Mr. McHugh, a teacher extraordinaire, is retiring from Our Lady of Hope School after 47 years of dedicated service to over 56,000 classes representing about 11% of the community of Middle Village and neighboring areas. A respected and loved long term educator, having taught some parents, grandparents, and relatives of his current students, Mr. McHugh has taught English Language Arts, Religion, and Social Studies to students from grades 4-8. He has earned the admiration of students, parents, faculty, administrators, and community leaders throughout his teaching career.

Earning awards and recognition gives testimony to Mr. McHugh’s successful achievements in the teaching profession. In the late 1980’s Mr. McHugh was interviewed by Connie Collins for “Live at Five News” where his anti-drug project, sponsored by Governor Mario Cuomo, was featured, showing his students and their activities at OLH. Mr. McHugh was recognized by the New York Post, December 12, 2001, as one of the ‘New York 200’ outstanding educators for 2001-02. In 2001, NYS also chose him as an outstanding educator. In 2007, he received a Proclamation from the NYC Council for dedicated teaching. On May 13, 2016, Mr. McHugh was interviewed by NY1 about his retirement and reflections about his teaching career.

Michael McHugh was born in Flushing, New York, on May 28, 1947, to Hugh and Ann McHugh. Michael’s parents, having married late in life, were blessed with Michael, their God given gift. Michael lovingly cared for his parents throughout their lives. Michael, raised in Flushing, was a member of St. Anne’s Parish where he went to school. In 1969, he graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a major in Political Science. In September 1969 he began teaching at Our Lady of Hope School and never left. Michael is a widower and father of two wonderful children, Michael, 45 years, a First Grade Detective, and Kerri, 43 years, an accountant. His son, Michael, is married to Dawn, and they have three children, James, 12 years, Danielle, 11 years, and Katelyn, 6 years. His daughter, Kerri, is married to a retired detective, Thomas, and they have three children, Thomas, 12 years, Sean, 9 years, and John, 7 years. Michael McHugh’s girlfriend, Cathy Moore, a widow, has a son Paul. Michael and Cathy met at Our Lady of Hope School where Paul Moore went to elementary school. Cathy volunteered in the office and Michael taught her son. Their friendship has grown over the years.

Mr. McHugh has a reputation as an excellent, caring teacher, who has had a positive influence on his students and helped prepare them for their New York State ELA Tests. His kindness, inspiration, and sincerity have flourished throughout his years at Our Lady of Hope School.

Mr. McHugh changes seats weekly
to give everyone a chance to be in front.
Mr. McHugh is always dressed for success.
He’s a great role model.
Mr. McHugh would run across the street to buy lunch
for a child without it.
Mr. McHugh has someone decorate his classroom for him.
Mr. McHugh gives rewards of Certs, lifesavers,
and tickets for good answers.
Mr. McHugh loves to dance the cha-cha
and listen to music.


When I think of my alma mater, Our Lady of Hope School, certain teachers come to mind, with Mr. McHugh being one of them. Mr. McHugh has been dedicated to shaping and molding his students for 47 years. He always made sure his classroom was an exciting environment, keeping his students engaged and eager to learn. Although it has been nearly 30 years since I have been in Mr. McHugh’s class, he still remains one of the most influential and is such a wonderful educator.
– Marisa DeLaGarza-Byram

What I most remember about Mike McHugh is his soft spoken and calm manner. He never seems to lose his “cool”. He is always in command and on top of things. He’s definitely one of a kind.
– Donna Morena

Mike McHugh is an amazing teacher and a great man. Teachers aspire to make a difference in the lives of their students. Mr. McHugh has far surpassed this goal, as he has touched the lives of so many over the years with his genuine concern for the children and love for his profession. He will be truly missed by all of us!
– Ellie McAuley

My history with Mr. McHugh is quite unique! I have known him as a parent, a colleague, and most importantly, as a friend. My children were fortunate to have had him as their 4th grade teacher, where his expertise in Language Arts and Social Studies was reflected in lively lessons, always peppered with his wonderful sense of humor. As a colleague of Mr. McHugh, I came to recognize how much he cares for his students, not just academically, but for their total well-being. The students are so much more than “test scores” and percentiles. He gives the students the tools they need to really succeed, and the confidence to achieve their personal best. He is truly a mentor and their strongest advocate when preparing them for the daunting state tests, keeping them focused and calm, not an easy task indeed.

