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Five School for the Deaf teachers retire with combined 165 years of service

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

SULPHUR, Okla. – Oklahoma School for the Deaf students, faculty and families turned out May 5 to honor five teachers retiring with a combined 165 years of service as educators.

Retirees are: Candy Tumblson, Lesa Price, Debbie Patton, Lawson Pair and Darla Skinner.

Each educator received a proclamation from Speaker of the House Charles McCall (R-Atoka), certificate from the Commission for Rehabilitation Services, plaque from OSD and the love and affection of students, co-workers, families and friends who joined the celebration in the school gym.

Candy Tumblson taught 33 of her 34 years in education as a teacher at OSD with students ranging from kindergarten to 8th grade. Her subjects included general studies, science, social studies, American Sign Language and driver’s education.

Tumblson, who was teacher of the year in 2006, sponsored dozens of academic and extracurricular student organizations. As a school bus driver, she drove 500,000 miles taking residential students home for weekends, summer and holidays.

Lesa Price dedicated 30 years to teaching at OSD, which she calls “my only home” because she never taught anywhere else. She taught civics, geography and reading at the high school level for five years and in elementary school, primarily 2nd grade, for 20 years. She retired after serving as OSD librarian for five years.

Price taught American Sign Language classes in the community, worked OSD summer camps and institutes. She collected aluminum tabs for the Ronald McDonald House and served as senior class sponsor and a leader in several campus organizations.

Debbie Patton ended her 36-year career as a classroom teacher and interpreter with 7 years as an OSD educator. The subjects she taught included English, math, science, reading and social studies.

“All my career has been working with the deaf, and I have totally enjoyed it,” Patton said.

Lawson Pair taught 29 of his 35 years in education at OSD in subjects that included math, science and business information technology education.

He coached the national award winning OSD football team for 28 years, served as academic team sponsor for more than 10 years and boys’ golf coach since OSD started the golf program. He was sponsor for classes and organizations that he says are too numerous to mention.

Darla Skinner taught 30 years with 6 years at OSD as the lead teacher at the OSD’s Chickasha campus.

Skinner has always taught special education classes ranging from mild/moderate to severe/profound disabilities. She plans to continue advocating for students with disabilities after retirement.


Oklahoma School for the Deaf honored teachers retiring with 165 years of total service: Debbie Patton (top left), Lawson Pair (top right), Lesa Price (middle left), Darla Skinner (middle right) and Candy Tumblson (lower left).

For more information

Jody Harlan, DRS Communications Director

Cell: 405-203-1318 

Last Modified on Jun 08, 2022