Frisco principal Steve Riggins to retire
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
FRISCO ” Even in just a short meeting, it’s easy to see that Steve Riggins found his true calling working with children.
Growing up the oldest of four siblings, he developed into the neighborhood baby-sitter, setting him on the path to becoming a teacher. Now, he is the principal of Frisco Elementary School.
But after more than 20 years filling integral roles with Summit School District, he will soon be enjoying retirement. Yet, even as he moves on, his legacy can be seen in the new Silverthorne Elementary School.
“I’m very proud of Silverthorne Elementary,” Riggins said. “It’s functional, well thought out.”
He was principal during the design and construction of the school that opened in 2004. For six years, he worked with the Town of Silverthorne, sat on design and advisory groups and handled the demands that come with constructing a new building. In the end, he opened the school on-time and under budget.
Riggins grew up in San Diego, Calif., where he met his wife, Kristina, when they were juniors in high school. Today, the high school sweethearts have been married for more than 30 years. Kristina also worked for the district for the past 13 years and was the secretary at Summit Middle School for the past six or seven years.
They first discovered Colorado when Riggins attended the University of Colorado in Boulder on a track scholarship as a sprinter. He had always wanted to live in the mountains. Then, after graduation, the family moved home and Riggins started his first teaching job at an inner-city school while also managing an apartment building.
In just his third year teaching, he was selected as a mentor teacher, and for four years he taught a gifted program. During that time, he also worked on his masters degree in education administration in the evenings at San Diego State University.
Longing to live back in the mountains, Riggins applied at Breckenridge Elementary School. Teaching third grade there was the first job he held in the district. He spent eight years wavering between third to fifth grades and then looked for a change at the middle school.
There, he taught sixth grade and coached football.
“They taught me a lot,” Riggins said about the middle school students.
When the principal position opened at Silverthorne, Riggins figured he would see about putting his administration degree to work. And it was after completing the challenge of building the new school, that he decided he was ready for a change and moved to Frisco Elementary, hoping to make a contribution there as well.
“I certainly take a lot of pride in creating an environment where kids feel safe and really belong to a community of learners… and above all creating an environment for success,” he said.
Now after facing some health challenges, Riggins and his wife reevaluated their priorities and decided to take some time to travel and enjoy retirement. After a while, the couple may settle in Denver, near their daughter, Corinne, 25. Their son, Travis, 28, lives in San Francisco.
“It’s certainly been my privilege to have that kind of influence and impact on that many kids,” said Riggins who has looked out for hundreds of children throughout the years. “It’s never routine and it’s never dull.”
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