As a colleague, Mr. McHugh has been a wonderful presence on the faculty. His experience, good common sense approach to issues, enthusiasm for the latest technology, wit and wisdom, have been influential to both experienced and new teachers alike. His legacy will remain in all the students, parents, and teachers who have been touched by this inspiring educator.
– Linda DeLaGarza

He gave us the best
Gave us some surprise tests
He was the one
That made everything fun.
– Alex Sepe (Grade 4)

I wish you only the best as you retire, Mike. May all your volunteering fulfill you in your retirement years. I’m sure you will keep everyone entertained, especially with your jokes! I will certainly miss you every morning as you come into the office and give me a big “GOOD MORNING, Jo-ANNE”. You started my day off with a smile. Thank you and enjoy each day.
– Jo-Anne Rella

There are two fond memories that I have of Mr. McHugh. The first one was shortly after my daughter, Katy, was born. Mike congratulated me and then told me to look at his eye. He winked and told me to take time to enjoy her because that is how fast she will grow up. He was right. The second one was when I first started teaching many years ago and he explained “the best possible moment of any vacation.” According to him the moment you dismissed your class, you start the best moment. The very next day you have already lost one day. Every vacation we both enjoy that moment. I will miss him.
– Kathy Listner

Ode to Mr. McHugh

O Mr. McHugh, you help us learn our skills.
You are a loving and caring person.
You make everything fun like the tickets,
O we appreciate you!
– Nicolina Paternostro (Grade 4)

Dear Mike,
Thank you for being a wonderful teacher. Not only to both of my children, but to all of the students (and us adults) who had the privilege of learning from you. Your kindness, generosity, and dedication never went unnoticed. You are now and always a gentleman and a scholar.
Angel Guida
Dear Mike,
These past 25 years knowing and working with you have been a pleasure. You taught my nephew, my 2 nieces in the 70’s, and my 2 sons in the early 80’s. They all enjoyed your teachings, professionalism, and respect. Mike, here’s wishing you the best as you retire from Our Lady of Hope School.
Angela Pittari

To Mr. McHugh
It’s not a good bye with a sorrowful sigh,
When we let go of a giant and not hear his voice.
You’ve educated and guided those whom you’ve taught
Our Lady of Hope School admires you so much.
Your work with the students will continue to grow,
As they remember your guidance and follow their goals.

Dear Mr. McHugh,
You have much to pursue
As you continue to enrich the view
for many or few.
Mr. McHugh, peace be with you,
and a joyful heart,
As you continue your journey
to serve and enlighten.
Accolades of praise are yours
from all who know you.
Their smiles and words will remain in your heart.
­– Martha Madri

Mighty Mr. McHugh

M – Marvelous, mighty, meaningful, magnetic, monumental, and magnificent!
R – Respected, remarkable, reliable, responsive, receptive, relaxed, rewarding, reverent, and righteous, which is rare!
M – Meticulous, mannered, moving, and memorable.
C – Caring, charming and charitable, cheerful, cultured, and compassionate!
H – Honest and hard-working, helpful.
U – Unique, upbeat, unbiased, understanding, unceasing, undeniable, unbelievable!
G – Generous, giving, genial, gracious, Gaelic, gentleman, genuine! Good! Great! Greatest!
H – Humble, harmonious, hospitable, handsome, holy, humane, heroic!
– From all of your students

Ever blessed by the gift of your hard-work and dedication throughout the years, your words will remain with us forever.
– Pam Kelly