Stratford High School graduate Hugh Travis is the scout executive (chief executive officer) of the Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which serves nearly 38,000 young people and adults who participate in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, co-ed Venturing Crews and Exploring Posts each year. The Middle Tennessee Council serves 37 counties and Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
He recently toured his alma mater, now Stratford STEM Magnet High School, and continues to value public education.
"It was a great joy to attend school. The chance to be with friends, to experience gifted and talented teachers who were role models. I participated in basketball and baseball. In both cases I was coached by Charles Anderson. He was tough, fair and demanding. I am a better person for having been led by Coach Anderson.
"Going to school with friends and neighbors was important in social development. I learned the basics of hard work, lifelong learning, being a part of a team, developing school and community spirit, all of which prepared me for a life spent in community service," he said.
In addition to Stratford, he attended Jere Baxter Elementary School, now Jere Baxter Middle School. After graduating from Stratford, Mr. Travis enrolled in Tennessee Tech where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1976. That same year, he was hired by the Boy Scouts and launched a noteworthy career that took him across the nation, from California to Maryland, as he progressed through the professional ranks. Before returning to Nashville to lead the Middle Tennessee Council in 2008, he was scout executive in Baltimore, Maryland.
His career in Scouting is an extension of his own Scouting experience that began when he was just 8 years old in third grade. While a Stratford student, he earned Scouting's highest rank, the Eagle Scout. In April of this year, he joined an even more select group when he was honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, for Eagle Scouts who have "distinguished themselves on a national level, receiving recognition or eminence within their field and who have a strong record of voluntary service to their community."
He advises today's students to take pride in their schools and communities.
"Participate in student government, sports and extracurricular activities. The more you put into school and a well rounded education, the more you will get out of it," he said. "Set high expectations for yourself and always remember where you came from and who helped you along the way.
"I am forever indebted to the teachers and staff of Stratford High School who challenged us all to excel and seek improvement," Travis recalled. "Specifically, Ray Carter who taught history and civics, Terry Webb, biology, and Coach Charles Anderson. Humbly, I say 'thank you' to the past and current teachers who give so much."