After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University , Barbara moved to Monroe , MI where she taught English, drama, dance; directed school productions and coached cheerleading. She was an active member of the Monroe Community Players, and performed in many of their productions. Further, she established and directed the Monroe Junior Community Players.
Upon the completion of his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan, Barbara married Richard Hughey, and the couple moved to Kalamazoo where Barbara taught English and Speech at "Old" Kalamazoo Central High School. She and a colleague were given the honor of designing complete courses of study, including daily lesson plans, for tenth and eleventh grade English classes. These were the official study guides used by all teaching those grades. When the school initiated Honors English classes, she and Howard Chenery designed the teaching programs for eleventh and twelfth grades. Barbara taught the eleventh grade honors section. Barbara was very active in several areas of the Kalamazoo Public Schools, and served on many committees.
During her "stay-at-home Mom" years, Barbara was asked to teach and write/direct productions in her children's schools.. As volunteer, she accepted these requests, and for several years Barbara delighted in the opportunity to go to school with her kids as well as stay home with them.
Barbara has been involved in a variety of community activities and organizations including the charter Wellspring Dance Collaborative Board of Directors, Kalamazoo Civic Youth Theatre, and for many years the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre Board of Directors during which time she was appointed to establish the Civic's volunteer/support organization. Barbara enjoyed performing in many Civic productions, and participating in "behind the scenes" roles as well.
Barbara and Richard's active support of Western Michigan University began when they were students, and has continued over the years. Barbara was appointed to serve on the charter WMU Theatre Guild Board of Directors, and has served on that board for many years, and in many capacities, including president. Both Barbara and Richard have been active fund raisers for the University, including the Department of Theatre. For their various joint efforts over the years, Barbara and Richard were named Honorary Members of the WMU Theatre Guild. Additionally, President Diether Haenicke named a Medallion Scholarship in their honor, and inducted them into the Academy of Volunteers.
The highlight of Barbara's WMU involvement was the opportunity to teach, first in the Department of Theatre, and then for many years in the Department of Communication. Her students seemed to sense that she was truly interested in them, and frequently they asked her to speech before student groups, or judge campus competitions. On several occasions she was invited to address incoming students or their parents during Orientation Week.
Barbara considers teaching at WMU the most gratifying, inspiring, and enriching experience of her professional life. Although she enjoyed all the courses she taught, Performance of Literature and Honors College Speech were two of her favorites.
Barbara and Richard have a son, a daughter, and two absolutely amazing and adorable grandchildren!
All reside in Kalamazoo.