Welcome, New Culinary Teacher!


Earlier this year, Ms. Johnson retired from her position as the school’s culinary teacher. Luckily, her seat was not left empty for long; a new teacher was quickly able to fill the gap her presence left behind. Mr. Thomas transferred to Lenoir City High School and began his work at the beginning of the Spring semester.

“I have worked in Culinary education for the last seven and a half years. I taught for five years at the UT Culinary Institute, then at Austin-East Magnet High School for the past two and a half years. My family and I live here in Lenoir City and I am happy to be working so much closer to home,” Thomas said.

Mr. Thomas is going back to his roots — he was a student at LCHS back in his high school years. He is taking on the special experience of teaching at a school that he also attended as a teenager.

“It feels great to not only be back at the high school I attended myself, but to be teaching at a school within my own community, sharing what I know with young people that live where I live.  That is a powerful feeling,” Thomas said.

Seeing as he has not been back since his teenage years, the school has made several changes. One of the many differences includes the addition of the culinary track, the subject Mr. Thomas teaches.

“The number of students isn’t much different, however the opportunities offered are much greater. For LCHS to have thirteen CTE programs of which to offer its students and show them potential career paths beyond high school is really special. They did not offer Culinary Arts when I was a student here, let alone STEM, criminal justice, cosmetology, etc.,” Thomas said.

Despite joining the staff unexpectedly in the middle of the year, the transition to the new job has been a smooth one. Mr. Thomas has not had any troubles adjusting to his new position here.

“The school is familiar and the students have been really great so far. They’ve been open to accepting me in as a new teacher starting mid-year, which can be a hard transition for everyone, it’s been really fortunate,” Thomas said.

Mr. Thomas has received a warm welcome from everyone he has encountered so far, and, hopefully, the rest of this school year will continue to be a positive experience.