Hughes is completing the term of the late Bill “Chief” Robertson, who died in April 2011.
He was selected to fill Robertson’s District 5 seat by the remaining City Council members.
Hughes came to Cleveland in the early 1960s, obtaining a bachelor of arts degree at Lee University. He later received his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville), and followed with his education specialist degree from UT-Knoxville in 1975.
Following his graduation at Lee, he was a coach and member of the Lee faculty. He then became a professor and athletics director at Lee, serving until 1975.
In 1975 he accepted the position of principal at Bradley Central, guiding the state’s largest high school (at that time) for 21 years (until 1996). In the mid-1980s the school received recognition as a National School of Excellence, with the award presented to Hughes in the Rose garden at the White House by President Ronald Reagan.
Hughes also became the owner of 200 apartments in Tennessee and Georgia.
From 1996 until 1999, Hughes was executive director of the Tennessee Association of Secondary School Principals, traveling across the state.
Hughes then became owner and manager of the Holiday Inn Mountain View, which became the Mountain View Inn shortly after the turn of the century.
He and his wife, Brenda, and son Richie, recently completed construction of the new Holiday Inn Express and are now managing both hotel complexes.
Cleveland is a very progressive city,” Hughes said. “Even during a depressed economy, the community has made great strides with all the new industry. It’s very gratifying to be a small part of the great things that are taking place.
“If I can contribute to the future of Cleveland and Bradley County, I will be happy,” Hughes continued. “I will spend what time necessary to see we continue on a positive path.
Hughes has been selected to a number of honorary groups and associations. He is proud of his service as Tennessee State Beta Club Council chairman, and his selection as National Beta Club board chairman from 1999 until the present. He continues on the national board, and as a chairman of the Tennessee Beta Clubs Executive Committee.
The Tennessee Beta Club Council has grown from approximately 300 honor students at its inception 16 years ago to more than 6,700 at the 2012 state convention.
Hughes was Tennessee Principal of the Year in 1995.
Hughes initiated a new Cleveland Beta Club at North Lee Elementary School this year, at the request of North Lee Principal Nat Akiona. There are 29 honor students in the new club. Akiona and his wife, Sandy, are co-chairs of Hughes’ re-election campaign.
His athletic accomplishments include coach of the year honors in the Southern Christian Athletic Association six times, Jaycees Coach of the Year for the Greater Bradley County Area in 1968, winning a NCCAA national championship in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1968, and a second national title in 1973 in Azusa, Calif. His coaching record includes 254 victories and only 64 defeats.
He has been chairman of the Bradley County Board of Education, vice president and fund-drive chairman for Junior Achievement, president and Education Committee chairman for the Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce, president of the Cleveland Family YMCA board, chairman of the Bachman Home Advisory board, on the advisory committee of Cleveland-Bradley United Way, vice chairman and board member of Cleveland Utilities.
An active member of North Cleveland Church of God, Hughes has been a member of the Church Council, Finance Committee chairman, chairman of the 75th Anniversary Committee, and chairman of the 1998 Churchwide Fundraising Campaign.
He is married to the former Brenda Marlene Roberson of Chattanooga. They were blessed with three children, Dale Richard Jr. (Richie), Keri Marcel and Eddie Joe; daughter-in-law, Stephanie; and grandchildren: Halle and Kaleigh.