Bearden faculty members come together to discover musical secrets of Mr. Myers


Abby Ann Ramsey, Entertainment Editor

As Mr. Jason Myers came on staff as the new Bearden principal in August of 2018, students and faculty quickly learned of his dedication to academic excellence and going above and beyond for each person in the school. What everyone did not realize, however, was that Mr. Myers had a mysterious musical past.

Instructional coaches Mrs. Cara Vaughn and Mrs. Haley Jones started to get to know Mr. Myers’s sense of humor a little better as the testing season came along in November, and they quickly decided to use this for some practical jokes.

“We just started thinking, ‘Let’s prank him a little bit. Let’s bring a little laughter and kind of just lighten the mood with everything crazy that’s going on,’” Mrs. Vaughn said.

Soon enough, the two teachers were planting a giant inflatable in Mr. Myers’s office while blasting holiday music, a genre that he “hates with a passion,” according to Mrs. Vaughn. After this, they printed out pictures of their faces and plastered them everywhere in his office and on his car. Their last prank consisted of making a coupon book with their faces in it.

After all the success, Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Jones were at a loss of what to do next, until they caught an interesting tidbit from Mr. Myers himself.

“He was talking to me about podcasts and the sound … and about how he’s into that kinda thing,” Mrs. Jones said.

Added Mrs. Vaughn: “But we could tell he was like beating around the bush on something and so finally… he mentioned that he was in a band.”

Mr. Myers thought that his mention was casual, and he did not expect it to spur so many questions and so much excitement.

“We were talking about our jobs in college and I was like, ‘Well, one of my jobs was I played guitar in a band,’” Mr. Myers said. “Apparently, I do not seem like I was cool enough to be in a band because they so they were so shocked by it.”

The two became ecstatic as they heard this news, knowing that it would automatically give them new material to use for a prank, but quickly discovered that this might be harder than they originally thought.

“We wanted pictures, we wanted videos of his band – anything we can get our hands on to pull another prank on him, whether it was on the Bearden website, whether it was playing through the school,” Mrs. Vaughn said. “We wanted something, and we couldn’t find anything.”

They started asking for the name of the band randomly in meetings, hoping that if they caught him off guard, he would answer, but Mr. Myers was determined to not let them figure it out. After he proved to be no help, they questioned other people, inviting both the Powell and Farragut principals in on the prank. Unfortunately, however, nobody had the answers they were looking for.

Despite the many let-downs, Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Jones never lost sight of their goal. Both were determined to solve the mystery of Mr. Myers’s high school band.

“Supposedly there’s a teacher from his high school that had a poster up in her room of their band, so there has to be something somewhere, but we can’t find it,” Mrs. Jones said.

Even his daughters do not have much information as he rarely discusses this part of his past.

“[My daughters] know that I play guitar, but their reference for that is it’s the thing that I have that I play,” Mr. Myers said.

Since most of the investigative reporting up to this point had been done by a chemistry teacher and a math teacher, The Bark decided it was time to do some digging of our own.

Via an anonymous staff writer of The Bark, we tracked down the phone number of his daughter Kenslie. Unfortunately, she had little information to offer either.

“He doesn’t talk about it really, but I know he was in a band and he still plays guitar,” said Kenslie Myers, a freshman at Lenoir City High School.

Mr. Myers, however, is not necessarily withholding the information from everyone; in fact, he is open to sharing the memories that come with it. He just does not always consider it as a conversation topic.

“I always assume that people when they meet me now don’t think to themselves, ‘I bet that guy played guitar in a rock band!’ It’s not because I try to act like I didn’t, but as your life changes, part of your identity becomes the things that you do,” Mr. Myers said.

“Back then, part of my identity was that I played guitar in this band, just like now part of my identity is that I’m the principal at Bearden High School.”

His intent in not giving over the name was mainly to keep Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Jones from getting what they wanted so badly.

“Mrs. Vaughn has been torturing me about this,” he said. “The funny thing is is it was really only about bothering Mrs. Vaughn. I don’t care that people know what [the name of the band] is.”

Mrs. Vaughn also thinks he is perpetuating the secret just to mess with the two, but is confident this will not be the end of the prank war.

“It’s become such a big deal that he can’t let the cat out of the bag because then it’ll be over, and we’ll find something else,” Mrs. Vaughn said. “He says he plays a sport, he says he’s a good golfer, I mean we will find something.”

Despite the sarcasm, all three parties have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other through such an odd, humorous situation.

“It’s been neat because anytime you’re working for a new boss, you kind of don’t know each other, and so this has just kinda been a fun form of humor for us to banter back and forth and take a stressful job and just make it fun,” Mrs. Vaughn said.

After much interrogation by Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Jones, Mr. Myers explained to The Bark that he did, indeed, play guitar for a band throughout high school and college. It was inspired by rock legends including The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. They played venues across East and Middle Tennessee, participated in festivals, and released a CD, which, according to Mr. Myers, is not available.

So without further ado – Mrs. Vaughn and Mrs. Jones, pay attention – the band name you’ve been desperately trying to find is…

Mojo Filter.

It was inspired by the lyric from the classic opener to The Beatles’ Abbey Road, and now that the mystery is solved, we can all sing along and “Come together…right now – over [Mr. Myers].”