Washington Deaf-Blind Project on Kathee Scoggin's Retirement
Posted on October 21, 20136 Comments 0 Likes Like this post
This month, projects serving deaf-blind children across the country can celebrate the start of a new five year cycle of service. Planning for the future is exciting and hopeful. In the midst of that celebration, it is important to note that a number of long time practitioners in our field have already retired at the close of the last grant cycle or will be retiring soon. Kathee Scoggin from the Washington project is one of those moving into retirement. Fortunately for all of us, Kathee has worked with incredible dedication over the course of her career and as a result, she has provided us a legacy of great content and video stories.
In celebration of her departure, her project co-workers, Nancy Hatfield and Katie Humes, have sent along a tribute to Kathee.
From Nancy and Katie:
Kathee Keller Scoggin landed in our laps in the summer of 1993 when she was planning to move to Washington state from Arizona, with her new husband. We had a position open, and as we interviewed candidates we quickly recognized that Kathee had a unique constellation of experience and skills. For twenty years we have thanked our lucky stars that we were able to scoop her up when she happened to be available.
Amazingly, Kathee’s twenty years with our program constitute only the second half of her forty-year career. Her previous job titles include teacher of the deaf, special education teacher, assistant director for education, and principal at settings in Ohio, California, and Arizona. In Washington, Kathee worked as an educational consultant and program co-director for our deaf-blind project, supervising child-specific technical assistance and coordinating training.
In August, Kathee retired from Washington State Services for Children with Deaf-Blindness. Throughout her tenure Kathee was a pioneer. She was the first agency staff person hired at a distant location—285 miles away!—which required convincing our superintendent it was feasible. Although she claimed to be “no techie,” Kathee quickly realized the benefits of new technologies and in no time became a model for how to teach effectively via web-based media. She began doing distance training and technical assistance with Washington Interactive Television, then with a statewide K-20 videoconferencing system, and most recently via Blackboard webinars. When you watch one of her recorded webinars, the thoughtfulness that Kathee puts into preparing the content is apparent. She weaves participant interaction activities throughout her presentations—and they are meaningful learning opportunities. She uses video samples for observing kids and eliciting audience input. She is skillful at responding to participants’ typed remarks in a supportive manner. Even her presentation designs, clothing colors, and backgrounds are carefully chosen to fit the medium.
In addition to being a stellar leader and highly respected professional in our unique field of deaf-blindness, Kathee has been a wonderful teammate. Adjectives used to describe her include: ethical, visionary, strategic, creative, relational, and communicative. We all have learned so much from working with her, not only about supporting the development and learning of deaf-blind children, but about supporting each other.
Saying “so long, farewell” to Kathee has not only been difficult, it has been impossible. We are contracting with her so that we—and others—can continue to learn from her for as long as she is willing. Given her love for children and youth who are deaf-blind, as well as for her colleagues in the field, we hope that will be some time.Below is a video clip of Kathee talking about her hopes for the future and deaf-blind children.