Columbia High School Senior Recognized as ‘Unsung Hero' by Essex Cty School Boards Association  

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“By all accounts, Michael Biggs is a young man who always sees the positive in every person and every situation,” said Acting Supt. Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert. “Too often, people who make a difference in our lives are taken for granted. I’m so glad to see Michael receive this honor.”

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From SOMSD:

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. – A Columbia High School (CHS) student known as a naturally curious and upbeat young man was honored as an “unsung hero” by the Essex County School Boards Association.

Michael Biggs, a senior, received the award on Thursday at a special event. He was introduced by Dr. Qawi Telesford, President of the South Orange and Maplewood Board of Education and a CHS alumnus.

Telesford highlighted Biggs’s lengthy list of extracurricular activities, including participating in the CHS fencing and track and field teams. He also noted Biggs’s work on Saturdays as a volunteer tutor and mentor to middle school students in the CHS MAC (Minority Achievement Committee) Scholars program.

Michael Biggs

“Due to Michael’s efforts, students will continue to reap the benefits of the program in the future,” said Telesford. “Organized and balanced, Michael has managed all these responsibilities while earning a well above-average GPA in almost all honors and AP courses.”

“By all accounts, Michael Biggs is a young man who always sees the positive in every person and every situation,” said Dr. Kevin F. Gilbert, Acting Superintendent of the South Orange and Maplewood School District. “Too often, people who make a difference in our lives are taken for granted. I’m so glad to see Michael receive this honor.”

Every year, the Essex County School Boards Association, in collaboration with the New Jersey School Boards Association, holds the Unsung Heroes Awards to recognize high school seniors throughout the county who make outstanding contributions to their schools and communities but are often overlooked by other traditional student recognition programs.

Michael Biggs, Dr. Qawi Telesford, and family and officials at the ceremony.

BOE Pres. Dr. Qawi Telesford introduces Michael Biggs at the Essex County School Boards Association ceremony.

Biggs was officially nominated for the award by his guidance counselor, Renee Johnston. But Johnston said she wasn’t alone in supporting his nomination.

“When he was suggested for this award, the response was a unanimous ‘YES’ from the entire Counseling Department,” Johnston said.

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