Bethesda Academy Board of Governors Announces Dr. Michael Hughes as Bethesda Academy School President
SAVANNAH, Ga. – The Bethesda-Union Society Board of Governors is pleased to announce they have unanimously approved and selected, H. Michael (Mike) Hughes, Ph. D, as Bethesda Academy’s new school president. Dr. Hughes began his tenure as president of the iconic school for boys this month and is looking forward to greeting the school’s students when they return in August to begin the 2016-2017 academic school year.
The search for a new school president started in the fall of 2015, after the school’s former president, David Tribble, announced his upcoming retirement. Bethesda’s board of governors created a special search committee which included seven past and present board members and the former chair of The Women’s Board of Bethesda. Together, they worked in tandem with Carney Sandoe, a nationally recognized educational search firm headquartered in Boston. With consultants throughout the country, Dr. Tom Redmond of Atlanta served as Bethesda’s personal consultant during the search process.
“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Mike Hughes to Bethesda Academy,” said John Helmken, Bethesda’s chairman of the board and president of South State Bank. “After an exhaustive search, it was clear Dr. Hughes not only embodied superior credentials but the key characteristics an individual must possess in order to lead a school as special and forward-thinking as Bethesda. I have no doubt we selected the right person for the job and on behalf of the board look forward to working in partnership with him to help ensure another 275 years for Bethesda.”
Prior to accepting his new position as president of Bethesda Academy, Dr. Hughes served as the former head of school at Antilles School in St. Thomas where he provided exemplary leadership for the day college preparatory school, which is considered to be one of the finest independent schools in the U.S. Virgin Islands. With a dense military and academic background defined by numerous awards of achievement and success, Dr. Hughes has served in key leadership and academic positions at West Point and earned graduate degrees at the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served in several headmaster positions in schools across the U.S. and served as Director of the Center for Enhanced Performance at West Point.
“What an honor and privilege it is to be selected to serve the outstanding students at Bethesda Academy and to help carry on the impressive legacy of this 275-year-old institution,” said Bethesda Academy President Dr. Mike Hughes. “This is most certainly a pivotal moment in my life as I prepare for my new role at Bethesda and I couldn’t be more excited to be here. I believe a true education involves a holistic approach to learning with an emphasis on character development and it’s clear this philosophy aligns perfectly with the key values upon which Bethesda was founded.”
“You learn ‘a love of God, a love of learning, and a strong work ethic’ and it all helps put you together into a person who finds himself.”
“Alumnus from 1987-1990, pre-Academy days. I can say without a doubt Bethesda made a huge difference in my life. I am happy to see how the organization has evolved and look forward to visiting the museum on my next trip to Savannah!”
“My son attended Bethesda for 3 years. He loved it and so did I. He’s a 2016 graduate with honors. Thank you for your dedication.”
“I found my ability to work hands-on – and find that I not only enjoy it, but do it better than most.”
“The learning is totally different. The teachers are a lot more attentive – even more respectful and have more patience.”
“Since I lived in the cottage, it definitely taught me how to take care of myself…and come out of my shell.”
“The key difference between public school and Bethesda is its ‘family’ here.”
“Given the opportunity, these boys will become leaders. To the extent that we can lift these young men above their circumstances, we are helping to equip leaders for our future.
“When people believe in you love you, and support you, you can go far in life. From Dr. Tribble to the dining hall staff, everyone at bethesda provided correction, direction, and guidance. They always cared about me as a person.”
“These people believed in me. They always have. Bethesda has never turned their back on me!”
“Thanks to Bethesda’s supporters I was able to attend a prestigious school like SCAD and now my future looks bright. Without people willing to financially support Bethesda, there would be many young people with a very uncertain future.”
“Bethesda gave me the opportunity to better myself in a solid learning environment.”
“Bethesda is like an extended family. We’re working as a team to give these boys what they need to be successful.”
“The team (2012 Blazers) played with dedication, they played unselfishly, and that’s the way you have to play to be champions.”
“Everyone who works here understands the value of family, and that is what we are at Bethesda, a family.”
“It’s special to have the opportunity to make a daily impact on a young man’s life.”
“I think that all of us who support Bethesda do so for the boys and the wonderful mission of Bethesda. How fortunate we are that the State of GA allows us a tax credit that we can take advantage of through our GOAL Scholarship Program. I write the check, the state reimburses me, and the boys benefit. Wow!”
“Of all my volunteer work, the service to the young men of Bethesda Academy has been the most engaging and meaningful.”
“When thinking about charities to donate to this year, I hope you will consider Bethesda. Your contribution could make such a difference in the life of a child.”
“Bethesda provided my son with a perfect blend of an academic and spiritual education.”
“The success I had at the University of Georgia is due to what I was taught at Bethesda.”
“Bethesda gave me the building blocks to become the person I am today.”
“The same work ethic that is taught in the classroom and in Work Experience is expected on the playing field. I know that if I can be successful in sports through hard work, I can be successful anywhere.”
“My houseparents gave me the freedom to make my own choices, but they held me accountable for those decisions.”
“My teacher tells us that men are judged by the way they work, by what they do, not what they say. I’ll take that philosophy with me when I enter the work world.”
“Bethesda prepared me for college life in both my study habits and my ability to balance school and work.”
“Before I came to Bethesda, I was sometimes embarrassed by my faith. Now I feel more free to practice my love for God.”