Catherine McFarland

Mr. Hughes did not only support students on the big things: what made him stand apart was his support on the little things.

Catherine+McFarland

I don’t think I ever saw Mr. Hughes without a smile on his face and I don’t think he ever failed to put a smile on mine. Mr. Hughes was not only a beacon of joy, but a true student advocate. I got to know him the best through Student Council. In the spirit of his motto “Character Counts,” Mr. Hughes always advocated for us—even when it wasn’t the easiest choice. No matter how challenging the initiative or how worrisome the opposition, when it was best for students, Mr. Hughes was our biggest supporter. Amidst safety concerns, he convinced senior administration to allow us to hold our own National School Walkout against gun violence. 

But Mr. Hughes did not only support students on the big things: what made him stand apart was his support on the little things. One of my fondest memories was when he surprised us at our winter track Ugly Sweater run and ran with us in the twenty-degree weather in full costume, asking every one of us about our days and getting to know each runner. I distinctly remember thinking, “What other principal would do this?” Similarly, during one of our Student Council meetings senior year, my co-officer and I confided that we were having a hard week. Rather than just nodding along in sympathy, Mr. Hughes signed us out of our classes for the afternoon and let us watch March Madness in his office. He put a smile on our face when we needed it: that is his legacy.

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