We know that history isn’t destiny. But if anyone was clearly destined to become a teacher, Tani Griffin was. Her exceptional talent and dedication as an English teacher flows from her life-long love of language and literature. Tani discovered her love of reading early and has always cultivated that love in others around her. For example, as a teen she read books for hours on end to her younger brother, Jonathan. Tani did not know then that she was preparing him for a future Stanford education, but she’s always known that reading is foundational to academic success. This is why, as her students and colleagues will know, she maintains a classroom library that is second to none. They also know that her love of English education is truly comprehensive. She enjoys teaching every grade, every class and every student at every level.
Most of us find our vocational calling in college, or even later. Tani knew in high school that teaching English was what she would do. She did her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature at BYU, where she also worked as a reference librarian. She would later return to BYU to complete a certification program in English education, from which she came straight to Payson High School. This was her first choice of schools and, after nine years here, she remains as committed to Payson and its students as she was on day one. Her colleagues are very pleased to recognize her passion and excellence with this year’s Crystal Apple award.