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The new director of the Upward Bound program at Martin Methodist College has been involved with the program since its inception, but he moves into the top position with decidedly mixed emotions.
Hugh Adams succeeds the founding director Wayne Hobbs, following his death on Nov. 30.
Adams, a longtime public school administrator, had served under Hobbs as recruiter and counselor since 2004, when Martin Methodist College received a U.S. Department of Education grant in to create an Upward Bound program, which focuses on high school students who come from families of lower income who have not been able to attend college. The program serves 50 students annually from a five-county area in southern central Tennessee.
“Hugh has been with the program since it started on our campus eight years ago and is well qualified for the role of program director,” said Dr. James Murrell, Martin Methodist’s vice president for academic affairs. “We thank Hugh for his many years of service to the Upward Bound program and for taking on these responsibilities during this difficult time.”
Certainly, the bond between the new director and his predecessor was a strong one.
“Wayne Hobbs and I had similar careers, he at the high school level and me and the middle school level,” Adams said. “I will always appreciate his offering this opportunity to me and hope to fill his shoes as director in a successful and acceptable manner.”
Adams, a resident of Lewisburg, was educated in the Marshall County Schools, and earned his bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees from Middle Tennessee State University. After teaching for two years at Marshall County High School, he began what would be a 33-year career as a principal, all in Marshall County – two years at McCord Elementary, 10 years at Connelly Junior High and 21 years at Connelly-Lewisburg Middle School.
He also served one semester as a counselor at Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville.
“Serving as recruiter and counselor for the Upward Bound program has given me the opportunity to continue my career with an emphasis on directing students who need special attention and meet the qualifiers of needing financial assistance, support and encouragement as first-generation college students, and tutoring in required subjects,” Adams said.