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Dr. Ann Hughes recipient of eSchool News 2022 K-12 Hero Award

Dr. Ann Hughes, Sanger ISD's Director of Social and Emotional Learning, Behavior Intervention has been chosen as a 2022 eSchool News K-12 Hero Award winner.

One of three recipients of the award, Dr. Hughes was chosen for her commitment to education during and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, her creativity and innovation in helping all students continue learning while ensuring students felt safe, empowered, and engaged.

Dr. Hughes was nominated for this award by Ripple Effects, which delivers equity-driven, digital social and emotional learning (SEL), mental health and behavioral supports that allow for both universal CASEL-aligned instruction, and trauma-informed lessons personalized to the needs of each learner.

Ripple Effects said the following about Dr. Hughes in its nomination:

"[Dr. Hughes'] students struggle with myriad challenges, including issues such as depression, hyperactivity disorders, and anger. Troubled students frequently come to Linda Tutt from other districts in the state as a last resort. In short, Ann’s program is the last hope to get these kids on the right track.

[Dr. Hughes] has limited resources, both from a funding and personnel perspective. However, she meets those challenges holistically and creatively. She stops students each day to engage in meaningful conversations about their lives. She taps into programs like Ripple Effects for Teens, which has modules that address a wide range of issues including mental health, personal trauma, and academic challenges. Ann has designated individual rooms throughout campus dedicated to giving students space to regroup. There’s a Movement Room to work off excess energy and a Chill Out Room for relaxation. Music, yoga, and dance are other key elements she incorporates to reach her students.

To fill the gaps in funding and personnel resources, [Dr. Hughes] has spearheaded community partnerships with local churches and charities, which provide counseling support not available at school. These collaborations have resulted in students honing their agriculture skills at community gardens and learning how to run a business via a nonprofit grocery store."

Nominations for this award were judged by a panel of education experts, including Laura Ascione, eSchool News editorial director, Kevin Hogan, eSchool News editor-at-large, and Eileen Belastock, CETL, Belastock Consulting.

In the coming weeks, Hero Awards nominations will be highlighted on Winners and finalists will be featured on the site throughout the year, and on the eSchool News podcast Innovations in Education, hosted by Hogan.

The winners and all program finalists will also be published in a custom K-12 Hero Awards ebook at the program’s conclusion, which will be available for download.


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