Meet: Richard Vaughan & Amy Leonard Vaughan
WCC Class of: Richard, 1991 & Amy, 1995
WCC Degree: Richard, A.A.S., Police Science with a Certificate, Law Enforcement & Amy, A.A.S., Management
Favorite WCC Instructor(s): Richard: Richard “Doc” Weiss & Amy: Art Davis, Al Jennings, & Charles Robertson
WCC Legacy: Wytheville Community College is family tradition for the Leonard and Vaughan families. Richard and Amy’s son Jacob completed 26 dual enrollment credits at Grayson County High School through WCC. Richard’s two sisters, Rhonda and Rheda, and Amy’s two sisters, Lisa and Heather, and her mom, Sharon, all attended WCC.
Favorite WCC Memories: As a WCC student in the early ‘90s,Richard has fond memories of playing ping pong in the student lounge with friends (and rumor has it that some of those times may have overlapped with class time—he pleads the fifth). As a WCC criminal justice student, Richard specifically remembers attending cognitive therapy sessions with Professor “Doc” Weiss at Bland Correctional Facility and hearing chilling real-life crime stories from prison inmates who were serving time for murder convictions. That sounds…educational.
After WCC: The early years of marriage were never boring for Amy and Richard. He attended Rappahannock Regional Criminal Justice Academy, then Bluefield College and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration while simultaneously attending the Department of Forensic Science Academy in Richmond, and Amy opened a successful bakery. And they started a family. Whew—we’re tired just thinking about it!
“We were both able to work, go to college, and raise a family at the same time, without leaving the support system of our families and local community. That part was so important!”
Today: On any given day in the quaint county seat of Independence where the old historic 1908 courthouse still stands across the street from the Sheriff’s Department, you’ll see now Sheriff Richard Vaughan serving Grayson County by making the rounds—he knows everybody by first name—often in thoughtful conversation with the local citizens outside the courthouse, as he waves to his daughter and her friends as they pass by the sheriff’s office after school. Of course, not all days are so sublime; Vaughan has worked his share challenging, high-profile cases in the area. He was elected as Sherriff of Grayson County in 2007 after working as an officer in Wythe County for several years. Amy is also a familiar face in Grayson County, particularly to parents and school children. After spending 10 years at Fairview Elementary School, Amy now works in Human Resources with Grayson County Public Schools—she knows all your kids’ by first and last name and, if necessary, the middle name, too.
Giving Back: On Sunday mornings, you can find Amy behind the microphone at Fries Pentecostal Holiness Church, where she serves as the music minister. Richard serves as the Sunday school superintendent, and they are both also youth leaders at the church and work with Gideons International.
P.S.: Lifelong residents of Grayson County, Richard and Amy both grew up in the riverside town of Fries and have been happily married for 23 years. They are very proud parents to Jacob, 20, a student at East Tennessee State University, and Emily, 15, a student at Grayson County High School.
Notable: Sheriff Vaughan currently serves at the President of the Virginia Sherriff’s Association, one of the few from Southwest Virginia and the only sheriff from Grayson County to ever hold that title. Congratulations Sheriff Vaughan!