Judith Higgins is a veteran, a small business owner, an educator, and a human resources administrator. She also is a community volunteer and public servant, and your neighbor living in Lower Windsor Township for more than 25 years.
Her entire life has been one of service to uplift, educate and empower people to thrive, not just survive. Judith is uniquely prepared for this opportunity to bring real problem-solving experience, not partisanship to Harrisburg for the benefit of all the residents of PA Senate District 28.
Born in Wichita, Kansas, Judith was the third child of Marinda and Glenn McCormick. As children of the Depression, her parents instilled in her a strong work ethic and a deep compassion to help others. Judith’s father worked as a flight line mechanic for Boeing, a proud member of the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers. Her mother was a waitress, working night shifts to be home during the day. It was challenging as her older sister, Kristina was born prematurely and, as a result lost her sight and suffered intellectual disabilities. With the passing of her father when she was 15, Judith began working to help her family make ends meet. She lost her mother to cancer 11 years later. From age four for over 40 years, Judith helped to care for her sister until she died from grand mal seizures, complicated by cancer.
A loving family caregiver, Judith also is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Her first encounter with cancer was when she was 29. As a new, single mother on Medicaid, and a graduate student she was diagnosed when her first son, Josh, was just six weeks old. The second encounter happened 15 years later. Her experiences as a caregiver and receiver—especially at a time in her life when a program like Medicaid gave her the chance to beat cancer—inform her advocacy for accessible, affordable healthcare for all.
A lifelong learner, Judith received her Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and Political Science in 1984, and her Master of Arts in Human Resources Management in 1986, both from the University of Houston. In 2005, she earned her Doctorate of Education in Adult Education from Penn State University.
In fact, her dissertation, “Finding our way: Women’s pathways to the legislatures of Pennsylvania and Maryland”, focused on the ways women learn about politics, and how societal structures may impede that journey. How fitting that she finds herself ready to take on that challenge, as one of two women vying for a seat that has never been held by a woman before. Her studies and experiences inform her advocacy for issues important to women. She welcomes the opportunity to be a strong voice in Harrisburg for equal rights and pay, protection against discrimination and violence, and the ability for women to make their own healthcare and family planning decisions.
Since 1997, Judith has been an adjunct professor at Penn State York teaching management courses. For 21 years, she worked as a human resources consultant, analyzing quality of work life, morale issues, policies, procedures, compensation and benefits, and equity evaluations. During her career, she managed human resources for Donegal and West Shore School Districts in Mount Joy and New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
A natural analyst, and experienced in organizational and policy development, Judith does not look at things in isolation, but rather the impact policies and services have up and down stream, short and long term.
Throughout her career she has advocated for education as the foundation of everything good, especially the ability of strong public education and effective job training programs to empower people and communities to thrive, not just survive.
Judith served as a coordinator for York County School to Work, collaborating with 13 school districts, four post-secondary educational entities, unions, as well as other profit and non-profit groups. She helped to build the only countywide program in the Commonwealth to improve career opportunities for all York County students.
A champion for public education, she served as a School Board Director for Eastern York School District for 17 years, 10 of which she also served on the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12 board. She focused on working in a collaborative way for the betterment of students, while being fiscally responsible for residents. Among the many things she is proud is the reconstruction of Wrightsville Elementary School. A national model for green school design, it is the second school in the state, ninth in the nation to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
An advocate for our military and veterans, Judith is a Non-Commissioned Officer in the Maryland Air National Guard. During her 13 years of service she nurtured her ability to listen, to motivate and to lead. While assigned to public affairs and training, she met her husband of 30 years, Kevin Higgins, a pilot on an embassy support mission in Europe. They raised their three sons, Josh (32), Sean (29) and Ryan (28) through the Eastern York School District, gained two daughters-in-law (Jessica and Shayna), and three grandchildren (Aden 11, Matthew 4 and Emma 2).
For more than a decade, Judith was involved in Craley Days and its bake sale fundraiser for the local fire company. A social entrepreneur, she also makes charms and jewelry for businesses and fundraising for non-profits.
Compassionate, collaborative and focused on creating opportunities, Judith believes that a good leader serves the people, not the other way around. She has always put the needs of others first. She knows that when leaders serve first, they empower people to thrive, not just survive. Putting People First and Working for All—that’s the kind of leadership Judith Higgins will bring to PA Senate District 28.