SOUTH PORTLAND — Christopher Hughes may have spent the last three years as South Portland High School’s assistant principal, but for 13 years before that he was a teacher at Memorial Middle School.

Hughes

That’s why he’s leaving his position at the end of the year to work as assistant principal at Falmouth Middle School starting this fall – to get back to working with the age group he knows best.

“This is not a decision that I make lightly,” said Hughes, who lives in Portland with his wife and two children. “I have spent my entire 16-year career working for South Portland Schools. I am so very grateful for all of the opportunities I have been afforded working for this district. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best and most innovative educators in the state, both as a teacher and administrator.”

While Hughes looks forward to working with middle school-age children again, he said he was grateful for the opportunity to work at the high school level.

“The past three years working as an administrator at the high school have provided me with a tremendous learning experience,” he told The Forecaster this week. “I have been so very lucky to be part of a strong administrative team that always puts the needs of students first.”

Megan Welter, who now serves as director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the district, was principal at Memorial School in the fall of 2004, when Hughes first started.

“He was right out of college and he was just great,” she said.

Welter noted Hughes’ interest in starting up a science, technology, engineering and mathematics program at the school, offering students project-based study in addition to regular science and math classes.

“This was when STEM was just being introduced and nobody knew what it meant,” she said.

Janet Adams, principal at Falmouth Middle School, said Hughes beat out dozens of applicants, in part because of his experience both as a teacher and an administrator, and his breadth of knowledge that extends from STEM to athletics.

“He’s well-rounded in that sense,” she said. “Falmouth is very excited to have him.”

South Portland School Superintendent Ken Kunin said that Hughes is “a fabulous teacher” and “a great assistant principal.” Kunin said Hughes will be missed, joking that “we’re very mad at him” for leaving.

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