Washington Deaf-Blind Project on Kathee Scoggin's Retirement

Posted on October 21, 2013


NCDB Staff

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.


Comments (6)

Thanks for your heart felt message and all of the incredible contributions you have made (and will continue to make) to improve services for individuals who are deaf-blind.

Gail McGregor

Posted Oct 29, 2013 by Gail McGregor

Kathee, thank you for all your amazing contributions to the field of deafblindness. I still remember years ago when you were my principal at ASDB. Over the years I continued to learn from you from a distance. We've come a long way because of the dedication of people like you. Enjoy your retirement!

Jenny Lace

Posted Oct 29, 2013 by Jenny Lace

Kathee, Congrats on retirement - we are looking forward to your trips to Colorado so we can keep in touch and even woo you to present from time to time! (in between time with your kids!) Colorado is richer because of your time with us! You are such a wonderful teacher to people of all ages, including all of us adults. You remind us to slow down and truly appreciate the wonder of each child. Love, Tanni

Tanni Anthony

Posted Oct 22, 2013 by Tanni Anthony

Dear Kathee, thank you for your dedication to our children who are deaf-blind and their families. It is sometimes hard to find a professional who "gets it" at the level that you do. Thank you for honoring parents and their wonderful children--you are a gem in the field of deaf-blindness. I will always remember your kindness. Enjoy "retirement"!
Fondly, Janette Peracchio

Janette Peracchio

Posted Oct 21, 2013 by Janette Peracchio

Kathee, thanks so much for your message. Thousands of people should listen to it. It truly shows that it came deep from within your heart. I wish you the best in the next step of your journey.

Gloria  Rodriguez-Gil

Posted Oct 21, 2013 by Gloria Rodriguez-Gil

Kathee, I have so enjoyed knowing you and and working with you over the years. I can't believe you are retiring. (Are you sure you want to do this?) No one deserves it more, though, and I wish you much happiness.

Peggy Malloy

Posted Oct 21, 2013 by Peggy Malloy

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