is a member of Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc., Advisory Board. Dr. Griffin is a charter member of the Oklahoma Sooner City Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a member of the Oklahoma City Chapter of the LINKS, Inc., and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Gamma Epsilon Chapter, where she is the current financial secretary. A member of Leadership OKC Class XVI, she is the first African American to serve as Leadership Oklahoma City adult program co-chair.

She was appointed to Southwest Education Development Laboratory Board of Directors. In 2003, she was elected to serve on the National Federation of High Schools Activities Association Board of Directors.

Her many honors include Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame; the Oklahoma Human Rights Award; the Leo B. Marsh Award (YMCA Achievers); the Capitol Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Leadership Award and the Delta Legacy: "Women Making A Difference" award at the 42nd Convention of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Overseeing the intellectual maturation of young people is Dr. Griffin's vocation. Sustaining the cyclical growth of her one-plus acres of polychromatic flora is Gloria's avocation. In the community, in the classroom and in the garden, she leaves her handprints.