Alana James

Sometimes you meet someone in your life that shows you what GENUINE kindness and leadership is, and, in my interactions with Mr. Hughes, he always did just that.

Alana+James

One day before our Advisory period, I made the executive decision to not only skip my Advisory but also sit in the atrium to finish studying for a test … just to preface, I am not a student that skips classes, I was just really stressed! Mr. Hughes came up to me as I was sitting in the empty atrium and he told me to follow him. I thought he would give me a detention, but instead we went to his conference room, where he told me that no matter what, the door to his office and conference room were always open. I was stunned. From then on, I spent most of my free periods in that room talking to him and Mrs. Flocco about school and life in general. Even when I thought no one else was willing to hear me, he always was. I found immense comfort knowing that, in a school of over a thousand people, there would always be at least one person rooting for me. On Friday, the last thing he told me was to believe in myself, to let him know if there were any updates about my college admission process, and that he was available if I needed any help with my college applications. Though I won’t be able to tell him, I hope that even in his passing he knows that he was one of my biggest cheerleaders and someone I’ll never forget. Sometimes you meet someone in your life that shows you what GENUINE kindness and leadership is, and, in my interactions with Mr. Hughes, he always did just that.

At graduation, when Mr. Hughes would talk about character, he always read this quote from Lao Tzu: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” I hope Mr. Hughes left knowing the impact that he had on us, aware that he exuded every trait that we all hope to one day emulate, especially involving our character.

Mr. Hughes, we can’t thank you enough for all you have done, not only for our school, but how you’ve touched every student. Thank you for always reassuring us that we were amazing students and young adults. Thank you for being a friend and an ally in addition to  being our  principal. As we progress throughout the school year and the rest of our lives, we hope you understand the extent of the impact you had on us. We will never forget the ideals that you tried so hard to instill within us.

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