10 Questions with Mr. Hughes




Hughes: Good morning.


Lehman: Can we ask you some questions? 


Hughes: Of course you can. 


Lehman: Okay. Why are you an educator?


Hughes: I think it really goes back to when I started to teach swim lessons as a lifeguard in high school. And that really was a moment where I felt like I connected with students. And from there I coach little, little kid wrestling, junior wrestling, and it just became something I thought I was really, really good at. And obviously I had great experiences in school and I admired my teacher so it really, like swept me up, put me on a pathway to be an educator, 


Lehman: What makes you feel the most like yourself?


Hughes: I think being in front of my grill or my Blackstone at home, I love to cook. So it doesn’t matter if it’s the dead of winter, just being outside doing something there. I also like this morning, I was shoveling snow. I wanted the cleanest driveway in the neighborhood. So I’m out there with like flat shovel just trying to do everything. Just that that sense of order and also just like creating something gives me that feeling.


Lehman: What’s next for your relationship with Wauwatosa West High School?


Hughes: Oh, that’s a really good question after the announcements yesterday, right. I’m going to be here for the rest of the year as principal. I’m excited about that opportunity. I’ve had a wonderful experience thus far. Mr. Bold and Ms. Claybor had been great supports. The teachers have been very, very welcoming. As someone, I’ve worked in a district for 22 years. So I’ve had a relationship with West previously. I worked here in 2005-6, as an associate principal, probably before you guys were even born. So I’m just excited about the opportunity. The staff has been wonderful and we are going to do great things here for the last 10/12 weeks of the year. 


Lehman: What is your biggest pet peeve about students? 


Hughes: Oh my gosh, we will see it in about 20 minutes. My biggest pet peeve is tardiness, right? I want people to be on time, to be in class and be engaged. So that’s my biggest pet peeve is certainly tardiness. 


Lehman: What’s the last book you read? 


Hughes: The last book I read was really around equity. Some of the district work that we have been doin, so that we’re just better prepared to meet the needs of all students. 

Lehman: How do you usually start your day?


Hughes: You know, early riser. So I typically get up about 5:30 in the morning. And we have two cats at home. So they are right away like meowing, and want to be fed. So grab a cup of coffee and get showered. I try to get to work by about 6:30 in the morning. And check emails before I come in, see who’s going to be absent and see who might need coverage.Check voice messages when they come in. And then just dig into work. On a weekend, I’m going to run to school and work out early in the morning and then come home and figure out whatever Saturday looks like a, Sunday it looks like 


Lehman: What’s one thing you wish you knew when you graduated high school?


Hughes: Wow. I think understanding finance, right? I didn’t really understand when I went away to college and got that first credit card. What the power of that little plastic two inch card meant and how important it was not to overspend and manage money.


Lehman: Where do you want to be in 10 years?


Hughes: Sarasota, Florida in my retirement home, right? I’m 53, in 10 years from now. I’ll be at a beach hopefully in sunny Sarasota, thinking about my experiences as an educator. 


Lehman: Do you believe in second chances?


Hughes: Oh, certainly. I’ve been given them and granted them. And really it’s part of the philosophy that we have for students. We have to allow students the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and get that second chance.


Lehman: And lastly, West High School or East High School?


Hughes: I’m gonna go with just Tosa. As somebody who’s lived in Tosa for 29 years now. I’ve learned through my experiences that both high schools offer great opportunities for kids. Obviously, I’ve been at East High School 22 years. I’m not ever going to say that that’s my favorite high school. It is I love that place, it’s where my kids went. It’s where I’ve done the majority of my work, but West High Schools is an amazing school as well. So, I’m not wearing any Tosa East gear underneath…well actually I am sort of sorry. It’s hidden though, people don’t see the Tosa East gear. I’m not going to wear anything that says Tosa East visibly for people at West. So I love Tosa. I’ve got a great affinity for East and I am enjoying my time at West. I’m playing it like straight along the hallway. 


Lehman: Okay, great. Thank you so much.


Hughes: You’re welcome, have a great day.


Lehman: You too.