MNPS Voices: Barbara Biggers-Matthews

#MNPSVoices: Barbara Biggers-Matthews, Administrative Assistant, Employee Relations
Posted on 04/22/2021
Barbara Biggers-Matthews
Barbara Biggers-Matthews came out of retirement to create a second career with Metro Nashville Public Schools. After serving 17 years at Nissan North America as an engineer analyst, Biggers-Matthews decided to lend a helping hand to MNPS students. Barbara Biggers Matthews

She entered the district more than 11 years ago as a substitute teacher. She soon began filling in for various human resources positions throughout the district’s central office before being hired on full-time.

“I like being a substitute because I could work whenever I desired, while also encouraging the students to continue their education beyond a high school diploma,” Biggers-Matthews said.

She was eventually hired on full-time as the administrative assistant in the employee relations section of the Human Resources department.

Biggers-Matthews performs numerous daily duties that include processing employee personnel records, supporting processing of unemployment claims, and participating in unemployment hearings. In addition, she requests substitutes for support staff as well as certificated employees who are on leave for various reasons.

Biggers-Matthews says she really enjoys her second career in Employee Relations as well as her co-workers, and they enjoy her, too.

“It is never a dull moment working with Ms. Barbara, she is a complete joy to work with. She has a wealth of knowledge because she has been with the district for several years and has worked in many areas of human resources,” Human Relations Manager Denetra Batey said.

“Ms. Barbara is always willing to help and was eager to assist at the school level when volunteers were needed due to low staff attendance from COVID-19.”

Biggers-Matthews feels obligated to support the district in any way necessary.

“As a human resources professional, part of my job is to make sure that children are taken care of and that quality teachers remain in the district,” she said.

She was raised by her maternal grandparents in College Grove, Tenn., before she moved to Nashville to attend Tennessee State University. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and later enrolled at Cumberland University, where she earned a master’s degree in human resources and organizational management.

She considers herself a country girl who continues to live by the same principles that were instilled in her at a young age.

“My family taught me to always treat people the way you want to be treated and that you should never take anything or anyone for granted, because tomorrow is not promised to you.”

When Biggers-Matthews is not assisting MNPS employees, she enjoys traveling, bicycling, reading, cooking, and watching Western movies with her husband. Most importantly, she loves spending quality time with her grandchildren.

She plans to maximize her time in the district before reaching a second retirement stage.

“As long as I’m with the district, I will continue to interact with employees and stakeholders with a smile,” Biggers-Matthews said, “while giving them the same type of customer service I would like to receive.”
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