Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg Observatory at Enid High School

TRIBUTE TO DUSTY HUGABOOM

By: Autum Talamante, EHS Student

Throughout his life, Dusty Hugaboom has had a strong desire to understand. 

Whether it be understanding a simple math problem or understanding how the universe works, this desire to know has driven Dusty to where he is now: in his 17th year teaching astronomy at Enid High School.

As a teacher, Dusty is committed by day to inspiring his students to learn about the cosmos. At night, many times you'll find him inside the Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg Observatory at Enid HIgh School helping his students SEE the cosmos. On other evenings, you will find Dusty observing stars of a different kind at the Enid Events Center, where he works part-time in a variety of capacities. He particularly enjoys those nights when there is a concert at the center. You see, Dusty is also a music lover.

Dusty was born and raised in Buffalo, OK. He grew up around a close-knit group of kids who have traveled with him throughout his life’s journey so far. In high school, Dusty did well academically, played basketball and football, and ran track. After school, he was a member of a semi-notorious garage band, playing lead guitar. He’ll tell you he still “dabbles” with music today and, thanks to his part-time job, he gets to enjoy a variety of musical acts when they come to town.

The heavens, though, have always been among Dusty's greatest loves. He says his parents helped him find his passion for the stars. For Christmas, the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, Dusty's mother and father bought their eight-year-old son his first telescope, which he used almost every night. 

Armstrong's lunar sojourn had a profound effect on young Dusty. It was then he knew he would do something important with his own life. Maybe not travel to other planets. Maybe not be a rocket scientist. But, Dusty knew he wanted his life’s work to somehow incorporate his fascination with the world around him.  And other worlds, too, perhaps.

Dusty received his Bachelor's of Science degree in biology from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, with minors in chemistry and psychology.  His first job out of school was at Enid’s Gold Spot Dairy as a loss-control coordinator. He worked for Gold Spot for almost nine years before he realized his true calling: the classroom. 

Dusty started at Enid High School in 1994, teaching physical science. He soon added other courses to his teaching portfolio.  In 2000, he began teaching high school astronomy. And in doing so, Dusty found his life's calling. 

What Dusty likes most about his teaching job is that it enables him to provide his students—in the inspiring settings of his astronomy classroom and the Currie-Gregg observatory—with the incentive to excel. He admits he’s told hundreds of students through the years that once they ignite their curiosity, they can accomplish anything they set their mind to doing.

There's still a bit of the curious boy inside Enid High School's astronomy teacher. He’s never forgotten the words of Neil Armstrong. Not the ones Armstrong famously uttered as he set foot on the moon that July night in 1969, but these, which have motivated Dusty Hugaboom for most of his life:

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand”  

EHS Astronomy Teachers

Jim Smeltzer

Nolen Harsh

Dusty Hugaboom

 

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