The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

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The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Mrs. Griggs reflects on Educator of the Year Award

Mrs. Hsiao-Yu Lin Griggs
Mrs. Hsiao-Yu Lin Griggs

Mrs. Hsiao-Yu Lin Griggs, the Orchestra Director at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, received the high school’s New Jersey Governor’s Educator of the Year award for the 2023-2024 academic year.

 Mrs. Griggs was notified of the award in December. She and the recipients of this elite award at the other 10 schools in the district as well as the 11 Governor’s Educational Services Award winners for the schools will be recognized at the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District  Board of Education meeting on January 23.

The praise has allowed her to feel “honored that the parents, students and colleagues would think of me and took the time to nominate me for this prestigious recognition.”

Throughout her life, Mrs. Griggs has shared a relationship with music; she began playing as a musician at the age of three. In roughly third grade, she realized that music was the career she wanted to pursue; it was her passion that allowed her to experience an advanced education in the United States.

Mrs. Griggs says she cherishes being able to “play music with thousands of young musicians and shape their music education for the past 25 years.”

While attending graduate school, Mrs. Griggs spent time on weekends to tutor violin students at Temple University Community School. This experience allowed her to recognize some of the flaws in the string music sector of public education — shortcuts and force-fed knowledge.

From then on, she insisted on making it a goal to “change the ways of school group lesson style and make a difference in public school music education.” Mrs. Griggs believes that everyone deserves to receive musical knowledge regardless of whether or not they can afford private lessons.

Before teaching at BRHS, Mrs. Griggs worked in the Roxbury School District and at Randolph Middle School. At Roxbury, she was the sole director for the entire orchestra program and worked with students from 5th to 12th grade.

At Randolph, Mrs. Griggs was accompanied by three other directors; most of her work involved middle school students. These experiences taught her how to advocate for her students, and support different learning styles.

Her time at these schools left a heavy influence.

“I would never be the teacher I am today without the opportunities in these two districts,” she said.

Mrs. Griggs attributes her success at BRHS to the support and encouragement of the following administrators and colleagues in Bridgewater-Raritan: Dr. Morrell, Dr. Ezell, Mr. Hemberger, Dr. Greenberg, Dr. Godown, Dr. Bessett, Dr. Bourgault, Mr. Mossa, Dr. Wilson, Mr. Zas, Mrs. Day, Mr. Lewis, Mrs. Gaudet, Ms. Butler, Mrs. Jendza and Ms. Piedilato.

Along with this, support from students and their families fuels Mrs. Griggs to empower her ensembles even further. She feels blessed to be teaching such hardworking orchestra students and finds her time at BRHS to be “the dream job.”

As she continues her career at BRHS, Mrs. Griggs shares some advice to her string orchestra students.

“Love your music and make your instrument an extension of your body… Let the world know that you and your music are beautiful,” she said.

To her, it is important for musicians to convey their emotions and speak to their audience with their performance. For this school year, Mrs. Griggs hopes to keep her students engaged by playing music they can connect with and enjoy practicing. Teamwork will be a main objective for the ensembles to reach their highest level of performance capability. 

Away from teaching, Mrs. Griggs likes watching cooking competitions on television, especially those with Gordon Ramsey. She enjoys cooking for her family and playing Stardew Valley, a farming simulation video game, over break.

After receiving the award, Mrs. Griggs felt surprised, acknowledging that there are countless other teachers who were also deserving of this recognition. She says she is honored to be given this recognition and thanks everyone for the immense support and encouragement. As she sets off into the new year, Mrs. Griggs hopes to continue “having fun making beautiful music with all of my students”. 

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About the Contributor
Paritosh Bhole
Paritosh Bhole, Associate Editor
Paritosh Bhole is a sophomore at BRHS, and it is his second year being a part of The Prowler. He has been a part of previous school newspapers; he has always enjoyed journalism and being in touch with the school community. To him, writing is one of the most impactful ways of expressing ideas and emotions--BR is full of countless journalism opportunities. Away from writing, Paritosh spends his time playing the cello, playing basketball, and reading leisurely.
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