Monday, June 18, 2012

Sharing Kind Words from Alums & Friends

So finally the last week or so, I, as a Volunteer, have had some time to finally get into the office and go through, literally, a foot of address updates that I input into the Alumni Database...some of which were from our Centennial Celebration 2 years ago, in which we commemorated 100 years of towering over Clifton. (Our beloved school, itself is 160 years old this year.) In doing so, I found some comments that were mailed in and I just had to share them somewhere...since we have not done a newsletter in several years...our dear BLOG was as good of a place as any....These are just a few of the many...

Nomination from Carol Steele, Class of 1959, for Beloved Teacher recognition:
RUTH AUSTIN, teacher or Latin and Advanced Math for 40+years.
"Ms. Austin taught my Aunt in the late 1920s for Latin and she was a Math teacher into the 1960s.  I believe she graduated from Mt. Holyoke College and our class Valedictorian Barbara Phelps also attended Mt. Holyoke with help from Ms. Austin."

What a legacy!!!!

From Otto Sieber, III, son of Carol Smith-Sieber, Class of 1950:
Taken from a letter Mr. Sieber sent to inform the Hughes Alumni Foundation of his mother's passing.

"...I know from talking with Mom that she was truly proud to have graduated from Hughes and she cherished the reunions over the years. [...]  I do have a request of Mom's surviving classmates. I would greatly appreciate it if they could pass on any stories that they remember about Carol from Hughes or any other times in your lives...."

If you have stories about Carol, please feel free to post here, or email to and we will gladly pass them onto her family.

Ms. Carolyn Cooke, Class of 1952 sent the following poem in honor of our beloved Hughes:

I've got something to say

I get the blues
Thinking of Hughes

There in boot camp
Changed from being a kid tramp

While watching Big Sisters 
Received heel blisters

Where I left baby shoes
To be bronzed, one, twos

Taking tiny steps with some misgiving
Into the adult Fine Art of Living."

The Hughes Alumni Foundation gladly salutes and accepts all Hughes legacy stories! If you have memories to share, poems/prose from the heart, bits of Hughes history...or anything else...please submit them at and we will post them here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Message For Graduates (reposted with permission)

Topic of the Week

Life Lessons

This week’s newsletter is one I run every year around this time.  It’s for students who are graduating (and for us adults who need a reminder about what really matters in life).  I hope it inspires you to stand tall, express your talents boldly, or to take a risk to live a more authentic life.  Here are the seven lessons:
1.  Spend more time on the who rather than the what. What you do will always be less important than who you become. Knowledge is great but it will never take you as far as your courage, your integrity, your reputation for someone who keeps his or her word, or your commitment to be of service to others in an important way. As you go through life, you will face challenges and obstacles.  When you do, get in the habit of asking yourself the following three questions:
  • How can I grow from this experience?
  • What qualities of character am I being called to develop?
  • How can I use this event to make me a better person?
2. Follow your heart. Pay far more attention to what you think than what everyone else thinks.  The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with you. When I think about the regrets I’ve heard from adults over the years, the biggest ones always have to do with listening to everyone else but themselves. Start now. Make your own rules and follow them. At the end of your life, the most important person you’ll have to answer to is you.
3. Develop a strong “maverick muscle.” Be willing to bend the rules, learn how to disappoint others gracefully, get comfortable with people not liking you, and always strive to be an original thinker. I have a little sign in my office that says: “No Guts, No Glory” and I use it to remind me to go against the grain whenever necessary.  Allow yourself to be the unique spirit that you were meant to be.  Trust me.  Your willingness to rock the boat will set you apart from 95% of the people you meet throughout your life.
4. Build your courage muscles. Starting tomorrow, practice doing one small thing a day that frightens you. Learn to water ski, ask someone out on a date, go for that promotion you keep dreaming about, or learn to dance. Small acts of courage strengthen your ability to take even bigger leaps later on like deciding to write your own book or run for political office. If you really want to build your courage muscles, take a public speaking course.  Twenty years ago I allowed someone to drag me to a Toastmaster’s Meeting – an international speech club – and it changed the course of my life forever.  Courage builds confidence and confident people rarely settle for less.
5. Don’t go to the hardware store for milk. When you’re excited about doing something new, make sure you turn to those people who will encourage you to take a chance – the ones who believe in you rather than those who tell you why an idea won’t work. Surround yourself with positive people – the kind of people who challenge you to reach beyond your fear rather than play it safe. There will always be people telling you why an idea is risky, or why you can’t do something. That advice is usually based on the mistakes they’ve made or the chances they didn’t take because they were afraid. Always remember this: Someone’s past does not equal your future. When faced with a naysayer, smile, say thank you, and turn around. Stick with positive people who believe in you. Remember, if you needed milk, you wouldn’t go to the hardware store.
(By the way, you’re mom was right. You do become who you hang around with. Choose your friends wisely)
6. Live by this mantra: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Don’t give up, especially when things get hard, and don’t ever let anyone or anything put limits on you.
7. Stay connected. Your use of technology – email or texting, for example – will never replace the value of a live connection with someone. Every now and then pick up the phone and call a friend or visit a loved one rather than send an email or text message. Too often I’ve seen technology draw a wedge between people. When we come to the end of our lives, it’s who we loved and who loved us that matters most.  Make “in-person” time a priority.
Finally, at the time you were born you were given an amazing gift – a gift that most of us forget about as we grow older. It’s the power to design your own unique life. You are an artist. The canvas is your life. From this moment on, take ownership of this gift and use it wisely. If you do, your life will become an extraordinary work of art. Congratulations!

