The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The official site of the Torch, the student-run newspaper at Glenbrook North High School.


The principal news on Mandy Hughes

Bagels, buffaloes and new beginnings
Karsten Konstant
New principal Mandy Hughes talks with sophomore John Sellas while visiting Glenbrook North. Hughes was appointed principal on Jan. 22 for the upcoming school year. Photo by Karsten Konstant

The moment new principal Mandy Hughes was offered her new position, she was driving from the Illinois Principals Association Board of Directors meeting in Springfield. 

“I think what I said is, ‘That’s wonderful,’” said Hughes. “But what no one could see was me going like, ‘Yeah!’ [waving my hands in the air], so I tried to say something very measured, but I was very excited.”

According to superintendent Charles Johns, Hughes has a real authenticity and commitment to being an excellent school leader.

“Every time I talk to her, I feel even better about the decision, so I can’t hope for anything better than that,” Johns said.

Along with the administrative role, one of the things Hughes is excited about for her new job is the Einstein Bros. Bagels on her way to school.

“I like their asiago bagels with plain cream cheese and don’t like it toasted,” said Hughes. “[A toasted bagel] makes all the cream cheese squirt out on the sides because it doesn’t soak in the right way.”

Hughes has begun working with faculty at Glenbrook North while serving in her current role as the  assistant principal for building and grounds at William Fremd. On the wall of her office, she has a picture of a buffalo in the wild, which serves as a metaphor for leadership.

“[Buffaloes] will run into storms so that they’re not stuck in the storm,” said Hughes. “They kind of go through it faster instead of running away from it.” 

According to Fremd principal Mark Langer, no matter what the task is that Hughes takes on, she is able to do a great job with it.

“Even things that she’s not very knowledgeable about, she wants to learn about it as much as she can, be an expert at it and do the best job with it,” Langer said.

Before becoming an administrator, Hughes worked in the intervention office at  Fremd. She previously worked as a middle school principal, grant project director, high school counselor and English teacher. 

Hughes’ previous role as an English teacher influences how she watches TV, she said.

“I do really enjoy when you can dive into a character’s motivations or some of the things that they’re struggling with,” said Hughes. “I was [also] drawn to books that were maybe a little bit more dark and twisty for that reason because you’re really kind of exploring the human condition and all that kind of stuff.”

Hughes enjoys watching drama TV series such as “For All Mankind,” “The Morning Show” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” 

During her free time, Hughes attends her daughter’s volleyball games and her husband’s choir concerts. She also spends time snuggling her goldendoodle, Teddy. 

Hughes works with her family to make sure her personal and professional lives both feel love and support, she said. 

According to GBN interim principal Marina Scott, Hughes has made herself available to help make decisions as she transitions into her new role.

“She asked a lot of questions about how we’re doing it, why we’re doing it that way, and we get to tell her a lot about the culture here, about what’s been the history,” Scott said.

Prior to her official start date of July 1, Hughes plans to meet with students on the Principal’s Advisory Board. During the meeting on March 21, Hughes discussed her thoughts on the Culture and Climate Survey. 

“When I was reading some of the stuff about the strategic plan and the initial climate survey, the things that jumped out at me [were] our students saying things like, ‘We want more attention to our overall wellness, we want to make sure that mental health is something that we are talking about, we want to make sure that everybody feels like they belong and that they have a place,’” Hughes said.

About the Contributors
Maribelle Lee, Staff Writer
Maribelle Lee (‘26) is a Staff Writer and has been a member of Torch since her sophomore year.
Ruby Werber, News Editor
Ruby Werber (‘25) is a News Editor and has been a member of Torch since her sophomore year. Previous positions: Staff Writer (22-23).
Karsten Konstant, Page Editor, Advertising Editor
Karsten Konstant (‘24) is a Page Editor and an Advertising editor and has been a member of Torch since his sophomore year. Previous positions: Staff Writer (21-22), Sports Editor (22-23), Advertising Editor (22-23).