George Fox doctoral student named top teacher at Westmont

Michelle HughesMichelle Hughes, currently enrolled in George Fox University's doctor of education program, was named recipient of Westmont College's Bruce and Adaline Bare Outstanding Teacher Award for the social sciences for the 2012-13 academic year.

Hughes, an assistant professor of education at the Santa Barbara, Calif., school since 2009, specializes in teaching courses on educational leadership and secondary education. Faculty and seniors at Westmont chose her as one of three winners of the annual teaching award, which recognizes one outstanding professor each from the humanities, the natural and behavioral sciences, and the social sciences.

Hughes entered the George Fox doctor of education (EdD) program in the summer of 2011 as one of 12 members of the 2011 cohort. She will complete her course work in July and then move into the writing of her dissertation. She is one of a dozen college/university professors among the 80 current students in the EdD program.

"When she joined the faculty of the education department, after nearly two decades of service in the Santa Barbara public schools, she accepted the challenge be an 'ambassador for Westmont' – to be one of those individuals who strengthens our ties to the local community," Westmost Provost Mark Sargent said of Hughes. "A former junior high teacher and assistant principal, she now plans events for high school students, develops conferences for teachers and administrators, organizes prayer meetings for educators, and serves on various boards and initiatives. Her presence in the community is distinguished by her warm, hospitable and joyful manner, and it has bolstered Westmont’s profile and reputation."

Hughes attended Westmont College and earned a bachelor's degree in English as well as a secondary teaching credential from Westmont’s education department. After graduation she taught junior high English in Santa Barbara, Calif., for seven years. While working on her Master’s in Educational Leadership at California State Northridge, she transitioned to a local high school, where she took on the position as an assistant principal. Her duties as an assistant principal over her 13-year tenure included student discipline, teacher observation and evaluation, campus safety, truancy, Associated Student Body budgets, graduation and prom planning, staff development, and athletic supervision.