Michael Griffin, the new Ferndale High School principal, wanted to come to the school and help work on its mission of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Michael Griffin, the new Ferndale High School principal, wanted to come to the school and help work on its mission of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

New school year also brings new principal to Ferndale High

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 7, 2022


FERNDALE — The new school year in Ferndale will be coinciding with the tenure of a new high school principal.

Michael Griffin was hired this month as Ferndale High School’s new principal. She succeeds Radhika Issac, who now is the principal of Mason Middle School in the Waterford School District.

Griffin previously was the associate principal at Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology. She also has experience across her more than 15 years as an educator as an elementary school principal and Spanish teacher.

After working as an associate principal, Griffin said she was ready to become the head of a high school. She saw that Ferndale, near where she grew up, was hiring and felt she would be a good fit.

“I was always attracted to the diverse community and the beauty of the community,” she said. “When I saw that it was a job there, I said, ‘Why not give it a try?’ And then really looking at their website once, I became interested (and) I realized that the vision and the direction of their website is very grounded in diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Griffin, who had just completed a certificate at Eastern Michigan University with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, said she wanted to go to Ferndale High School because the district’s vision is aligned with her personal goals.

“I felt like, knowing that Ferndale has these diverse demographics of students, why not go to a place where that diversity already exists so I can do the work of equity and inclusion?” she said.

Ferndale Public Schools Superintendent Bobbie Goodrum said Griffin came “very highly recommended” for the job.

“She had principal experience, and she had secondary experience, and she had a lot of phenomenal ideas that the interview committee were excited about, really about kind of creating the type of community that we feel that we need in Ferndale High School,” she said. “Really, a lot of ideas about increasing community engagement, parenting engagement, increasing partnerships within the community and things of that nature.

Goodrum said the district liked that Griffin planned on doing listening sessions with community members, parents and students.

“The student voice component was a huge element for her,” Goodrum said. “So really just involving parents, and all of her answers really involved parents as well as teachers — parents, teachers and students — in the decision making process, which is very, very important.”

Griffin’s first week with students began Aug. 29, though she started her job in mid-August. Taking in her first couple of weeks on the job, she said she’s been spending time building relationships with her staff, which she felt had a “family feel” within it. Griffin said she also has gotten that same sense with the community members and alumni whom she’s spoken with, too.

“I find teachers are very dedicated to doing what needs to be done to change things,” She said. “We’re working to make things more equitable for all students here. The teachers are very open-minded and, you know, it just seems like they want to do the work that’s going to put us in the right direction of where we need to go.”