Robinson Elementary School Principal of five years Tom Biggs announced his resignation, July 7.
"He was a great asset to Robinson (elementary school) and we will miss him," said Dawson County Superintendent of Schools Nicky Gilleland, speaking of Biggs and his recent decision to resign and accept a teaching position in Japan.
"We're very happy for him and this new and exciting path that he's taking with his career," added Gilleland.
Biggs, who has worked in the field of education for nearly four decades now, is preparing to begin a five-year commitment to the U.S. Government, teaching the dependants of military service members stationed overseas.
"I had told Mr. Gilleland back in the fall that this was something that I was interested in pursuing. I had done my paper work but didn't expect to get it back so soon," said Biggs, who pursued the position in order to be close to his daughter and son-in-law who are already serving as teachers at Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan.
"For me it's an opportunity to continue working in the education field, which I love doing, and then to see another part of the world, and of course what makes it special is to be close to family," said Biggs, who traveled to Japan last year to welcome his first granddaughter into the world, Avonlea Sakura Sparling.
"Jessica (Biggs' daughter) and I will be the two school psychologists. She'll work with the elementary school, and I will work with the middle and high school," said Biggs. While he is happy to be joining family and embarking on a new experience overseas, he will miss the community and children he has come to know and love in Dawson County.
"I really loved being here. This is a really special place to work and I've loved the community, the school and the people here," said Biggs, who also sees his and his wife Donna's move to Japan as the beginning of a much larger adventure.
"If health permits, I'd like to continue on to teach in Europe. I've sort of got my heart set on Italy and I've already been working on my Italian," he said.
Robinson Elementary staff and faculty have scheduled a going-away party for Biggs, July 29 at the school from 4-6 p.m.
"I would love to see the kids and parents, that are able to, come by and be able to say goodbye," said Biggs.
The Dawson County Board of Education announced at its July 7 meeting that current Robinson Elementary School Assistant Principal Roxanne Fausett has been selected to take Bigg's place as principal of the school for the upcoming school year.
E-mail Adam C. Stapleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.