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Gretchen Griffith is a former teacher with thirty years of experience from Head Start five year
olds to college freshmen at Appalachian State University and Caldwell Community College. Her
interest in international cultures began in high school when she was an exchange student in
Lima, Peru and continues today through volunteer work with AFS, an intercultural program. She
has worked to preserve western North Carolina stories through several oral history projects that
she has published. She lives in Lenoir, North Carolina, with her husband, Van. They have two
children, Jennifer and Allen, and two grandchildren, Gracie and Reagan.
Family oriented former teacher who catches life stories and shares them in print.
The Rest of the Story Version
The invitation: Come in, browse around, visit with self
proclaimed Storycatcher, Gretchen Griffith, as she shares the
ins and outs of her writing journey.
Gretchen Griffith’s writing reflects her interests and her experiences in a "Write what you know and
what you don't know, research" kind of way.
Her life story began at the end of the most exciting week in the history of Donora, Pennsylvania, the
week of the infamous Killer Fog. She was born on the last day and missed it all, but she heard the
story of the tragedy from day one, and plans to someday set it to print.
Because of the economic downturn related to the Donora environmental incident, her parents moved
south and raised Gretchen and her brother near Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her interest in
international cultures began in high school when she was an exchange student in Lima, Peru and
continues today through volunteer work with AFS, an intercultural program.
Both her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, concentrating in Spanish, and her Masters in
Education, concentrating in reading and world geography, are from Appalachian State University in
Boone, North Carolina. She taught students of every age imaginable from Head Start five year olds to
college freshman at Appalachian State University and a ninety year old lady in adult basic education
classes at Caldwell Community College. Her years teaching in the elementary school found her in fifth
grade, eighth grade, remedial reading, third grade and then her all-time favorite, fourth grade.
She began interviewing people in the community when her fourth grade classes were involved with
the pilot program for the Community Music Curriculum through an NEA grant and the University of
North Carolina. She was supervisor for the program in the western counties of the state and worked
with teachers to develop their own Community Music Curriculum and teach their children to interview.
Her role in her local community, Gamewell, has been with the town history committee where her
interviews with citizens are on file in the town hall. She has gone beyond the boundaries of her town
and worked to preserve local histories of western North Carolina through several oral history projects
she has published.
Over several years she journeyed across America (and Canada) in a quest with her husband to attend
a baseball game in every Major League Ball Park. Mission accomplished, but repeat trips will be
required, however, to Minnesota and Atlanta to visit new parks there.