Image of Alicia Hughes

Alicia Hughes

Executive Director

Bachelor of Arts Degree, Secondary Social Studies Education, Winthrop University; Master’s Degree, Historic Preservation, University of Georgia; Master’s Degree, Educational Administration, American Public University 

Alicia Hughes joined South Carolina Connections Academy in 2010, and became the school leader in 2022. One of her favorite aspects of teaching at Connections Academy is the flexibility to make learning innovative and meaningful without the constraints of rigid bell schedules.

Why I Became an Educator

From as far back as I can remember, I loved helping people learn to grow--it started with helping the teacher help others ... but as I grew, it morphed into a desire to guide others to their full potential throughout high school and beyond. But as I grew, it morphed into a desire to guide others to their full potential throughout high school and beyond. I also had amazing teachers over the years who taught me the immeasurable value of putting relationships above content and students’ needs above curriculum, which was a model for my own personal values and practices.

What differentiates Connections Academy from a traditional public school is our flexibility and ability to truly tailor instruction to the individual needs of our students. Accommodations can be more readily made due to the virtual nature of our program. Biases and bullying and anxieties can be drastically minimized due to the students’ remote locations.  

The Online School Experience at South Carlina Connections Academy

Our staff believes wholeheartedly in building relationships. In fact, they put relationships and students’ well-being first, as they know without that trust and mental safety, learning cannot occur. From a procedural perspective, it is our expectation that welcome calls be completed within 24 business hours of a student’s start date and that all communication be returned within the same time frame.  

Our students have the opportunity to fully engage in extracurricular activities while also focusing on learning. The educational opportunities provided are filled with variety so that no matter your interests or background, you can find your passion. For high school students, completing college-level coursework or participating in a work study program is very possible, due to the flexible schedule.  

Furthermore, our staff are all highly qualified in their content areas, with continuous professional development training opportunities, so they are experts in their fields and can provide deeper knowledge and explanations on an individual level.  

“My favorite part of this job is the people. Hands down. I work with the most amazing staff of educators on the planet every single day.” 

—  Ms.Hughes