Making the Grade: Kris Riggins
When anyone dials the number for Summit Middle School, Kris Riggins is the friendly voice on the other end of line. This year is her fourth as a secretary at SMS, where her duties include scheduling volunteers, helping children contact their parents, coordinating communication from the school and keeping track of the staff’s and students’ whereabouts.”I also help with clinic needs when they are busy, I’ve occasionally gone into the classroom and taken over for a teacher, and I have been known to grab a roll of T.P. from the custodial closet,” Riggins said. “We all depend on each other throughout the building. It is a team effort all around.”In addition to her current role, Riggins has served Summit School District in the middle school and high school kitchens and in the classroom as a paraprofessional.Inspiration: Just working with the kids. And my husband, who is the principal at Silverthorne Elementary, has been a pretty big inspiration for me to be in the schools.
Motivation: My favorite part of working here is the constant change of students’ faces from year to year. They’re growing so much physically and mentally from sixth grade to eighth grade, and it’s something the teachers don’t always get to see as much.The students make my day go by quickly – I’m always helping somebody with some crazy problem.Philosophy: Being kind and being a good listener. I always try to help the kids, whether they’re sick, trying to get in touch with their mom or just making a copy on the copy machine.
Modern challenges: The toughest part of my job is all the deadlines we have to meet: getting report cards ready, different projects for (principal Iva Katz-Hesse) and (assistant principal Tom Dickey). But I’m surrounded by some of the best coworkers and hardest working staff. They always motivate me to do my best.Accomplishments: My kids and my husband. In 1992, we built a home near Breckenridge, and that was a huge accomplishment. We did a lot of the interior work – laying the floors, designing the kitchen.We were each other’s support. If you can’t depend on your spouse, who can you depend on? Even the kids helped. They were old enough to do a lot of things, and they were a big help.Role Models: My parents were both great role models. Also Oprah Winfrey and Bill Cosby’s TV character. As a young parent, it was always fun to watch him.
If I had $100,000: I would spend it on staffing needs. I see people working long, hard hours, and it would be nice to have extra staff wherever it’s needed.Extracurricular: We do a lot of camping in several state parks in Colorado. And we travel home twice a year to San Diego to see family. I like to go biking, and I love the beach. I’m also learning how to knit.Students Would Be Surprised to Know: I love to ride go-carts.
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