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Hughes leaves a legacy in a decade of change

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Juxtapose made by Ellie Nowakowski

Chris Hughes has been principal of the Upper School for ten years. He has had two of his own children graduate from SPA and at the end of the 2017-18 school year, Hughes will move back to the East Coast to become the Head of School at Garrison Forest School in Maryland.

“I came here [to SPA] from an all girls boarding and day school and that’s what I’m going back to, so there is a lot that is familiar about it and I really appreciate that. It’s a new opportunity to engage with a new community and take what I’ve learned about how schools unite and put that into place,” Hughes said.

Hughes has facilitated a number of changes to the SPA community, including the shift to the block schedule, the building of the Huss Center for the Performing Arts, and the quick-paced construction of the Schilling Center.

It’s a new opportunity to engage with a new community and take what I’ve learned about how schools unite and put that into place.”

— US Principal Chris Hughes

“Working with the people has always been my favorite part of working at SPA. I was welcomed in from day one and we’ve had a lot of turnover since then. At this point I’ve hired most of the faculty, but the energy coming out of the adults has been a lot and we’ve asked them to do a lot and change a lot,” Hughes said.

Hughes has made a lasting impact on the SPA community, not only as principal, but also as an educator. Hughes taught three senior history electives; Ethics, Global Issues, and Israel and Palestine, which he designed himself.

Hughes said there are many things he will miss about SPA, but mostly, he will miss the students.

“Even though I am going to a different school and they will have performances, I will miss POPs and the drama performances. I will also miss senior speeches. I’ve loved working with the students and going on retreats. I’ve loved teaching my classes and the connections I’ve made there,” Hughes said.

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About the Videographer
Ellie Nowakowski, Illustrations/Infographics
This is Ellie Nowakowski’s third year on staff. She started as a staff writer and worked as a News Editor for the print edition of The Rubicon. This year she is the online infographics designer. She is part of the Community Action and Service club at school and plays tennis and softball for her school...
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