This is the 6th in a series of articles in preparation for the Lake Highlands High School 50th Anniversary celebration. The event will be held March 23rd from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at LHHS.
During her 24 years teaching at Lake Highlands High School, Dot Biggs educated students at both ends of the bell curve.
“First, I taught Correlated English” Biggs told me, “which was for students with difficulties learning – ADD and other issues. We had small classes and they did very well. It was a wonderful time, I loved these kids. They were bright in their own ways, they just had different reasons for not doing well in other classrooms. It was the presentation [in my classroom] that was different. I took them to Richland and Eastfield and encouraged them to go to junior college.
“When the state shut down the Correlated English program, some of those kids had a tough time in regular classrooms.
“After that, I taught regular English 4 and Theory of Knowledge, which was part of the Baccalaureate Program for advanced students. I also taught a course in Epistemology – the science of how you learn. We studied philosophy and philosophers, math, science, etc.”
Biggs also co-sponsored “The Pub”, LHHS’ senior magazine, featuring articles written by students.
“Some teachers didn’t like it because it was highly satirical and the kids sometimes made fun of teachers and other students.”
Biggs also sponsored Ac-Dec (the school’s academic decathlon team) and Whiz Quiz.
Biggs, who taught at LHHS from 1972-96 and at LHJH before that, says her best memories are of the early years.
“All of us in the faculty were close friends. We did things together after school and enjoyed taking the kids on field trips. We still keep in touch with former students today.
“My students used to pull lots of pranks. I remember Chris Pyryt, who was president of the senior class at the time, got a buddy and picked me up in my chair and carried me out in the hall and closed my classroom door. We still keep in touch. He went to work for the FBI, I believe, and then for the Plano Police Department.
“My worst memories are of kids who fell between the cracks. I recall when drugs were coming onto the scene. I had one student who went into the corner of the room and curled up, shivering. I had no idea what to do. I called the assistant principal and got help, but it was scary for me and for the kids.”
When Biggs heard about plans to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of LHHS, she knew she’d want to participate.
“I loved being at LHHS. It was terrific.
“I hope I made a difference in the lives of those kids. We talked a good bit about self-esteem. I wanted them to know they were just as smart – though maybe in a different way.
“I hope I was cheerful. I know I was strict. Even with those less capable, I had to show them what they could do.”
If you’d like to reconnect with Dot Biggs or other LHHS faculty from the last 50 years, you are invited to the free 50th Anniversary celebration Sunday, March 23rd from 1:30-5 p.m. at the school.