Farragut High School has two new assistant principals for 2020-21: Dr. Charlene Lewis, 12th-grade assistant principal, Class of 2021; and Cara Vaughn, 11th-grade assistant principal, Class of 2022.
Lewis replaces Karey Lowdermilk and Vaughn replaces Ryan Milani, said FHS principal Dr. John Bartlett, who is enthusiastic about the new arrivals.
Lewis “is of the hardest workers I have ever been around,” he said. “She is a skilled knowledgeable professional that loves life and loves kids. We are thrilled she is with us at Farragut High School.”
Vaughn “is one of the absolutely best persons I have ever been around,” Bartlett added. “Her passion for her students and her colleagues is unmatched. She truly is a joy to be around and is already serving the Farragut Community in big ways.”
Lewis is a Knoxville native who has a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and both a master’s degree and doctorate degree from the University of Tennessee. She started her teaching career in Hamilton County.
She returned to Knoxville about nine years ago to work as a Teacher Advancement Program master teacher at Vine Middle School and Austin-East High School. She also served as assistant principal for three years each at South-Doyle High School and Northwest Middle School.
“I am super excited to be back in high school because I love helping students discover their full potential while transitioning into society as young adults,” she said.
“This year I will be working with seniors — my focus is to make them have a great year, even though things are different. I will also be working closely with our school senior counselor and career/college counselor to help students reach their goals after graduation.
“One of the things I continue to tell students and teachers is to ‘Embrace the Moment’ we know it’s not the normal type of school year, but we are going to make special memories for the class of 2021.”
Lewis’ additional job duties include: coordinating mentors to help support new teachers with the New Admirals Academy; Teacher Celebrations and Incentives and Student recognitions.
“I have only been a part of the Farragut family for a couple of months and already feel the energy and love from the community,” she added. “I am thankful to be working at such a great school with so many wonderful teachers, students and staff.
Lewis said she “has been married to my wonderful husband Charles for 18 years, but we have been together for 26,” and the couple has two daughters, Nastashia and J’Nahla.
She said she enjoys reading, hiking, biking, writing and also “loves butterflies. Sort of my inner connection to Dolly Parton, and I’m a big Snoopy fan, too.”
Vaughn, a native of Mur-freesboro, where she grew up “on a Tennessee Walking Horse farm,” has a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Tech University, and has both a master’s degree and an Ed.S degree from Lincoln Memorial University.
She taught in Sevierville, then came to Knox County Schools in 2013 as a chemistry teacher at Bearden High School. Since then, she moved into working as an instructional coach and administrator before being tapped to join the FHS faculty.
“I was originally interested in working in the medical field, but that plan changed after I got involved in Young Life and began working with a group of high school students while I was at TTU,” Vaughn said. “I realized very quickly that I absolutely loved being in a high school and supporting students. I met with my adviser (who) said I need to change my major to education because I am meant to be in schools. She said, ‘Well, you have a lot of science classes, do you want to be a science teacher?’
“If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. “
Vaughn is very excited to be at FHS.
“I am working with the Class of 2022 this year, and have enjoyed getting to know them these first few days,” she said. “The students have been so kind as I am introducing myself to them in the halls and cafeteria, and I have also been impressed with how well everyone has done wearing masks and social distancing.
“I am also working closely to support the FHS staff and students with the 1:1 rollout,” Vaughn added.
“I want the community to know that I am here to support their students. I truly love coming to work each day and I am excited to learn about the many traditions at Farragut High School.”
Vaughn and her husband, Brad Vaughn, who is a mechanical engineer in Oak Ridge, and their children, Nora and Cohen, live in West Knox County.
Vaughn said a “fun fact” about herself is that she “loves dress up days. Whether it is for spirit week, Homecoming, fundraiser, etc…. I love to show school spirit by dressing up in costume!