I grew up in Half Moon Bay, California, and have lived in the Bay Area for most of my life. I spent my college years in Massachusetts, graduating from Amherst College in 2003 with a
BA in American Studies. After a stint in the newspaper business at the Washington Post in DC, I returned to the Bay Area to become a high school English and music teacher.
I was originally drawn to working in education because of the many wonderful teachers who inspired me throughout my educational development—particularly in high school. I would not be the person that I am today without those great teachers, and I have deep gratitude for them. Though being an educator entails endless challenges, I have found no shortage of reward in it. In particular, the connections I’ve made with students through teaching, tutoring, mentoring, and counseling have given me so much. I also love to see young people succeed, particularly when the success has not come so naturally or easily.
Teaching at Mid-Peninsula High School in Menlo Park was highly instructional, particularly in opening my eyes to the reality that fostering students’ social-emotional growth is
essential for creating a fruitful learning environment. I also loved mentoring students in advisory, and enjoyed the kind of “counseling on the fly” that often happens in a small school.
So, after five years as a teacher, I decided that I wanted to shift to a more social-emotional and psychological domain, and I entered UC Berkeley’s School Psychology program in the Graduate School of Education. In graduate school, I studied human development, counseling, teacher consultation, psycho-educational testing, as well as academic theory and research in a variety of educational fields. After working at the SEL-focused Nueva School in San Mateo, I’m now very happy to put what I’ve learned to work at The Marin School!
When I’m not at TMS, you’ll most likely find me playing the guitar and writing songs. I have played in various rock bands for well over ten years now, and have spent many hours playing, recording and sometimes even touring. I live with my partner Whitney in Oakland, where we enjoy hiking, cycling, and finding great new places to eat.
Ben Griggs, M. Ed.
Head of School