Take Action Challenge

Please share this week’s newsletter with a student in your life.  It might just save him or her some of the heartache and stress we’ve experienced .
This week’s video is beautiful – a mother cat hugging her baby.  Thanks to Glenda for posting it on my Facebook page.  You’ll find it here.
Life Makeover for the Year 2011(sm) is written and produced by
Cheryl Richardson.© Copyright 1999-2011 Cheryl Richardson, P.O.
Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950, All
rights reserved. Used with permission.

Monday, September 20, 2010

100 Year Celebration Open House

Hello Hughes Alums:
Here is information about the 100 Year Celebration Open House at Hughes on Sunday, October 10th.
There is no charge for this event, however, the Alumni Foundation will gladly accept your donation.
If you plan on attending the Open House, please reply to this e-mail.
Hughes Alumni Foundation


Alumni and friends...pass the word on and come on out in your RED!

Liz Hiles ('94)
Instructor's Assistant, Hughes High School
Volunteer, Hughes Alumni Foundation
2515 Clifton Avenue; Cincinnati, Ohio 45219-1003
Fax: 513-363-7520
Alternate email:

Check out our District website: ( )
Check out our Public Dashboard:
Check out our Social Media site:

"The best education for the best, is the best education for ALL." ~Paideia Philosophy

"Oft in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of Old Hughes days around me."

"Thomas Hughes, in his day, mended men's soles. Truly the work started by Thomas Hughes is indeed today saving men's souls to higher ideals, to better performances, to splendid citizenship." ~ Hon. J. H. Bromwell at the laying of the Hughes Corner Stone on Friday, October 16, 1908

>>> Jolinda Miller 09/20/10 8:21 AM >>>
I'm calling out the CODE RED for tomorrow night's volleyball match at home vs. Withrow!! Jv is at 5:30 with varsity immediately following!!!
VERY , VERY IMPORTANT LEAGUE MATCH!!!!! A win tomorrow night all but guarantees a share of the league title! We haven't won a volleyball title since 2007!
Come out and help us create a home court advantage! 
I'm even pulling out all the bleachers for the first time in Firehouse history!!!
Come one, come all!!!!!!!!!!!! 
 Please think of some creative ways to get your students to attend!
I can help you keep track of who comes and who doesn't!!!! 
We can always do a student sign in sheet!!!

Thanks again!!!
GO BIG RED!!!!!!!!!!!!

