Mar Higgins: 2022 Parade Grand Marshall

My History With Sparta

By: Mar Higgins


     My first teaching job with Sparta Schools was with the migrant program. I guess you could say I started it. It was located at Central Elementary and I worked with grades 1-4 migrant children to help them read and do math. This was the first time Sparta offered this program. That was from September to November 1, 1974.

     After that, I substitute taught for Kenowa and Sparta, until there was a need to replace a 4th-grade teacher, Frank Huey, at Englishville Elementary. I subbed there for December and then was permanently hired to replace him in January of 1975. I worked there until 1982 when Englishville was closed as an elementary school and I was laid off for 2 years.

     In the interim, I was the reservation manager for Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and a trainer for MTS phone company. Yahoo!

     2 days before school started in 1984, I was recalled to teach 7th/8th grade gifted and talented program--also 8th-grade social studies. Out of that GT program, the Sparta theatre program was founded. The kids wanted to do a play -- no budget and I wasn’t allowed to charge admission!

     Those who know me know I am a scavenger and can make just about anything out of nothing. The show--The Adventures of Carrotman and Onionboy went on to a packed crowd on the raised cement stage of what is now Appleview! We used the folded-up lunch tables as backstage dividers! The kids and I had a blast and it hasn’t stopped! I started doing 5 shows a year in addition to my full-time teaching. 1 middle school, 1 high school, 1 community, and 2 church shows a year.

     I met and married the love of my life, Tom, 36 years ago and we have 2 children Molly and Sam.

     I’ve slowed down a little bit after 46 years in the classroom. I am only currently doing 2 shows with Sparta Theatre a year, teaching full-time 7th/8th-grade social studies and proctoring Middle School Student Government. I can’t remember how many shows I’ve done or how many kids I’ve taught--let’s just say it’s a lot!

And I am NOT retiring yet!

   I am honored to be this year’s Grand Marshall! Thank you.