Meet Patrick & Jessica Vaughan

Great Hearts Academies August 17, 2022

Vaughan FamilyPatrick and Jessica Vaughan moved to Phoenix, Ariz. from Dallas, TX after Patrick accepted an offer to teach Medieval History at Mesa Prep (now Arete Prep).  Patrick was impressed with the Socratic Method of teaching and the Humane Letter classes offered at Great Hearts and knew this was where he was meant to be.

Now in his 10th year of teaching at Arete, Patrick has taught Humane Letters, Medieval History, served as Dean, a Senior Thesis Advisor, and now teaches in the Exceptional Student Services (ESS) program. Patrick said he was drawn to his current role by a particular student that he observed in the halls last year.  Patrick watched the student as he overcame many struggles but still maintained a sense of joy and delight.  “The biggest truth that I have found in teaching is that teaching is fundamentally a relationship,” Patrick explained.  “And it clicked that getting to teach ESS would be one-on-one or one-on-two instruction and how much more of a relationship I could build with students in that setting, so I gravitated toward that need.”

Jessica was attracted to the “family feel” of the Arete campus and took a position as the Academy Giving Manager 5 years ago.  Today she serves as Director of Family Giving and Annual Campaigns under the Great Hearts Foundation.  Jessica says her work for the non-profit is rewarding because the mission of Great Hearts is so important to her.

They both admire the culture of Great Hearts and feel fortunate that they get to share in that culture as a married couple in addition to being colleagues.  Jessica added, “’It’s a really unique thing to have your person and your best friend in the world know intimately the work that you do because they work for the same organization.” This awareness helps when one of them has had a particularly hard day because the other spouse has a deeper understanding of the shared challenges they face.

They love the mission of Great Hearts, and they are both thankful to have been a part of this community for many years and many years to come.  They both agree that they feel so lucky to work for an organization that both inspires and excites them.  Jessica went on to say, “We know how lucky we are to get to spend our time doing work that we love, knowing it will have a lasting impact on the future of our society.”

Away from work, Jessica loves to cook and has recently set a goal of trying one new recipe a week.  While talking about her interests, she very casually slipped in that she is also learning the ukulele.

Patrick and Jessica have 2 daughters.  Lily is a 7th grader at Arete Prep and is involved in volleyball and other sports.  Their youngest, Eleanor, is a 4th grader at Archway Arete who is currently taking dance.  The Vaughan family enjoys hiking and being outdoors.  They love to take road trips and in recent years did a national park tour that covered several thousand miles. They have tried to garden at home, but Jessica admits it’s a struggle to keep things alive.

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