Biggs takes over as Parents as Teachers educator

Krista Biggs begins a new career as the Parents As Teachers educator for the county school districts.

Krista Biggs begins a new career as the Parents As Teachers educator for the county school districts. (Photo courtesy Pat Biggs)

As she takes her first steps on a new career path, Krista Biggs couldn’t be more excited.

A Lincoln native and 2008 Lincoln High School graduate, Biggs will take over for Sharon Markley, who’s served as Parents As Teachers educator for the Lincoln and Sylvan-Grove school districts since 1993.

The educational program is designed to support a parent’s role in promoting school-readiness and healthy child development by turning parents into teachers. By developing a close relationship with children and families through home visits, educators can tailor a child’s learning experience based on the family’s needs. In Kansas, families sign up through their school districts for the program, which is designed to reach children from conception to 5 years of age.

The program started in Missouri more than 30 years ago as an idea developed by Mildred Winter, a kindergarten teacher in the Ferguson-Florissant School District in St. Louis County.

Biggs, who earned her bachelor’s degree in family studies and human services from Kansas State University in 2012, is eager to get started and apply what she learned in the classroom. Since graduation, Biggs, who worked as a pharmacy technician at Patterson Health Mart Pharmacy, waited patiently until a position opened that was more in line with her educational background.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity,” Biggs said. “Sharon was my preschool teacher, and she kind of encouraged me to apply. So, I decided to apply. I really loved what she did with my son, and thought it would be a great job. I’ve always loved working with children, so I decided to go for it.”

Although she was already somewhat familiar with Parents As Teachers, Biggs had the opportunity to see what resources the program offered new parents, and how she could support her nine-month-old son Weston’s development when she began working with Markley in December.
“I’m very excited,” she said. “I think it will be very rewarding. It’s interesting to see how children develop, and where they’re at, and how they’re learning.”

Biggs, who started April 4, is shadowing Markley during her first few weeks as she continues to familiarize herself with the program. Markley will continue meeting with families until April 29. Her last day is May 12.

As she prepares to take over her new role, Biggs is in St. Louis this week for curriculum training. In May, she will be in Kansas City for another round of curriculum instruction.

Biggs’ husband, Joe, is a 2002 LHS graduate and a 2006 graduate of McPherson College. After graduation, he spent several years teaching and coaching at St. John’s Catholic School in Beloit, and is currently a loan officer at the Bank of Tescott.