Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Hughes

By Andrew Kirkland
May 27, 2008

Mr. John Hughes is the counselor at Locust Fork High School. He began working at Locust Fork in 1992. He has been involved in education since the mid 1980's. In his free time he enjoys fishing, golf, hiking, camping, and doing yard work. He learned about hard work and respect from his father. Teaching was not always what he wanted to do; when he was a child, he had dreamed of being elected to public office. He has actually held many different occupations, from high school history teacher to bank teller. He has done much in his life, as long as it did not involve heights.

He was born on December 21, 1961. "That was the year Paul "Bear" Bryant won his first national title with Alabama," Mr. Hughes explained. He was born and raised in Corner, Alabama. During high school, he was involved in Scholar's Bowl, Year Book, FFA, Chess Club, Art Club, youth choir, junior varsity basketball, softball, and he was a wideout on the football team. In his junior year, he won first place in an art contest in which he submitted a western landscape, which was his specialty. That same year, at the school's powder puff football game, he dressed up as a woman, and went by the name Rhonda Faye. He was named Miss Powderpuff. "That was the most embarrasing moment of my life," Mr. Hughes laughed. He graduated high school in 1980.

After High School, he went directly to Wallace State Community College. For two years Mr. Hughes served as an ambassador in the Host and Hostess Organization. He completed his undergraduate studies at Samford University. He was originally a business major, by by his junior year in college he decided that business was not for him. The younger guys in his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha, would come to him for advice, and he would reassure them. After that experience, he told himself, "If I could do something working with young people, I would be content."

In 1986, he began teaching at Oak Grove High School. He taught 11th grade U.S. History, 10th grade World History, and Sociology. He also coached junior varsity basketball and girls softball. During this time, he was working on his Masters Degree. He enjoyed teaching, but he truly wanted to be a counselor. In 1988, he began working in the Student Affairs Department at Auburn University as Lead Advisor of the Interfraternity Counsel.

"The greatest job I have ever had is being the counselor at Locust Fork," Mr Hughes explained. "Sixteen years seems like only a few days. I am very blessed to be here." He has learned alot at Locust fork, he says, "When I first started here, I tended to dwell on situations. My biggest fear was to fail a student. I still dwell some, but not nearly as much because now I have come to understand that not everyone will like me. As long as I am doing my best, I'll be able to live with myself." His greatest accomplishment was when he received a letter from a parent thanking him for watching out for their child. "That was the moment I knew that I was doing what I was called to do."