Professor Vaught profiled as “everyday” hero
\00\00 Special to the Daily News
You can say that Middlesboro’s Jamie H. Vaught is an “everyday” hero.
That’s according to a new inspiring book about various Kentuckians who are featured for their outstanding accomplishments despite their obstacles.
A professor at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Vaught is profiled in Lexington writer Steve Flairty’s just-published book titled, “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” Vaught is also mentioned in the book’s foreword written by retired CBS television newsman and Kentucky native David Dick.
The 170-page book discusses Vaught’s early struggles in overcoming his hearing loss — probably caused by a premature birth — with the doctor describing his condition as “severely hard of hearing.”
Flairty writes that Vaught learned to lip read and studied hard in school with strong family support in Pulaski County. His family made a project of providing all the support necessary for his optimal development, including weekly 150-mile roundtrips to Lexington for speech therapy at the University of Kentucky for many years.
And it has paid off tremendously. He went on to earn two degrees at UK, including a B.S. in accounting and an MBA, while serving as the sports editor of Kentucky Kernel, the campus daily newspaper.
In addition to his teaching duties at SKCTC, Vaught is also a successful author with four books about UK basketball. A former columnist for The Cats’ Pause magazine for 13 years, he also writes sports columns for various newspapers in Kentucky.
Vaught — who once was appointed by Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. to a three-year term to the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing — was instrumental in the establishment of KET’s Captioned News programming during the early 1980s.
Vaught is humbled that the book has included him for his accomplishments.
“I’m honored that I’ve been chosen as one of the so-called heroes in Kentucky,” said Vaught, who wears one hearing aid. “To be honest, I don’t really think I deserve it and there are many other deserving individuals around.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have good people around me — family, friends and colleagues — for their help and guidance over the years since my hearing is pretty bad. I’m also thankful that God and Jesus have played a major role in my life as well.”
In recent years, Vaught’s books have been cited in eight other books about basketball. The books that have featured Vaught’s works include “And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: Kentucky, Texas Western, and the Game That Changed American Sport” by Frank Fitzpatrick (Simon & Shuster) and “Mind Games: Phil Jackson’s Long Strange Journey,” a biography of the NBA coach by Roland Lazenby (McGraw-Hill).
A former bank auditor in Somerset for four years, Vaught teaches accounting, management and business courses on SKCTC’s Middlesboro campus. He is also a faculty advisor for the campus newspaper. He has been at Southeast since 1991.
Flairty’s “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes” (Wind Publications, $15) is now available in many Kentucky bookstores and on the Internet.