Hughes says his conservative voice will bring needed changes to school board

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 23, 2012

By Sarah Campbell
A Salisbury man says he wants to be a “truly conservative voice” for the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education.
Charles “Chuck” Hughes, 72, will take on incumbent Bryce Beard and newcomers Quentin Woodward Jr. and Connie Johnson for the Salisbury seat.
“I am running for the school board because I believe that the board needs leaders not followers,” he said. “A ‘go along to get along’ philosophy rarely brings the changes needed in any environment. I suggest that following someone else’s lead and rubber-stamping their proposals may not be the best method of improving the outcomes of our local educational system.”
If elected, Hughes said he would like the district to focus on teaching students the importance of hard work.
“As parents, teachers and citizens, we need to stress that the opportunity to be successful in schools, as in life, is a gift,” he said. “Achieving success is not, it is a reward for hard work.
“Understanding this basic truth will stimulate developing minds, strengthen character and promote success in life.”
Hughes said students need to be prepared for the “realities of the real world.”
“Instead of building bridges over troubled waters as some suggest, we need to teach our youngsters to swim,” he said. “Like it or not, in post academic life not everyone gets a trophy just for participating.”
Hughes would also like to see the district get back to basics and keep political agendas out of the classroom.
“Before we stir the minds of our future leaders with the ambiguities of dogmatic reasoning, it would help if we first stressed the basics, the foundation of education, the three R’s,” he said. “Too many students go to the next grade, some even graduate, despite deficits in one if not all three.”
Although his political resume is sparse, Hughes said he makes up for it with life experiences.
He spent 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, serving a tour in Vietnam and five years aboard the nuclear submarine USS Francis Scott Key.
“I was a high school dropout with no future that I could see until a woman teaching an English class that I seldom attended, realized that I had no goals or direction,” he said. “Her wise counseling set me on a career in the military.”
There are two other school board seats up for grabs.
Current chairman Dr. Jim Emerson will face off against Michael Lambe and Josh Wagner for the east area spot.
Lynn Marsh and Susan Cox will compete for the southeast area seat that is being vacated by Linda Freeze, who dropped out of the race due to personal reasons.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.

Chuck Hughes

Age: 72    
Address: 130 Camelot Road, Salisbury     
Phone: 704-642-0101
Employer: Hefner VA Medical Center
Education: Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. sleep medicine physician assistant, nuclear medicine technician
Previous elected
office: None
Family: Married for 27 years with three children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren