Coffee Chat with Charles Lawson

Would you tell the readers a bit about your family and background?

My parents are Bill and Deanna Lawson of Hillsboro. I began my education in Mrs. Suzi Boyd’s kindergarten class at Hillsboro Elementary and graduated from Coffee County Central High School in 1989. My teaching career includes stops in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Skwentna, Alaska; Wasilla, Alaska; Franklin County Schools, Tennessee; Coffee County Schools, Tennessee; Larsen Bay, Alaska; and Tullahoma City Schools, Tennessee. After teaching, I served as an assistant principal at Tullahoma High School and a principal at East Middle School in Tullahoma. My wife, Kari, is a teacher at Westwood Elementary School; my son, Travis, is an incoming freshman at MTSU; and my daughter, Wren, is a junior at CCCHS.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy several outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, camping, travel, and motorcycle riding. Sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow me to engage in these activities as much as I did when I was younger. However, every opportunity I do get is a means to relax and helps me refocus at work and home.

How did you find your passion for education?

My mother was a teacher in the Coffee County School District for many years and I grew up with some idea of what it took to be a teacher. When I began my teacher training at MTSU, I wasn’t absolutely certain that teaching was going to be my career. During the last year and a half of earning my undergraduate degree, I got a job in a juvenile corrections facility to help pay for school. It was working with the youth in this facility that made me truly passionate about working with kids and solidified my decision to go into education. It is a decision that I have never regretted.

What are some of your goals for Coffee County Schools?

My goals are the same as every educator I know in Coffee County Schools. We want to provide an environment in which students can learn and feel safe. We want our schools to be a place that parents feel comfortable leaving their children in our care. Specific curricular and academic goals will be developed with input from multiple parties, but there hasn’t been enough time to develop some of those ideas yet.

What are some of your favorite aspects of the job?

So far, my favorite aspect of this new job is the opportunity to travel to the different schools and be a part of the various happenings. So far these activities have included open houses, back-to-school bashes, a faculty play production, athletic events, and faculty meetings. I am looking forward to a season of fall festivals, parent-teacher conferences, homecoming activities, and a variety of other activities that occur in our schools.

‘Thrilled to come back’

Education has been my career and my passion for most of my life. I am thrilled to come back to a school district in which I received so many positive experiences in my childhood. I have had the opportunity to watch my own children progress through this district and have seen their academic development over the years. I am excited that I get to be a part of providing these same opportunities to other children in this community. This job has truly allowed me to “come home.”