#MNPSVoices: Annie Pugh, Senior Secretary



Ms. Annie Pugh, affectionately known around Metro Nashville Public Schools’ district as Ms. Annie, is a calm, quiet, gentle spirit. She consistently provides words of wisdom to those in need and is readily available to offer a big hug to anyone, when needed.

A native of Chattanooga Tennessee, Pugh came to Nashville in 1964 as a student at Tennessee State University to pursue a degree in early childhood education. She didn’t stay that course long adding that she “wanted to do something else.”

With a new focus in mind, she began to pursue a career in healthcare administration. Pugh worked at a local hospital in Nashville for 32 years with the first 15 years spent in a management position.

This particular field of work was rewarding to Pugh because in addition to her everyday duties, she was allowed to work alongside the hospital’s Information Technology department to help build a new patient care system that would eventually roll-out. “I did everything from budgets and payroll to even ordering hospital furniture,” she said.

After a long-standing career with the hospital, Pugh’s position was eliminated causing her transition to Metro Schools. Her 16-year career in MNPS started in the Human Resources department as a substitute employee. Shortly thereafter, she landed a job as a senior secretary to then-Director of Schools, Dr. Pedro Garcia. Today, Pugh is serving under her third director of schools, Dr. Shawn Joseph and supporting the executive office manager. Although she serves in the same position, her duties have somewhat shifted. Technology at MNPS has evolved over the years too, however, Pugh has adapted well to the new processes.

“Things have changed a lot since I started here,” she said. “I remember when I had to log in every single piece of mail that came into the office and file it as well. Having to learn a new computer system is totally different than when I started here years ago.”

She is grateful for the experiences and the skills she has developed over the years in her past role at the hospital, and believes it prepared her to carry out her day-to-day activities in her current role.

“I have become a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and actually a master a few of them,” Pugh laughed.

One role Pugh has definitely mastered is that of grandparent. She and her college sweetheart-turned-husband of 50 years are proud to have six grandsons and one granddaughter.

When asked about her future goals she said, “I look forward to staying healthy and happy. As for my work goals, I just want to continue to support our director of schools, our children and parents to the best of my ability.”

Pugh has plans to retire but those plans are a little further down the road. As for now, she will continue serving the MNPS community and enjoying some of her favorite pastimes, like reading, quilting and cooking. Until then, she will continue to walk the halls of the Central Office ready and willing to offer a smile and a big hug.

“I don’t want to retire and go home and do nothing,” she said. “[But when I do] I look forward to retiring and traveling the world.”