Will Rosenbaum

His grin and the genuine happiness behind it infectiously spread to fourteen years of students, faculty, and staff.


When I think of Sean Hughes, I immediately think of the Mr. Lower Merion 2014 and 2015 competitions. As a contestant and then a co-MC, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know and work closely with Mr. Hughes. Both competitions were some of my fondest memories of high school and that was in no small part thanks to LM’s charismatic and energetic principal.

Mr. Hughes took his role of host very seriously. While many would have been happy to do the minimum—dress up, read the script, crack a few jokes—that was never going to be good enough for him. That should really come as no surprise.

 I will always cherish the cold wintry Saturday morning we spent filming the competition’s opening video and the countless outtakes that arose from our inability to get through a joke without laughing.

Mr. Hughes made a point of having lunch with each of the candidates individually. I used to joke that lunch was my favorite subject in school and complain that the allotted time was far too little. Sitting across from Mr. Hughes only served to augment my case. Sure, he wanted to know about my act and wanted some background information to spice up his introduction, but he was also interested in getting to know me. We chatted about soccer, jazz band, my favorite classes (the non-lunch ones, of course), and my college and career aspirations. That lunch only served to solidify what I had already suspected: LM was extremely fortunate to have a leader like him.

I am proud to say that in the moment I knew just how great of an honor it was to work with Mr. Hughes. He was a giant at LM. Many will remember him for the sharp outfits he sported at Mr. LM, but I will always remember him for the smile he wore consistently day in and day out. His grin and the genuine happiness behind it infectiously spread to fourteen years of students, faculty, and staff. It assisted in fostering love for our community and the bond that myself and many others felt over calling LM our “home.”

I feel resigned to the fact that describing this as “heart-wrenching” does not even begin to capture how unfair it is that the man who was so central to our collective identity at LM is no longer with us. It is merely a small consolation that his legacy will live on at 315 E. Montgomery Avenue.

Several years have passed since my time participating in Mr. LM. I often think back at how much fun it was. Now, it all feels just a bit silly that we ever showcased talents, learned dances, and made videos all in search of the next “Mr. Lower Merion”—as if he was not there on stage hosting all along.

Hughes and Will Rosenbaum at Mr. Lower Merion. | Photo courtesy of LMSD Office of School and Community Relations

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