During her last meeting, dozens of parents, teachers and students lined up to thank Higgins, who herself has kids in middle school, for her "quiet passion" and "steadfastness" during her time on the Mountain View Whisman board. Stephen Olson will be sworn in this week as the board's newest member.
Local politicians sent along proclamations recognizing her community service, and former teachers and superintendents returned to honor the outgoing trustee.
In addition to her district role, Higgins has worked on education issues at the county level, served on the board of the Community Health Awareness Council and helped run campaigns in support of local parcel tax measures. Trustees wrote a resolution recognizing all of Higgins' service.
"The 230 meetings doesn't even begin to cover it," board president Fiona Walter said.
"So many times when passions have flared, she has remained steady," parent volunteer Laura Blakely said. "We will miss that."
Newer administrators in the district said Higgins helped them learn the ropes when they were hired. After Superintendent Maurice Ghysels came to the district, Higgins sat him down with a list of important names and facts. He said this was one of his first impressions of the trustee, and he would never forget her response after he thanked her.
He also said Higgins played a crucial role in helping the district move forward.
"Without you this district wouldn't be where we are now. I don't want you to walk away thinking anything else."
Although administrators, teachers and parents all said they would miss Higgins, they anticipated her return as a teacher.
"I am looking forward to the day I get a call from you saying can I come talk to you about a job," said director of administrative services Stephanie Totter.
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