Biggs wins IASP’s District 2 Principal of the Year
Crichfield principal Donna Biggs was named Indiana Association of School Principal’s District 2 Principal of the Year.
Biggs, who has been leading at Crichfield for the past 10 years, was notified of the honor in April. In order to be considered, principals have to be nominated by fellow administrators.
“It’s always an honor and surprise to be nominated by your peers. Certainly, this is a reflection of the work that we do as a united staff at Crichfield,” Biggs said.
Biggs’ career started in special education, and she spent nearly seven years between schools in Nevada and at Handley Elementary immersed in providing support and a voice for fellow teachers, parents, and students with special needs.
After receiving her administrative degree, she worked two years as the Dean of Students at Morton High School in Hammond, helping develop, hire and then supervise the extremely successful Freshmen Academy. Biggs would then land at Crichfield, where she has not only enjoyed but thrived at running her own building.
“The best part about being a building principal for me is being able to interact with my students every day, to help support curriculum decisions with teachers and staff in the building, and to provide support for parents as well,” Biggs said.
Her hard work is appreciated and noticed at central office, especially due to all that she brought to the corporation.
“Mrs. Biggs brings excellent leadership to the LPCSC. She has led Crichfield to state recognition for their use of technology in the building. She has done many other things that have flown under the radar. I am very proud of her for being named 2019-20 IASP Elementary Principal of the Year,” Steve Manering, LPCSC assistant superintendent, said.
Biggs is a consummate leader, understanding that her role is to empower, understand, and support. This way of leading has been instrumental in the success of Crichfield, which has been an Indiana Four Star School six times and has earned an “A” rating eight times during Biggs’ tenure.
Her leadership has also helped Crichfield become LPCSC’s first STEM Certified School and has pushed for focuses on high ability, inclusion, college and career readiness, and support for remediation. District-wide she brought dyslexia training to the corporation elementary teachers, and she played an important role in the new PLTW initiative at the elementary schools. Leading is just a part of who Biggs is.
“Leadership is being able to use perspective to understand where people are coming from, whether it be a student, their parents, or a staff member and provide them with the support that they need to be successful to see themselves through whatever it is they are trying to accomplish–an academic goal, a friendship goal, a self-reflection goal, a growth goal. It’s also being able to meet people where they are and provide them with the support to go to the next level or the next step,” Biggs said.
The Crichfield staff has found Biggs’ leadership makes for an environment conducive to growth, learning, and compassion.
“I think part of what makes Mrs. Biggs such a great leader is that she leads by example. She’s always learning, always going above and beyond to help our students, families, and staff, and always encouraging us when we need it. As a teacher, I know I can go to her for advice or help without feeling judged or inadequate. As a parent, I know she always has the best interests of our kids at heart. Her sense of humor and passion for what she does is uplifting. Working for her has been a blessing,” Megan Haverstock, Crichfield teacher, said.
Biggs knows that families are instrumental to the success of any school, and the relationships she has fostered with families are foundational to the way Crichfield operates. Parents, in turn, have found Biggs to be dedicated and caring.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Donna Biggs many years ago when she was first interviewing for the position of principal at Crichfield Elementary. I knew from that first conversation that she had a passion, determination, and kindness from which the children would greatly benefit. It was easy to see that she was committed to helping children grow both academically and emotionally,” Stacey Harris, former Crichfield PTA president, said.
Biggs will now move on to compete against the other IASP district winners for the state honor. Regardless of the outcome, the past 10 years have been special to Biggs.
“I have really enjoyed and loved being at Crichfield for the last 10 years because I have been able to grow and learn right along with my staff and my students, and it’s been a pleasure getting to know the families over the years,” Biggs said.