Joan Griffin McCabe

Joan Griffin McCabe
Joan Griffin McCabe

Teacher and School Leader

For the past 15 years, Joan Griffin McCabe served the students and teachers in the Archdiocese of Washington. She taught fourth grade and was a literacy coach, an assistant principal, and a principal. JGM also was the Director for Curriculum for the Archdiocese of Washington Catholic Schools Office. Here she organized teacher work teams to create standards-based report cards and then managed their diocesan-wide implementation; taught Reading in the Content Area ( a required course for teacher certification); and developed and led workshops on standards-based math instruction and literacy instruction as part of professional development for teachers.

Education Advocate

Prior to her school-centered work, JGM did political work for almost 20 years. She began her political involvement in college as a campaign volunteer and then interned in congressional offices. After college, JGM worked as a legislative assistant and then became an education lobbyist focusing on student financial aid programs, dropout prevention programs, and the benefits of small high schools.

Elected Official

Then, she decided to participate in a different way and sought an elected office. JGM lost her first try, but a few years later met success. She was one of nine candidates vying for a seat on the New York City Council to represent a district in Brooklyn (Park Slope/Sunset Park/Red Hook). She won and then served two terms in office. During that time, she worked on environmental, budget, and land-use issues. But, JGM’s main focus was education. She worked with parents and education leaders to secure more funding for textbooks, to increase library funding for local branches, and to assist parents when navigating the New York City Board of Education bureaucracy.

Education and Family

JGM earned her B.A. in Government / Speech Communication from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.   After her City Council service, McCabe earned a M.A. in the History of Education from New York University.

Joan Griffin McCabe lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, Jim, another deeply committed educator and teacher, and their grand dog, Annie, an “everything beagle.” They are the proud parents of three grown daughters who are also working to improve children’s lives each day!