A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done,... they will say: "We did it ourselves.” -Lao Tzu
Jolinda Miller, AD
Hughes High School
Cincinnati, OH
513.363.7533 o
513.207.1087 c

Friday, June 11, 2010

Life as Valedictorian

Submitted by Katie Piket, 2010 Valedictorian
Life as Valedictorian 
      Ever since I have seen my sister’s high school graduation, I have always looked up to the Valedictorian as a role model, a goddess, a famous and successful person. I felt that being Valedictorian, you would feel a sense of pride and joy that no one else could feel. For some people this kind of “pride and joy” could be at something you love to do. I knew that before they went up and said their speech they practiced but that was quite all. I always thought about talking to the Valedictorians that I saw and asking them “How is it to be Valedictorian of your class?” but unfortunately, I never did. I put them on such a great pedestal, that I was too scared to ask. I feel like the pedestal I put on them was actually too high, now because then; I thought that they didn’t live a “normal life”, it’s like I saw them as not human. However, as my days came closer to my own graduation, I started to realize this. I always looked up to the Valedictorians I knew of, but I never truly believed I would be one until one day in my chemistry class my junior year, my teacher, Ms. Guthrie, asked, “You know you could actually be Valedictorian.” At that moment, I stared at her with disbelief and in my head, I was thinking to myself, “Yeah, right. Like I have a real good chance at becoming Valedictorian.”  But the more and more I thought about it, the more it became an possibility for me to see it, to actually become it. The more I thought about it, the more I just kept on making up speech ideas for it. This is when I actually started chasing to be Valedictorian.
      By the time they announced that I was Valedictorian of my class; I already sort of guessed it. But the weird thing was is when it was announced, I felt like I was numb or in disbelief. I definitely wasn’t in denial about it because I knew about it and I didn’t try to ignore it. However, I simply just didn’t feel the spark that I thought I was going to feel about it, but I was happy about it. After it was announced that I was Valedictorian, I started to write my speech. During this time, I started to feel like I had mood swings every five seconds about becoming Valedictorian. One minute I felt happy to disbelief, shock, overwhelmed, sad, and sometimes I asked myself “What did I get myself into?” I started being asked about if I wrote my speech and what my speech was about. In addition, I was asked to be on WCPO’s “Best of the Class” which was a great honor, but it seemed that it made my mood swings even worse for a moment. This new responsibility became an extra burden on me that I had to take on besides trying to do my homework and get ready for college. Somehow I knew that I could take on this responsibility.
   When I wrote my first draft of my speech, I gave it to Mrs. Ray to edit. I remember walking of that classroom and saying, “What did I do?” I felt that she was ripping my speech apart. I know that she was only trying to help me, but she was ripping my baby apart and breaking my heart. But the more I looked at my speech, the more that I thought that she didn’t change that much. Then I started to have other people look at my speech, and they started to make corrections. I wanted them to make corrections because I wanted my speech to be perfect, but at the same time, I knew I had to adjust to the corrections, so I stopped people from editing it. By writing this speech, I learned that this speech is a lot harder then I thought it would be. However, as being Valedictorian, I noticed my reward of being Valedictorian was to write a speech and I kept thinking is this fair? Here I am the smartest person in my class and I have to write another speech. But I was okay because I hope that on graduation day the feeling of speaking my speech would pay off by all the work that I put into my speech.
      When graduation day came, I was a little nervous about the crowd. I knew that I was well prepared, but I felt that if people were on the top stands of the Cintas Center, that I would some how choke. Since I was nervous, my throat kept on becoming dry every time I would get a drink of water. This made me think about; what if my throat gets to dry that I won’t be able to speak? However, as I went on the stage on graduation night, there were less people in the crowd then I thought and I told myself that since my throat kept on getting dry, just take your time speaking which is exactly what I did. When I walked out on to the floor, I was just so overwhelmed by the crowd. Everyone cheering and supporting all the graduates. Then, when I got to my seat all I could think about is my family and once I got on stage all I did was smile at my family and look at them and just to see the smiles on their faces to see me. At the time that I got on stage, it truly sunk in that it was a real on to be on the stage and to see all of my classmates and their family and friends. When I did my speech that night I felt so confident about myself and my speech, that I was just so happy to say my speech.
      While writing my speech, I kept on telling myself that I wanted my speech to be remembered by all the people that was in the auditorium that night.  I wanted my speech to be perfect and I wanted to have the underclassmen’s to remember the speech. I wanted the speech to be one of the best speeches in Hughes history. Right now, the comments that I have been hearing about my speech, it has been a very successful speech. In addition, I felt that my speech didin’t exactly belong to me, but it belonged to the Class of 2010. That’s why I talked about what our class has been through and how we had over come theses changes as a class. Personally, as a Valedictorian of your class you should speak from your classes point of view because you represent your class and you should know how they feel. In addition, the speech is to your class.
      If I could go back to my graduation or high school period, I would do it in a heart beat. There are no words to describe walking out on to the floor, where your family and friends are cheering for you. In addition, there are no words to describe speaking to your classmates, friends, and family. No words. Just pure happiness, joy, and excitement. If I could go back in time for graduation, I would try to enjoy it more and soak everything in more.
      Some things that I have learned as being Valedictorian, is that your speech is your speech, you can say what ever you like to your class and don’t let others persuade you otherwise. In addition to being Valedictorian, don’t let your speech control you, enjoy being Valedictorian as long as you can possibly can. Being Valedictorian is a great tremendous honor but there also comes a lot of pressure and responsibility. As being top of your class you can and are expected to deal with the pressure or otherwise how did you even get on top any ways because you were obviously able to handle the responsibility of homework and school life. In the end, Valedictorians should feel proud of themselves and honored to have achieved this honor and to say their speech. When I have children I would tell my kids that I would want them to be top of their class but not necessarily be Valedictorian because of all the pressure and responsibility. I have now learned why the smartest person in the class needs to give the speech and it is because of the pressure that comes with it. To me no other person in the class could handle this pressure as good as the Valedictorian.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2010 Valedictoria Speech

