Coronado’s Hugill chosen for Crystal Apple award

      

For his Crystal Apple photo, Doug Hugill asked to stand by a tree that was planted on the Coronado campus in memory of star runner Leah Trutna, who had graduated in 2002 and died in a traffic accident in '04. The family sponsors an annual award for track and cross-country.
Westside Pioneer photo
Doug Hugill has been teaching physics and distance-running for 28 years, but the Coronado High teacher doesn't feel that he understood what his saga amounted to until this spring when, with promotional help from the school PTA, a judging process gave him a Crystal Apple award.
       “I'm just humbled by the whole thing and I appreciate it,” Hugill said this week. “Our PTA does a nice job.”
       The award, sponsored by the El Paso Council PTA and School District 11, honors teaching excellence. Like the other five D-11 teachers who were selected, Hugill is to receive (at a formal banquet May 3) $500 to be used in the classroom, plus a crystal apple mounted on a plaque and a Michael Garman statue.
       To meet award requirements, the PTA helped Hugill assemble a “book” about his career and contributions to society and education. “When you do that book, you really reflect on your career,” he said. That's where the humility stems from, the realization that, as he phrased it, “I got there on the shoulders of others.”
       Elaborating on that thought, Hugill pointed out that he has tried to observe “others who were successful, and to incorporate their best traits into what I do.”
       As a teacher, he also tried to get across that concept to students, “to emulate those who are successful.”
       He also believes he has a responsibility to nurture younger teachers, to get them focused on “being around quality people - principals, teachers and counselors.” He added that “parents too are vital. We're all part of the community.”
       Hugill is well-liked by many students, who hang out in his room during their lunch breaks or who have signed friendly messages to him on one of his classroom walls over the years. When he came to Coronado - after coaching Wasson to a state cross-country title in 1995 - only 16 students (boys and girls) had signed up for the sport in the previous year. Now, Hugill typically has more than 100 on the team.
       Hugill calls himself a “District 11 boy,” having graduated from Wasson High School in 1979, then returning there after college and spending a year student-teaching at Mitchell. He came to Coronado after 15 years at Wasson, and is now finishing his 12th year here.
       “I love it,” Hugill said. “It doesn't even seem like work.”

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