John Hughes

Sometimes opportunities come along – and you've got to be ready!

This is what happened to Jon Hughes, eight-year veteran instructor in the West Shore ESD's "IT: Networking"CTE program.

"Teaching students has been one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding jobs I've ever done," Jon said.

Prior to landing his teaching position, Jon was an IT technician with the ESD. In this role he would provide support for all of the ESD's programs. Opportunity came knocking when he heard about an opening for a marketing instructor. After going through the formal interview and credentialing process, he got the job.

It was a good fit right from the start.

Jon's college degree is in marketing, and early in his career, a number of his previous positions required a combination of marketing and IT applications.

After a couple of years of teaching marketing in the CTE program, Jon was approached about starting and teaching an IT class, meaning he'd have to choose to continue in marketing or shift into launching the new IT class.

"I liked the idea of starting something from the ground up and I have been here ever since," Jon said.

Being able to share his knowledge and experience with students is gratifying.

"It feels good helping a young person pursue their goals," he said. "There's no better feeling than when a student contacts me, years after graduation, to tell me that my class helped them to figure out what they wanted to do with their career."

As you can imagine, the IT: Networking class has its own set of learning and certification complexities.

All of Jon's students attempt the IT Fundamentals exam with the

option to earn the A+ certification.

IT: Networking classes are maxed at 20 students and second year students have a choice to choose the certification they would like to earn.

Students can choose from Network +, Security +, or Ethical Hacking. And they can attempt the Part 107 Drone Pilot certification.

Jon holds several educational degrees and professional certifications through Muskegon Community College, Ferris State, Western Michigan, and GVSU.

His wife, Shelby Wagner-Hughes, is the Work Based Learning Coordinator at CTE and they have a daughter, Abby, who is a senior at Pentwater Public Schools.

student working on compuerstudent in class