It is with great honor the Hughes Alumni Foundation is publishing the Valedictorian Speech that Katherine Piket gave at commencement on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at the CINTAS Center at Xavier University. The Hughes Alumni Foundation is immensely proud of all our 2010 graduates and we look forward to hearing all of their great successes to come.

As submitted by Katherine Piket:

Good evening to friends, family, faculty and Board of Education member, Mrs. Bolton, who have supported us every step of the way at Hughes Center. We never could have been able to get this far without you.

There is a quote by Alphonse Karr that says, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." I think this quote explains all of our years at Hughes Center. When we first came to Hughes Center, it was a huge environment where we had to make new friends and meet new teachers. We have been through a lot together, new teachers year after year, two buildings because of the renovation of Hughes, then our programs being mixed together by teams, and two principals who have had two different ways of running our school. We have been through so much together. These are changes over which we had no control.

Now we are transitioning from high school to the adult world. Some of us are going to college where we will be challenged academically in order to further our education and to reach our goals. Others may be going to the armed forces, where they may travel to different parts of the world while serving our country. While still others are going to work where they will experience personal successes. However, with this transition comes changes. All of us are going to have to adjust to our new surroundings, our new schedule, new people, and our new lives. We have control over most of these changes; however, some changes in life, we won't have any control over. Unfortunately, some of these changes may occur as a result of health, the economy, or other various challenges. Even though these changes may be challenging at times, we must try to embrace them. We must think of these changes as unexpected adventures. We must take them one day at a time and never give up hope. Because if we give up hope, we are giving up on ourselves. I can truly say that none of our graduates here today has ever given up on themselves because we are here today. Our future might be scary at times, but just remember you are not alone; your friends or your family will always be there for you if you need support.

A wise man once said, "All things are subject to change, and we change with them." This quote means that it's okay that we change or that there is transition in life because it's a part of life. Hughes has made us adapt to these changes, and by experiencing them, Hughes has prepared us for life not only in education but in the adult world. I feel like we have been through so many changes that we have grown accustomed to them. That's why I believe as a class we will be able to thrive, because we have adapted to change before. This new adventure is going to be bigger, better, and we are the ones that have control over our decisions. We should embrace the challenge and be happy. It's okay to be a bit fearful but we must look to the future with joy and anticipation. We should enjoy our new found independence and freedom. Our time is now and we must let it shine. Congratulations to the Class of 2010; we finally did it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good Luck Today to the Big Red Track Team!

Today our young men and women show their speed and endurance at Colerain for their second track meet of the Season. GO BIG RED! If you can't make it out, be sure to send lots of positive, winning Big Red vibes their way!