His lasting legacy

Sean Hughes left us with Character Counts. How should we carry on his words with our actions?

Principal, Athletic Director, teacher, father, friend. Throughout Sean Hughes’s time at LM—whether it was teaching history classes, helping out athletes and coaches, or serving in an administrative role—he was always one to surpass the expectations of the job. Mr. Hughes’s presence was a hallmark of the LM experience: from greeting incoming freshmen to handing seniors their diplomas at graduation, Mr. Hughes was there for every student every step of the way. His sudden absence has been deeply felt by not only the teachers and administrators who knew him personally, but by the whole of the LM student and alumni body.

Mr. Hughes occupied the role of principal for fourteen years, ensuring day-to-day functions ran smoothly and that LM students were as successful as possible. However, as you’ll read throughout this issue, Mr. Hughes was so much more than a principal. He was a mentor for many new teachers, instructing them on not only the complexities of teaching high schoolers, but of life itself. He was a morning workout buddy for other teachers, never missing an early day to catch up in the cardio room. He was a photo lover, always there to capture any funny event or spirit day outfit to keep as a memory. He could make light of any situation, even if it seemed impossible to do so. He was a rule-breaker and put the good of students before regulations, always citing the motto, “Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” He was the heart and soul of Aces Nation in a way only those who knew him can truly understand.

While Mr. Hughes will leave many legacies behind for those who knew him, his greatest one will resonate throughout the halls of LM for years to come, encapsulated in a simple but moving motto: “Character Counts.” Mr. Hughes did not blindly preach this phrase—he embodied it, day in and day out. He treated everyone with respect, no matter if one was a long-time colleague or a new student acquaintance. Even as Mr. Hughes’s accomplishments at LM grew as he moved up the administrative ladder, he never sacrificed his character. The camaraderie and respect he displayed towards his fellow staff members did not dissipate as he changed positions, but grew instead. His warm generosity and good character extended to the student body as well, with him never failing to greet students in the hallway, stop for conversation, and emphasize his “open door policy” for them to voice their opinions and concerns.

As LM attempts to move forward from this devastating event, it is pivotal that we honor Mr. Hughes’s legacy by continuing his timeless ideal of “Character Counts.” While it is easy to get caught up in the demands of high school, from time-consuming classes to daily sports practices to club meetings, we cannot forget to uphold our character. Ultimately, our peers and teachers will not recall the hours we spent completing assignments or running from one meeting to the next, but how we treated each other when it mattered most. Mr. Hughes was always there to remind us of these lessons, so let us remember him by following through with them.

close

The Merionite Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox, every issue.