Humans of Cape Henry: Mrs. Ali Bugg – Nexus Operations Manager


Caption: Mrs. Bugg is always contributing to Cape Henry’s theater productions in the Perry Auditorium or is hard at work in her office planning for upcoming Nexus trips! Photo Credit: Michael Russo

Mrs. Bugg grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and lived there throughout her childhood.  Until she reached third grade, Mrs. Bugg attended Quaker school, then transferred to a Catholic school and graduated from an all-girls high school. Afterward, Mrs. Bugg studied at Temple University in her hometown of Philadelphia.  In 2003, she graduated with her degree in Journalism, Public Relations, and Advertising with an emphasis on investigative reporting.

During her time in college, Mrs. Bugg worked at Philadelphia Daily News as a full-time intern.  Mrs. Bugg was given the assignment to interview a mother of two sons: the younger son was killed in a gang drive-by; the older son was a member of the gang.  After this experience, Mrs. Bugg realized, “I could not go up to a grieving mother and ask her, ‘How are you? What can you share with me?’ after such a horrible experience”  Mrs. Bugg wanted to change her major, but she would have needed to take more classes and stay in college longer, so she stuck with her current journalism route.

Mrs. Bugg always had a theater hobby, but after she made the decision to pursue a different interest to study, her hobby transformed into her passion.  For graduate school, Mrs. Bugg went to Rutger’s University in New Brunswick, New Jersey to study Stage Managing; she said the reason she chose the school was because “They had a large faculty and they didn’t make me take the GRE!”  She graduated from Rutger’s in 2007 and proceeded to be a part of five Broadway productions and several others off-Broadway and in the region.

At one point during her ventures in theater, Mrs. Bugg talked to a friend from graduate school… who later became her husband.  The newlyweds moved to Kentucky for two years where Mrs. Bugg taught Stage Managing and Theater at Marshall. After their time in Kentucky, the Buggs moved to Virginia Beach after Mr. Bugg received a job offer in the area.  When they first arrived, Mrs. Bugg became an adjunct at Regent University and worked with their theater department.

While at Regent, Mrs. Bugg received a suggestion to talk to Mrs. Stephanie Fluharty, Cape Henry Collegiate’s Head of Performing Arts.  Mrs. Bugg was already planning on speaking with Mrs. Fluharty, but she was happy to have a reference to use. After contacting Mrs. Flu, Mrs. Bugg got an immediate response.  She came to see CHC’s production of Noises Off and talk to Mrs. Fluharty in person when she was pregnant with her daughter Emilia (‘32).  Later, Mrs. Bugg had her daughter and around the same time, Mr. Willy Fluharty’s (Director of the Nexus Center for Global Studies, History Dept. Chair) assistant quit, so Mrs. Fluharty suggested that Mrs. Bugg join the CHC community and take over the position.  During her time in Cape Henry, Mrs. Bugg has been on several trips as Nexus Operations Manager, taught an Independent Study in Stage Managing and been the Assistant Director for the annual Grades 5-7 Musical for the past three years; she helps out whenever she can with the Upper School theater productions.

Outside of the members of the theater department, Mrs. Bugg said she thinks most people do not know of the time she spent on Broadway.  In addition, she said, “Ironically, since I work with Nexus. I don’t really like to travel!” Her reasons for not wanting to travel much are mainly because she likes having a clear schedule and sticking to her routine; she also does not enjoy flying.

Other than her marriage and having children, Mrs. Bugg said one of the best experiences in her life was when she worked on the crew of Billy Elliot the Musical, her favorite Broadway show that she was involved in.  Mrs. Bugg worked on this production for two years, the longest she ever was with a show.  She enjoyed Billy Elliot the Musical the most because it was critically well-received and was nominated and won a slew of Tony awards; she added, “The experience was already amazing but it was even nicer to have it be so successful.”  Mrs. Bugg prides herself on getting to Broadway because there is a small percentage of people in the theater industry that actually make it there.

A lesson that Mrs. Bugg has learned throughout her life is “karma is real.”  Though she has not received the effects of karma, she has witnessed it and believes that things both good and bad will come back to you.

In the near future, Mrs. Bugg is hoping to present at the Global Education Benchmark Group Conference, an organization of schools like CHC with curricula similar to Cape Henry’s Nexus program.  She hopes to encourage as many kids as possible to participate in Global Studies, saying “It really impacts you to play a part in seeing kids’ lives changed after going on these trips. Mr. Fluharty and I want to make more opportunities available to more students and make it accessible for everyone.”

Whether she is in her office or in the auditorium, everyone can agree that Mrs. Bugg is truly a gift to have in the Cape Henry community.