10 Questions with Vinson Lewis


Vinson Lewis in his office.

Written by Emily Dang

Vinson Lewis is the principal of Kerr High School.

Question: What is your opinion of Kerr?

Answer: Kerr has always been and continues to be a great school. One of the ways I think it has changed since I’ve been here is with the addition of an on-line application, more students are able to apply providing an opportunity for a more diverse student population. With the addition of our new fine arts wing, there has also been an opportunity to increase our participation in the area of fine arts (we now have two Jazz Bands) and the ability to showcase many of our fine arts programs in our own building.

Q: What has kept you motivated throughout this year?

A: What has kept me motivated this year is the resiliency I see each and every day in both our students and our staff and being able to successfully remain in face-to-face instruction throughout the school year. Pivoting to remote learning was something we had to do because of the pandemic. I think that face-to-face instruction helps us better facilitate providing adequate academic and social/emotional support to our students.

Q: What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?

A: That’s a good question. Maybe getting married at such an early age.  I married when I was 21 years old and still in college. Many of the marriages of my friends who wed at an early age did not last. I am happy to say that my wife and I will be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary this June. It hasn’t always been easy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Q: What is one item on your bucket list?

A: Learn to speak conversational Spanish. Being bilingual opens the door to many things and living in Texas, speaking Spanish is a definite advantage. I actually started as a Spanish minor in undergrad, but wasn’t able to continue with it because it would’ve added a year of schooling before graduation. I have an app that I use now to continue learning and I get practice as often as I can in the Foreign Language Center.

Q: What song would make the best theme music for you?

A: “I’ll Rise Up” by Andra Day.

Q: What is your idea of the perfect day?

A: Perfect weather, a round of golf in the morning, lunch with friends and dinner with family.

Q: What hobby would you start?

A” Playing a guitar.

Q: Are there any pets you would like to have?

A: I would love to have a pet monkey. For now, our family Shih Tzu, Joey, will have to do.

Q: What is one goal you have for the near future?

A: I have a personal goal of maintaining a consistent morning routine for the next year of waking up at 5:00 am and spending that time exercising, meditating and professional reading.

Q: What is one fact every friend should know about you?

A: I would say that I didn’t initially go to college with the thought of being an educator, let alone a building principal.  I graduated from the High School for the Engineering Professions, a magnet high school in HISD, and therefore initially majored in mechanical engineering as a freshman in college.  While in college, I supplemented my scholarships and student loans by working summer camps with at-risk youth and in after school programs in the Austin Independent School District.  It is through that work that I did not want to pursue a career in Engineering but rather one in education and have the influence of helping to create future engineers, doctors, teachers, etc.  So what I would want others to know is to always turn out how you initially expected them to go, but hard work will allow you to be successful wherever your path leads you.