Debbie Vaughn, Lebanon Special School District (LSSD) English as a Second Language (ESL) specialist and creator/educator of the Community Involvement through Education Literacy Organization (CIELO) will retire this year, LSSD officials recently announced.
Nationally certified in ESL, Vaughn has over 20 years of instructional experience in ESL with children and adults. She holds a master's in bilingual cultural studies and created the CIELO program in 2006 to meet the needs of LSSD second-language families. In keeping with the LSSD's goal to offer free resources for the community, Vaughn also taught Spanish lessons to Wilson County residents.
"One of the best things about the CIELO program is the feeling of fellowship. Learning another language is difficult, but Debbie made it fun. We hosted yard sales, game nights, parent workshops and the most fabulous potluck dinners ever. Multiple cultures combined and, when food is involved, everyone speaks the same language, 'Let's eat!'" LSSD Family Resource Center Coordinator Beth Petty said. "Many of our staff have benefited from Debbie's Spanish classes as well as community- and faith-based leaders who have a desire to alleviate language barriers.
"Coming into it, we knew the educational value of the program but got so much more in the sense of 'family' that permeated the room whenever we met for dinner."
In keeping with the tradition, LSSD will see Vaughn off in covered dish fashion. On Thursday, May 21, LSSD will host a CIELO dinner. All LSSD staff, along with anyone who has participated in CIELO or wants to wish Vaughn well, is invited to come and bring their favorite dish. The dinner will be held at Castle Heights Elementary School at 6 p.m.