• 81°

Wiggins writes book on School Board meetings

Suffolk substitute teacher Dr. Freddie Wiggins spent more than two decades attending every single School Board meeting, and he has now documented his experiences in a book.

“I basically had attended 24 years of School Board meetings. I was there for every meeting but one, because I had laryngitis,” Wiggins said.

If you’re counting, that equals 310 meetings.

The meetings started back in October of 1991 after the formation of the Suffolk Substitute Teachers Association.

“I was elected the association’s first president and chief executive officer,” Wiggins said. “The substitute teachers decided that the pay of $34 a day was not enough. So, they called the meeting and elected me to lead all 297 of the substitute teachers.”

After he began attending meetings to fight for better pay and conditions for substitute teachers, the pay was increased.

Attending the meetings did more for Wiggins than just working for the substitute teachers in Suffolk. It gave him the chance to learn more about how the School Board and the City Council work.

“One of the positives of going to all these meetings was that I learned how our government is run, and I was never able to say that before,” Wiggins said. “I also learned that there is a lot of apathy.”

While writing the book, Wiggins was reminded that many people only come to meetings when a hot topic is on the agenda, and he hopes that can change in the future.

“I’ve learned you don’t just come out when there is a hot issue. You can come and learn how the government is run,” Wiggins said.

The book shows specific moments from the School Board over the years and how the work of substitute teachers has changed and been appreciated.

“The book will help educators and administrators get a better handle on how to go about addressing the School Board and even City Council,” Wiggins said.

The book is currently for sale at the Christian Bookstore, 900 N. Main St., for $16.99.

Wiggins encourages people to call him to get a signed copy of the book. People can contact Wiggins on his cell phone at 378-4373.