Robert Copeland

Mr. Hughes embodied the concept of the servant leader—someone who put the needs of teachers and students first.

Robert+Copeland

As I write this, I realize it has been a month since we all learned of the tragic death of our colleague and friend, Sean Hughes. It’s difficult to put into words the admiration and appreciation this man of character meant to the LM community.

Mr. Hughes embodied the concept of the servant leader—someone who put the needs of teachers and students first. In turn, he was able to not just “run” Lower Merion High School—he “transformed” Lower Merion High School.

Mr. Hughes was a strident believer in the District’s Strategic Plan. He took seriously the progressive tenets within the plan and worked to ensure that the education we provided went far beyond academic success. Sean Hughes wanted the program for the District, particularly on student success, to be a real and substantive journey. One example of that was the Challenge Success Student Survey. I watched as consultants from Stanford University gave an in-depth break down of our results and Mr. Hughes worked with teachers, parents, and student leaders to say, “Here is where we are doing well; now let’s make a plan at strengthening our program to get better.”

While I, like you, will miss him terribly, I will always carry with me the memories of how he shared with great pride student projects and the accomplishments of teachers who tried new things. I know that with so many thousands of lives he touched over the years, the lessons learned and the memory of Sean Hughes will never be diminished. And that makes me smile.

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