Esther Novak

Personal interactions were extremely important to him. Even with his busy schedule, he would take time to talk to you and let you know that you mattered.

Esther+Novak

Mr. Hughes was a one-of-a-kind boss: he was protective, funny, and relational. I was Mr. Hughes’s secretary when he was Athletic Director as well as when he was Assistant Principal. In these types of administrative roles, many issues, both positive and negative, come across the desk. We enjoyed and celebrated the positive, and afterwards he dealt carefully with the negative. That is a behavior to which we can all aspire.

If you’ve ever been around Mr. Hughes, you know that wherever he was, there was laughter. He enjoyed life and that came across in his daily conversations. His quick wit was enviable and could quickly lighten an entire room up with laughter. If he hadn’t pursued a career in education, he would have been a fabulous standup comedian. Not only did Mr. Hughes enjoy life, but he also loved to see those around him appreciate the humorous happenings in everyday life.

Mr. Hughes valued relationships and was not an island unto himself. He was absolutely a people person and took the time to make individuals feel cared for. As Athletic Director, his focus was on supporting coaches and sponsors so that they could really enjoy building relationships with students. And if a student needed him in their corner, he was there. The same was true when he was Assistant Principal. Sure, he had to deal with disciplinary issues, but there was no one better to have a student’s back than Mr. Hughes. While he took the time to deal with the immediate issues, he also saw the future that the student had in front of them. He wanted students to know that they were not alone, even after they made a mistake. Similarly, he would deal with parents in such a way that they knew they weren’t in their parenting role alone. If Mr. Hughes was involved in the situation, there was an ally present. He was no respecter of status or fame; rather, he treated everyone the same, whether it was Kobe Bryant or the least-known member of the class. Personal interactions were extremely important to him. Even with his busy schedule, he would take time to talk to you and let you know that you mattered. I will always hold dear those quick conversations that took place in the middle of handling the everyday workload. Taking time to build relationships and letting people know that they matter is another behavior to which we can all aspire.

Mr. Hughes was not only a boss, he was also a dear friend to me. I am deeply saddened by his passing but will honor him by taking the attributes from his life and instilling them into mine.

Hughes with Esther Novak (center). | Photo courtesy of LMSD Office of School and Community Relations
close

The Merionite Newsletter

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