WOW Rachel VANDY

Rachel Wilson teaches criminal justice at Lebanon High School. She is well versed in the subject, having obtained her teaching degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Nashville School of Law in 2010. 

Wilson grew up in Mt. Juliet and attended Gladeville Elementary before graduating from Mt. Juliet High School in 1992. 

From there she attended MTSU to pursue a career in special education. 

“I have a relative that was born with intellectual and physical disabilities. She greatly influenced my decision to pursue teaching and specifically the area of special education,” Wilson explained.

Her first teaching job was at Watertown High School. She also taught at Lakeview Elementary before putting her career on hold.

“In 2006, I made the decision to leave my teaching position to stay at home with my children and better support the needs of my family. My plans soon changed after a difficult and unexpected divorce,” she said. “I used the situation as an opportunity to further my education. As a single mother of children ages 2, 4, and 9, I enrolled in law school. With much support from my family, I graduated from Nashville School of Law.  Attorney Susan Merry welcomed me into her office and I worked primarily in the area of juvenile law in Wilson County before returning to my education profession.”

At LHS she can combine her two passions. 

“I love teaching at Lebanon and I've been so impressed with the students and the organization and structure of the school,” Wilson said.

Her oldest child, Lauren, 23, is a student at Tennessee Tech University. Sons Tucker, 17, and Cooper, 14, attend Wilson Central High School.

Wilson is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and a tnAchieves Mentor.

In her spare time, she enjoys watching her sons play football at WCHS or shopping with her daughter. Wilson listed camping, hiking and traveling as favorite hobbies.

Wilson named Dr. Melinda Hirschmann and her mother, Barbara Whittle, as two women she admires.

She called Hirschmann “one of the most intelligent ladies I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.”

“My mother, Barbara Whittle, is the most selfless person I know. She has played many roles in her life: public school teacher, pre-school teacher at MJCA, Mt. Juliet Library employee, private school owner, mother and wife,” Wilson said. “She has dedicated her life to children, her own and those of others. By example, my mother has taught me of unconditional love, kindness, generosity, empathy and tolerance of difference, forgiveness and perseverance in the face of adversity.” 

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