Marie Hughes was a Shelby High School graduate- 1908 – who was born in 1891. She taught elementary school in Shelby for three years before earning her bachelor of arts degree from Ohio Wesleyan University. Miss Hughes then spent her entire post-college career at SHS where she taught American history, English, government and mathematics. During her teaching career, she did post-graduate studies at three other universities – Wisconsin, Harvard and California.
But she did more – much more. In the words of an alumna, Miss Hughes was a “super teacher! She made you understand English literature by transporting you to the time it was written. She was outstanding!” This alumna adds that Miss Hughes “followed her students after graduation. She was very caring. She wrote to hundreds of servicemen and women while they were serving, especially during World War II. I remember two Marines coming to the classroom door.”
She had been listed as a person to contact if something happened. She listened to them and then returned to our class. Her comment – as she dabbed her eyes with a lacy handkerchief – was ‘I told Billy to keep his head down.”
After the war those SHS alumni servicemen and women showed their appreciation in a very visible way. “The vets she wrote to during World War II held a picnic for her in Seltzer Park and hundreds came. I was at the pool that day and wondered what it was all about. It certainly showed the respect they had for her.”
Marie Hughes retired in 1960, then substitute taught for several more years. She died in 1974. Adds the alumna, “She was a superior role model of class and grace.”
Miss Hughes’ nominator: Lois Kime Smith ’50.