Guess Who’s Back: Reintroducing Dr. Hughes


Dr. Hughes in 2001-2003 and again in 2023

The squeak of wheels and an echo of laughter filled the hallways on Thursday, January 19th. If your teacher was lucky, they might have found the source of the sound: pushing a cart, Dr. Hughes greeted those passing by with a friendly smile, offering coffee to the teachers he encountered.

Dr. Hughes and Junior Glory Moon on Spirit Day 2023

This man – the one you saw at all the girls’ and boys’ basketball games, at Spirit Day, and popping into your class to shake your hand – he’s your new superintendent. Showing up to school events and interacting with students and faculty is how Dr. Hughes chose to introduce himself to the community here at Cresskill High School. He has taken the time over the past few months to immerse himself into CHS, never missing an opportunity to display his school spirit. 

Dr. Hughes is no stranger to the Cresskill Education System. In 2000, his teaching career began in room D1, where he taught biology, forensics, and horticulture, as well as 7th and 8th-grade science. He was the proud head of the Horticulture Club which landscaped the entire school, and is also to thank for our beautiful courtyard!


Cresskill’s courtyard in the early 2000’s
Dr. Hughes and some of the horticulture club









On top of teaching, Dr. Hughes eventually took on the role as administrator, supervising the science department. Departing Cresskill in 2007, his educational journey led him to the esteemed positions of Vice Principal, Principal, Director of Curriculum, Assistant Superintendent, and Superintendent, in Haworth, Livingston, and even Mount Olive. However, Dr. Hughes’ journey eventually led him back to where it all began: Cresskill.

I am a cougar originally

— Dr. Hughes

Dr. Hughes came into his role as Cresskill’s Superintendent with a clear mission. One of his goals: restore school spirit. It’s no secret that our school’s unfortunate circumstances over the past four years have caused a significant drop in pep. Luckily, Dr. Hughes hopes to combat this and “build back better.” He is leading CHS into what he calls our “reconstructive phase.” In our interview, Dr. Hughes calls attention to the recently opened auditorium, which now has new curtains, seats, lighting systems, and sound systems. Though the school was once in shambles, it opened opportunities for upgrades that never would have happened.

Not only is Dr. Hughes striving for immediate improvement, he also believes in creating a long-term strategy for becoming the best district we can be. To do so, he is looking to the varied voices of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, to create a plan centered around what the students want and need. He explains that first he needs the right volunteers who want to improve the district, then he will give them assignments to create the long term plan.

One aspect of this plan is simply to move curriculum forward and prepare students for life in the future. His unique perspective allows him to compare Cresskill now to Cresskill a decade and a half ago. After seeing that “certain areas seem just like they were 15 years ago” and commenting on the “lack of movement,” Dr. Hughes is ready to create a curriculum that prepares students for the future, not the past.

You guys are my mission, always will be, always have been.

— Dr. Hughes

And finally, from walking around with his coffee cart to attending basketball games, Dr. Hughes believes in being visible and having a service mindset. He repeatedly asserts that he will ultimately be acting for the students: “You deserve to have the best possible future and we should be promoting care, inclusion, people coming together in the best possible way.”

Outside of school, Dr. Hughes has multifaceted interests. He is an avid traveler and enjoys taking photos of the beautiful landscapes he sees. Not only that, he is also a motorcyclist and even rode it all the way to Yellowstone Park! Whether it’s a motorcycle or a coffee cart, one thing is for sure: he’s looking to drive Cresskill in the right direction.

We are all so excited to welcome Dr. Hughes back to Cresskill and we can’t wait to see the work he will do for our school district!