Griffith Receives Outpouring of Support from the Education Community

Steve is quickly gaining support from the education community.  He has received endorsements from teachers, parents, students, school board members, principals and superintendents.  Education reform is one of the most important issues on Steve’s agenda. 

While Steve has a plan to turn Oregon education around, he knows he cannot do it alone.  To solve our problems will require the whole educational community working together despite their differences and it seems clear Steve is the candidate they can rally around. 

Oregon State Superintendent

 “Steve has vast experience and an unending passion for educating our youth.  He will work with teachers, parents and students to make Oregon a leader in education. “  

Norma Paulus, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction

President University of Oregon

“Steve is running for office for all the right reasons.  His unquestioned integrity will bring people together, to move Oregon forward.”

Dave Frohnmayer, former president University of Oregon

School Board Chairs

“I have known Steve for over 15 years, beginning when we overlapped as elected volunteer members of the Portland School Board for two terms.  My husband, David, and I enthusiastically endorse him as a candidate for the State Legislature.  He is intelligent, caring, incredibly hard-working and invested in the issues that are critical to Oregon.  Whether it is about creating jobs, solving complex environmental problems, or supporting public education, Steve will tackle that issue with his great energy and will work with others in constructing effective solutions.  Steve is about the most non-partisan person we know, since it is always his values and ethics that guide how he approaches an issue- not party politics.  We continue to be impressed with how he seeks out diverse viewpoints to learn more about various challenges and we admire him as an excellent example of an involved, committed servant-citizen.” 

Carol Turner, former Portland School Board chair  

“Steve Griffith has truly exceptional credentials when he says he cares about education in Oregon.  He has served on the school board of the State’s largest district, and has spent serious time in the classroom teaching.  He understands the obstacles to improving education in Oregon and is willing to take them on; and is not beholden to any particular constituency.”

Bill Swindells, Lake Oswego School Board Chair

Portland Superintendent

 “Steve Griffith was an outstanding school board member.  He will make an outstanding legislator.  Steve reads deeply to understand the trends and factors that affect public education.  He sees the connections between what we do today and what we become tomorrow.  His ultimate test is the welfare of the child.  He never gives up.  He brings people together to solve the hardest problems.  You want him in the Oregon legislature.”

Matthew Prophet, former Portland Superintendent                                  


“I have known Steve Griffith for over twenty years, and I am proud to endorse him for the Oregon Senate. Whether leading the Portland Public Schools Board of Education or teaching high school students about the U.S. Constitution and civic engagement, Steve’s focus on improving public education is at the core of his commitment to public service.  Steve will be a thoughtful leader and collaborator, and he will always consider what is best for Oregon’s children.”

Peter Hamilton, retired Lincoln High School Principal


“Steve Griffith, a gifted teacher himself, understands that education is more about inspiration, about the connection between students and teachers, than about bureaucratic demands.”

Jeff Edmundson, Lincoln High School teacher

“To anyone who cares to listen, Steve Griffith is a man of refreshing honor and integrity who has a passion from bringing out the best in young people.”

David Bailey, Lincoln High School teacher

“As Steve’s co-teacher of the Lincoln High School Constitution class, I know he cares deeply about student learning and quality teaching, and is committed to supporting and funding a school system that meets the needs of Oregon’s future citizens.  In the classroom, Steve is a thoughtful teacher and a good listener, both qualities I believe will inform his decisions about educational policy in the Oregon Senate.”

Tim Swinehart, Lincoln High School teacher

Steve Griffith was the coach of our daughter’s neighborhood soccer team.  While he wanted the girls to win, it was evident to the parents that it was more important to Steve that he was preparing the girls to succeed in life.  Steve is positive, upbeat and enthusiastic – about kids, about people, and about life. 

Katie Teach, Lake Oswego High School teacher


“You know, actions speak louder than words.  Steve not only says he supports our children and wants to create a world class educational system for them, he does something about it.  Form his years of tireless work as an unpaid commissioner on the Portland School Board, to his years of volunteerism, teaching students about the US Constitution, Steve has always been committed to improving education and education opportunity in Oregon.  I know that the educators and children of Oregon will be well-served with Steve in the Oregon Legislature.”

Thomas Blume, parent

“I have seen Steve Griffith educate our kids through team sports and other activities.  As a coach and leader of young people, Steve’s inclusive and respectful approach has made them better people, athletes and teammates.  He has my whole hearted endorsement.”   

Louis Sloss, youth coach and Wilson High School parent                   

“Steve Griffith is an outstanding individual, a great leader and one of the most dedicated teachers our children have ever had.  Under his mentorship, both of our daughters discovered a passion for learning and a commitment to excellence that remains with them today.  As parents, we wish every young adult could experience such a positive transformational experience during their high school years.  Way to go, Steve!”

