The Inside Scoop On Dr. Higgins

Dr. Chad Higgins believes in the teachers, administrators and efforts that the district is putting forth to navigate through the school year.

Visiting+a+Health+Science+classroom+in++September+2019%2C+Dr.+Chad+Higgins+examines+instructor+Rob+Archibald+as+he+shows+the+proper+technique+on+drilling+and+removing+cavities.+This+unit+gives+exposure+to+the+dentistry+field+with+hands+on+activities.

Archive Photo from 2019 courtesy of USD 266 Maize

Visiting a Health Science classroom in September 2019, Dr. Chad Higgins examines instructor Rob Archibald as he shows the proper technique on drilling and removing cavities. This unit gives exposure to the dentistry field with hands on activities.

Sydney Endicott, Bullseye Staff Photographer

What happens when you’re in charge of making a decision that can affect over a thousand students, employees and parents?

Dr. Chad Higgins spends hours each day working with his team, making timely and important decisions when, at times, only half of the Maize community may agree with a crucial call that has to be made.

From working early mornings to only having two days off since March, superintendent Chad Higgins has spent nearly 16 hours each day these past few months planning the best attack for how to handle COVID-19 in the USD 266 district.

It´s not unusual for me not to sleep real well, I just can’t stop thinking most of the time.”

— Dr. Chad Higgins

Dr. Higgins recently has been working on slight modifications to all school levels within USD 266. This can be a challenging endeavor, as each school level has a completely separate learning model and days they meet in person.

¨Its kind of tough to make decisions on what goes on in school, versus what’s going on outside of school, the decision by the board was to keep seventh and eighth grade the same, then have sixth graders come back four days rather than two, then for the elementary students they will start going back five days a week, rather than having virtual day on Wednesday,” said Higgins.

Even though Dr. Higgins has a heaping plate of responsibility, some of the weight is spread out between him and his leadership team.

Visiting the lecture hall at Maize South in September 2020, Dr. Chad Higgins honors Drama teacher Micaela Heinrich for her nominee as a Kansas Horizons Award finalist in USD 266 at the secondary level. (Archive Photo from 2020 courtesy of USD 266 Maize)

¨I recognize that I may be the final recommendation by the board, or that I may be the final decision maker, my leadership team is incredibly hard working and compassionate,” said Higgins. “We always try to put our kids first, but I feel that most of the weight is spread out between us all.¨

He spends a good portion of his time worrying about the mental well being of Maize teachers. Higgins knows the kind of extreme effort that our faculty are putting into lesson planning, making connections and focusing on what’s best for their respective students.

¨I think the biggest battle for our teachers is mostly internal, I know they’re tired and working for some many more hours, I think its just that gut wrenching hurt that they can’t do as much for their students as they are use to,” said Higgins.