Gloucester County School Board members paused at the beginning of their Tuesday meeting to remember their colleague, Dr. Jean E. Pugh, who died on Sept. 29. Pugh, 84, was a member of the board for 24 years and was the Gloucester Point Magisterial District representative at the time of her death.
"She loved this community and our schools," said board chairman Anita Parker, adding that Pugh was an advocate for children and a role model for many young adults. A career biology teacher, first in a high school setting and later as a college professor, Pugh retired in 1988 as professor emeritus at Christopher Newport University.
In retirement, Pugh decided to apply for a vacancy on the county school board. She received the appointment to the Abingdon district seat in 1988 before serving as a member at-large. She was elected to the Gloucester Point seat in 1995. Pugh served as chairman of the board for three years and as vice-chairman for a term.
"She believed in what she said and said what she believed," Parker said of the generally outspoken Pugh. Parker said she found Pugh to be a little intimidating when she first joined the board in 2006. That was eased when Pugh told her that the board members "had always agreed to disagree in a respectful manner" and that, at the end of the day, they all wanted what was best for the children in Gloucester schools.