Kimberly Briggs takes the helm of Chester School District No. 139

By Jim Beers, Contributing Writer

CHESTER – Kimberly Briggs is the new Superintendent of Schools at Chester Consolidated Unit School District No. 139.  Briggs was selected April 5 at the April School Board meeting and began her duties as of July 1st.

Kimberly Briggs sits at her desk in the Chester School District # 139 Office.  Briggs began her tenure as the new Superintendent of Schools in Chester July 1st and has hit the ground running. She is excited to be here, and she and her husband Virgil Briggs have purchased a home in Chester and have every intention of making Chester their place of eventual retirement.  Jim Beers Photo

Briggs said, “I am very excited to be here in Chester and begin serving the students of District No. 139.  My husband and I discussed it at length and we want to make Chester our final stop.  I want to retire here.”

“We have purchased a house and have already began making renovations to it.  We have a daughter who teaches in St. Louis and we have a lot of family members in Fairfield, so Chester is a nice distance between each family location.  We are here to stay.  We are ‘All-In’ for the long haul!”

Briggs has a long history of involvement in the field of education and she brings with her an impressive resume of serving children over the past 32 years. 

Briggs said, “I am all about doing what is best for the kids!  I also work very hard to support the staff. I invest in my district for the kids. I listen!  I establish relationships with my students, staff and the community!  I build trust to make it all work!”

Kim was born in 1970 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She was the youngest child in a family of five children.  She notes that she was raised in a big family with lots of siblings and many cousins in the area as she grew up.

Her family moved to Lawrenceville, Illinois and Briggs attended school there from kindergarten through high school.  She graduated from Grade School in 1984 and high school in 1988 where she was among a graduating class of 150 seniors.

In grade school she started beginner band playing the clarinet, but lost interest in high school where she was Co-Captain of the Flag Squad all four years and played softball for the Lawrenceville Lady Indians.

Briggs said, “I wasn’t the best softball player in high school, but really enjoyed being on the Flag Squad and was the Co-Captain all four years.  We had a rather big school with a graduating class of 150 students. I graduated in the top-30 of our class of 150 seniors.”

Upon graduation Briggs attended Junior College at Lincoln Trail for two years from 1988-1990.  Briggs said, “I was the only one in our family to attend college.  I went to Lincoln Trail in Robinson, Illinois on an academic scholarship and earned an Associate’s Degree in Science.  I took a piano class while there, but didn’t continue playing after college.”

Briggs then continued her collegiate career at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois. While at EIU she studied Communication Disorders and worked at the campus clinic.  She enjoyed working on her Bachelor’s Degree and completed her studies in 1992 graduating with a B.S. in Communication Disorders and Science. She then earned a license in Speech and Language Pathology.

In 1994, Briggs earned a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences from Eastern Illinois University. She then earned a license in Speech and Language Pathology.

She married and in 1996, and gave birth to her daughter, Sabrina.  Sabrina is now a successful 3rd Grade Teacher in Afton, Missouri.

Briggs spent a year working as a Speech Pathologist in Bluffs, Illinois at a school.  After that brief year she decided she wanted to try to utilize her expertise working in the Medical Field and ceased working in a school setting.  She spent 8-10 years in the Medical Field.

Her first position was at a nursing home in Jacksonville, Illinois.  She followed that position with a lengthy stay at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Illinois where she spent the bulk of her career working in the medical field.

In 2002 several significant events happened for Briggs.  First, she and her daughter moved to Fairfield, Illinois where she married her current husband, Virgil Briggs.  Sabrina Seitzinger, her daughter, attended Fairfield Grade School and High School.

Sabrina was quite a softball player who pitched for the Mules.  Sabrina graduated in 2014 and began her collegiate career at Frontier Junior College where she pitched. After completing her two years at Frontier she transferred to Southern Indiana University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree to become a teacher.

Husband Virgil Briggs was employed by FS for 35 years and retired at the age of 55.  He then went back to work with Synergy until he recently retired for good and is now making modifications to their home in Chester. After Sabrina graduated from Frontier, Virgil served at Frontier Junior College as a Volunteer Assistant Softball Coach for a while. He continues to recruit for their team.

From 2002 until 2018 Mrs. Briggs served as a Speech Pathologist at Fairfield School District 112. She served students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade.  From 2015-2018 Briggs taught as an Adjunct Professor at Frontier Junior College. While there she taught Psychology and G.E.D. classes.

In 2014 Briggs completed her degree in School Leadership to become a Principal. In the summer of 2017 she completed her degree in Director of Special Education.

In July of 2018 Briggs became the Special Education Coordinator at the North Clay Unit District in Louisville, Illinois.  She served in that capacity until July of 2021. 

In August of 2018 she began working on her School Specialty degree to earn her Superintendent Credentials from Eastern Illinois University.  This credential greatly increased her skill level and expertise in the field of school management. 

In May of 2021 Mrs. Briggs was hired at Odin, Illinois as the Principal.  In June of that same year, just a month later, the individual that had been hired as Superintendent decided not to remain in that position and Briggs agreed to accept that position as Superintendent.  She served in that role during the 2021-2022 school year.

Briggs said, “When my daughter graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree and began her teaching career, I decided that I wanted more, and pursued my additional degrees to qualify me to become a Principal and Superintendent.  I am very excited to be here at Chester and plan to make this the final stop in my professional career.  I hope to retire here!”