It’s been a rocky few months at the Oklahoma School for the Blind. Leadership has changed once again, and now one of the only school systems not controlled by a state’s Department of Education is on a new path, but where is that path heading?
Why Are Things Changing At The Oklahoma School For The Blind And Deaf?
Sometime last year, parents and members of the blind community started to contact state Rep. George Faught of Muskogee. They had concerns over the dismissal of superintendent Jim Adams from the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee. His replacement, Christine Boone, was criticized for having never taught children in a classroom, and she was not certified to be a superintendent in the state of Oklahoma. However, she was still installed in the position.
Mounting pressure and dissatisfaction from the community eventually forced Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) director Joe Cordova to rescind Boone’s hiring, but no one quite expected what happened next. Cordova resigned just a few days after he let Boone go, leaving an empty seat at the agency that oversees Oklahoma’s schools for the blind and deaf.
How Are The Vacancies Being Filled?
The board of DRS acted quickly, appointing Noel Tyler as the interim director in Cordova’s place, and Tyler has now appointed an interim superintendent for the school in Muskogee. Larry Hawkins will serve as the new superintendent of the Oklahoma School for the Blind until a more permanent candidate can be found. Hawkins has over 40 years of experience in education and administrative experience—he has even served as the superintendent of the Oklahoma School for the Blind before.
For now, DRS is taking steps to create a permanent solution for the leadership problems at the Muskogee school, but many families in the blind community are just happy that their voices were heard. To learn about more issues facing people with disabilities and their communities, keep following our blog, and go to our Twitter and Facebook pages to let your own voice be heard.
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