Lyons set to take helm of Saint Dominic Catholic School

Rick Wagner • Jun 26, 2019 at 2:56 PM

KINGSPORT — Saint Dominic Catholic School is welcoming Darlene Lyons with a Meet the New Principal event from 7 p.m to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in the gym. 

In other words, the days of sweater-vest-wearing Principal Tucker Davis are numbered at the helm of Saint Dominic, but more on that later.

“My agenda is: I’ve been coming for two weeks just to get to know the building, the faculty and staff,” Lyons said Tuesday morning at the school, adding that she is meeting students involved in the School Age Care program this summer. She formally becomes principal Aug. 1.

“What I am finding is I have a top faculty and staff,” Lyons said. “My agenda is to assist them to become even better.” She has three master’s degrees, one each in religion, education and reading, and an undergraduate degree in management. She worked at Saint Anne’s Catholic School in Bristol, Va., and most recently at Saint Mary’s Catholic School in Johnson City. She’s had 27 years in education total, including 17.5 with Catholic schools and 13.5 years with the Diocese of Knoxville.

Lyons has also taught at Northeast State Community College and National Business College. She taught at Valley Institute in Washington County, Va., and Johnson City’s Northside Elementary. A native of Dante, Va., she and her husband, Michael, have lived in Bristol, Tenn., for 36 years and have three daughters, all of whom attended Catholic schools, and one grandchild. 


Davis is retiring as principal after five years, having started in 2014, but said he prefers to call it stepping aside to spend more time with his new 10-month-old grandchild and maybe travel with his wife, although he will stay active in the Saint Dominic parish and help with the school as requested. For the record, Lyons said she won’t be shy about requesting.

“Everybody has been very welcoming,” Lyons said.

“I have really big shoes to fill,” Lyons said. “He’s going to be a tough act to follow.”

Father Michael Cummins, pastor at Saint Dominic Catholic Church, said he is certain the school will continue upward. 

“We are very excited that Darlene is coming onboard,” Cummins said. “Tucker and the faculty and staff have done a wonderful job — and the school board.”

At the end of the 2018-19 academic year, the school had one of Tucker’s sweater vests mounted in a deeper-than-normal frame like a retired basketball jersey. Davis said that was his “uniform” to promote the school. He wore one Tuesday.

Davis also taught at Kingsport’s Sevier Middle School after working 16 years at the Kingsport Press, he said, making this his third “retirement,” although he stressed that he is “stepping aside.”




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