Ms. Debra Pugh was born and raised in Richwood, WV, a small lumber and coal town on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest, and is the first generation of her immediate family to attend college. After high school she attended West Virginia Institute of Technology; however, she withdrew at the end of the year when she realized that she had no idea what she wanted to do. After moving to NJ with her husband, she received an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Burlington County Community College, in Pemberton, NJ.
When her children were old enough to make their own grilled cheese sandwiches, she decided that it was time to finish her undergraduate degree. She graduated from Concord College, in Athens, WV, with a Bachelor’s in Literature two days after her 40th birthday. She then went to Radford University, where she was awarded a Master’s degree in Literature.
She started at Hargrave in 2006 where she has taught the spectrum of courses in dual-enrollment, honors and standard level English, Speech, Creative Writing, and SAT Prep.
Ms. Pugh is currently the English and Languages Department Chair. Having taught for four years at the college level, the thing she loves the most about teaching at Hargrave is providing a safe place for students to make the mistakes that are a necessary part of the learning process.
She says, “It is OK for students to make mistakes, but we have to own our mistakes. I make mistakes all the time. I would much rather they make those mistakes in my classroom and learn from them now, rather than make them in another environment where the outcomes could be far more damaging and not at all positive.”
She is married to the Rev. Mikel Pugh, and they have two adult children. Their son Cody is a regional truck driver with Prime, Inc. Their daughter Carrie, a former Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga, is currently teaching English in Japan with the JET Program. Ms. Pugh’s hobbies include drinking tea on the back porch with a lap full of cats and playing and modding video games.