Suzanne Hughes, seen with a friend, went from restaurant management to teaching and is now at Reservior High School.
Suzanne Hughes, seen with a friend, went from restaurant management to teaching and is now at Reservior High School. (submitted photo)

What follows is Suzanne Hughes' story. She is in her 15th year as a teacher and currently a member of the science department and the coach of the Allied Soccer and Allied Softball teams.

Like many of us in this area, Suzanne is a transplant, having been born and raised north of the Mason-Dixon Line in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics and Developmental Biology.

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Grad school beckoned but was put on hold for a while. Instead, she worked in the restaurant industry for several years. She had worked her way up to becoming a general manager for the Ruby Tuesday chain and that's what brought her to the Old Line state.

After a few years went by, she realized that "while I really enjoyed working with my high school and college-age employees, the hours and the grind of restaurant work were not for me." She quit her job and went back to college, getting a Master of Arts in Teaching from Towson University.

She landed her first teaching job at Mt. Hebron High School, staying there for two years before coming to Reservoir High as a charter member of the teaching staff.

Suzanne teaches biology, forensic science and marine science. She has also taught earth science. In addition to her full teaching schedule, Hughes is the coach of the allied soccer team (third year), the allied softball team (fourth year) and the sponsor of Reservoir's Gay-Straight Alliance since the day Reservoir opened.

For Suzanne, her "Ah ha" moment came when she realized that she couldn't and didn't want to spend the rest of her life working in a restaurant. She needed a career change. During her time as manager, she found that she really liked helping her high school and college employees with their homework assignments before work shifts. It was very rewarding to see the "light bulb" go on when they finally "got it!"

"That's really when I realized that teaching would be perfect for me and I never looked back after that" I finished up the email interview with a simple question: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Suzanne wrote, "At one point, I would never have believed that I could stay in the same job for decades, but the first 15 years of my teaching career have flown by, and I now see myself still in the classroom here at Reservoir in 10 years' time. Every year is a brand new experience with new students, new teachers, and new experiences and opportunities. I can't imagine doing anything else!"

It's the 13th anniversary of Sept. 11. Please take some time to remember the events of that day — where you were, what you were doing, who you were with. Say a prayer for the thousands that were killed that day and those they left behind.

I want to wish my wife Jennie a very happy 27th anniversary (Whew! Where has the time gone?) Have a great week.

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