Maureen and Fred Wearn, Lincoln High School parents                    


“I was lucky enough to have Steve Griffith as my coach in the ‘We the People’ program, and I think back fondly to brilliant impromptu lectures about the Constitution or comprehensive advice on research or speaking. Steve Griffith realizes that a personal investment in education is vital to students’ engagement and understanding, and his sound judgment and genuine compassion are just what schools in Oregon need.”

Forrest Alexander, Portland State student                                      

“As a teacher and a mentor, Steve is incredibly enthusiastic about sharing his vast knowledge with his students.  His ability to communicate his passion for constitutional law, to engage students in the topics discussed, and to explain complex legal concepts with innovative techniques has made Steve the best teacher I have ever had.  As a legislator, Steve’s emphasis on education will play an important role in his decision making, and he will use his experience as an inspiring teacher to bring innovative ideas to the discussion table.” 

Naomi Dann, Lincoln High School student

 “Constitution Team was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had, and a large part of that was thanks to Mr. (or Steve) Griffith. Even at 7 in the morning, he was always animated, passionate about politics and citizenship, and challenged us not just to think but to act. He is one of the most intelligent people I know but has that even rarer ability to share his knowledge and excitement with others. As a member of the Oregon Senate, he’ll have brilliant ideas and will be able to motivate others to join him.”

Lisa Frank, student                          

“Mr. Griffith has been the most inspirational teacher I have ever worked with.  He has been involved with the Lincoln Constitution Team program for years, and is involved with many other philanthropic organizations.  He is the most kind, humble, and intelligent role model a kid could ask for.  He makes the constitution relevant and interesting, and has turned a group of teenagers into politically aware, confident, active citizens.”

Hannah Gold, Lincoln High School student

“Mr. Griffith’s enthusiasm for knowledge made it worth waking up for class.  He expected us to be intelligent and hard working, and so we were.  He wanted us to understand complex issues and speak profoundly of them, and so we did.  He wanted us to become intellectual students of moral integrity, and so now that is what we are.  Because of his belief in his students, I have achieved more in the past year and a half than I knew I was capable of.  Steve Griffith is the kind of leader who brings out peoples’ abilities to achieve their best.”

Callie King-Guffey, Lincoln High School student                               

“I’ve known Steve Griffith since 2004, when he was the head coach and mentor of the Lincoln High School Constitution class.  I count that course as one of the most fun and intellectually rewarding experiences of my high school career, largely due to Mr. Griffith’s passion for US History and Constitutional law.  For an impressionable sophomore, his excitement not only made learning exciting, but also made me acutely aware of my civic duty as a citizen and the importance of American constitutional ideals.  After a narrow loss to Grant High School in January, Mr. Griffith still took time out of his very busy schedule to teach a seminar on several topics we were interested in exploring.  It’s a testament to his ability as a teacher that almost the entire team opted to continue with this seminar, which involved a heavy reading list and was perhaps the closest I came to a college level course in high school.  In my mind, Mr. Griffith seems to value the most important aspects of education.  In doing so he inspires a desire to learn that is too often absent in public education today.”

Neal Pisenti, Harvey Mudd student                                

“When he teaches, Mr. Griffith’s enthusiasm and energy are on vivid display, and they are infectious.  You can’t help but be impressed with Mr. Griffith’s passion for the subject matter and the attention he gives his students.”

Jonathan Pulvers, Pomona College student                                  

“My first memory of Mr. Griffith was when a group of peers and I banged the front of his car with a frisbee as we played at his beach house one summer.  Instead of getting upset, he laughed and hopped out of his car to welcome the thirty teenagers spending a cramped weekend in his home. That night, I listened to what would be the first of many lectures by my Constitution Team coach. His method of engaging us–through his words and ideas, and using a pillow to explain checks and balances, for example–were things I would use exactly one year later, when I myself began to teach. Today I am a volunteer teacher of future American citizens.  Without Steve Griffith’s influence, I would likely not be. I doubt I would understand the formation of our democracy, let alone the political philosophies that led to it. And above all, I would not share the same passion he holds for all of this, and for learning in general.  These few lines do not do him justice; a vote for him will.”

Emilie Segura, Lincoln High School student                   

“Mr. Griffith was an inspirational teacher. He poured his heart and soul into teaching us about the Constitution, about the foundations of our legal system, and about the philosophy, history and current application of the law. He coached us on our public speaking and pushed us to be better students. Because of him, the Constitution team was one of my most memorable and educational activities in high school. Mr. Griffith understands how students learn best, what they need to really thrive and achieve their potential. I have no doubt that he would make education, particularly our public schools, a high priority in the Oregon Senate.”

