“Why Did the Germ Cross the Microscope?” Ms. Pugh


Andrew McEntire

Ms. Pugh, enthusiastically pointing at her whiteboard, where written is a lovely message!

Andrew McEntire, Staffer

When thinking back on our high school experience, a major part of the time spent was influenced by the adults around us. One of the best of which, unequivocally, is the popular Ms. Pugh. It could be alleged that, being a student of hers for a time, that I’m incredibly biased. However, most recount her ‘lax, yet energetically positive nature. For example, a usual conversation pertaining to her kind soul entails a few OMGs and fangirling. In addition to her charismatic character, she also happens to instruct one of the best topics available: Science.

Biology honors and AP teacher, Ms. Pugh, sitting at her desk with a room brightening smile!

“Let’s see, I’m Ms. Pugh, and I’ve been at Sunlake, I think, 9 years. But I’ve been teaching for 14 years now, total. But only in Florida for the last nine. I’ve taught almost everything science here, except for chemistry. I’ve taught biology, environmental science, anatomy, physical science… Yeah, all that at Sunlake!” she continues, “I think what attracted me to the role at first was just to be a positive role model to the community, because I did come into teaching late into my second year. I had my first son and I worked in the preschool with him, and I just liked the school atmosphere; but not the preschool level. So, I was like: I have my degree in biology so I can go into an education career at a high school level, so that’s what I did!” After further interrogation regarding the leap from sweet little kids to rambunctious high schoolers, Ms. Pugh humorously adds “I did not like the sweet little kids.”

When asked about her favorite parts and moments that come with her line of work she notes, “well the students of course!” Further explaining, “the most fun is to interact with the students. The part I like is during labs when people are kind of standoffish, but then they get really excited about it when it’s actually time to do science. I think that’s the fun that we have.”

For future students, she’d like to say “You have to do the assignments before we go over them. I think them waiting for me to do the work for them and just copying the work blindly from their neighbor just hurts. You have to take responsibility for your own learning, and if you don’t, you’re going to struggle because just listening to me is usually not enough. So, for the future, they just need to take responsibility for their own learning, and they need to do the work even if it’s not graded. But you’re here to learn stuff, right? Not just have me tell you stuff!” As hypocritical as it is coming from a self-proclaimed professional procrastinator and work-rushing aficionado, it’s important to make the most of topics. Especially in a classes such as these. Participation not only means a whole lot to those giving their time, but also to yourself as you’re allowing yourself to learn and experience something new. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to pick up good habits, better now than never.

As a closer and well-deserved tribute, these past students of Ms. Pugh had a few words to say. Previous interviewee, Emily Witkowski, Junior, says, “She made me feel like I wanted to be there; she made learning more adaptable and better.” Emily goes on to say, “She is very understanding of her students and how every student needed a specific sort of atmosphere, and she was able to provide comprehensible and understandable way of teaching.” After a few moments of fruitless contemplation, Emily continues “I’m trying to think of something ‘not all the greatest’ to say but I physically cannot reach into the back of my mind to find anything bad about this woman.” Next up is Gabrielle Rosario, Junior, she says, “She’s very understanding if you get busy and need extra time on an assignment – sweetest lady on the planet. Lots of fun.” Finally, we have one anonymous speaker who is not me, Andrew McEntire, Junior, journalism extraordinaire, whom would like to share that, “If Ms. Pugh ever treated us like kids, she treated us like her kids. People like her truly inspire and influence individuals to be kinder and to have, at least, a little fun in our day-to-day and I appreciate that. Sincerely. But before I forget, It Was to Get to the Other Slide!”