Jackie Weiss, UCSF Medical School student

“Steve Griffith has been a teacher, a mentor and a friend to me. I have never seen someone teach as passionately as he does, nor inspire that same passion in students. He truly understands the nature of learning in the classroom, and that kind of experience is key to solving the problems that our schools face everyday. New standardized tests and revised benchmarks simply aren’t enough to fix Oregon’s educational system. We must prioritize our youth’s future – Oregon’s future – by investing in education as if we mean it. I have no doubt in my mind that Steve is the best person to make that happen.”

Louis Wheatley, Lincoln High School student                           

“Steve is a phenomenal teacher, mentor, and friend. As a former Lincoln Constitution Team alumna, I’ve had the honor of knowing Steve since 2004, and I can speak to his unwavering dedication to education and commitment to his students. As a teacher, he was engaging and inspiring. As a mentor, he reached out to us and offered guidance and advice on the academic, professional, and personal aspects of our development, and has continued to act as a coach and cheerleader in our lives over the years. I am extremely excited that Steve is running for the Oregon Senate, and I am confident that he will show the same level of dedication and passion for quality education as a Senator, as he has shown to his countless students.”

Jiying Zhang, University of Pennsylvania student

I couldn’t be more excited Mr. Griffith is seeking to contribute his voice to education issues in Salem because, as an educator, Mr. Griffith has been one of the most inspiring figures in my life. Looking back, I can’t believe the time and energy Mr. Griffith devoted to his students on the Constitution Team. Clearly, Mr. Griffith’s own  reward was watching us grow – watching us work hard, think carefully about our community, make “civics” a part of our daily lives. The knowledge – the passion – he passed on to us has made us better citizens, eager to give back. Mr. Griffith’s lesson is one that stays with you and it’s hard to overstate how grateful I am for it. Go Griffith!
Morgan Williams, St. John’s University student

“I remember when, as a sophomore on Steve’s “We the People” constitutional law team, Steve took twenty minutes to ensure that my peers and I understood the word “heuristic” and the implications of heuristic voting in Congress. Steve’s zeal for teaching has inspired so many young people, including myself, to respect the history and intellectual groundwork of American government and jurisprudence.”

Austin Shiner, Yale student

“I first met Steve Griffith as a member of the Lincoln High School Constitution Team.  I joined the team not knowing exactly what to expect, but was instantly transported to a world of Plato and Aristotle by the passionate Steve Griffith.  Learning about the philosophical foundations of the Constitution from Steve is something I will never forget.  His willingness to meet in his office on Saturdays to discuss history and philosophy for hours on end was a reflection of his dedication to our education.  As a second year student at USC Law School, I am often asked why I decided pursue an education in law.  As a high school student without a single family member in the practice of law, Steve Griffith showed me the intelligence and enthusiasm of truly exceptional lawyers.  I knew after that point, that one day, I wanted to be an attorney just like Steve.  Steve has been a mentor and friend for almost a decade.  His passion for learning, and for others, would certainly make him an asset to Oregon’s State Senate. Vote for Steve!”

Heather Habes, recent University of Washington graduate

“Steve is one of the most influential teachers I have ever had. In his classroom, the process of examining an issue from all sides was always more important than the conclusions reached. He treated my education with care, and I know he would do the same for all his district members.”

Sarah Young, University of Rochester student

“I believe my love of politics and world events started in the tenth grade, when I joined my high school Constitution Team. In addition to learning about world events and how the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights related to those events, I also gained more insight into the type of person I would like to grow up to be. My Constitution Team coach, Mr. Griffith, is the most inspiring person  I have ever met. He has been involved with my high school Constitution Team for years and is always willing to volunteer his time for his students and others in the community. He shows that there is never a limit to how much one can give back to his or her community. Even though his accomplishments would fill up hundreds of pages, Mr. Griffith remains the most humble and kind role model I know. I hope to follow Mr. Griffith’s example of generosity and political awareness. I cannot think of a more qualified and dedicated candidate for the Oregon State Senate than Mr. Griffith.”

Vicki Sun, Northwestern student

Mr. Griffith is devoted, passionate, and caring. His drive to help students learn is incomparable. Mr. Griffith not only believes in teaching others, he believes in helping them to see the value of education. With Mr. Griffith’s help, I have become a better civic citizen and a more aware student. I have been fortunate enough to have had a small amount of Mr. Griffith’s love of learning rub off on me–if every student were to have this chance, Oregon would certainly have a better tomorrow.”

Dana Bacharach, Barnard student

*Members of Steve’s current Lincoln High School students were excluded from giving endorsements and from participating in the campaign so as not to adversely impact the student-teacher relationship.

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