Duncan Public Schools (DPS) has selected their new special education director for the upcoming school year after controversy regarding the schools’ treatment of special-needs students. The decision was made prior to the June 18 DPS regular meeting.

Superintendent Tom Deighan named Christie Stephenson, of Lawton, as the new director based on her experience in the area, education level and her service in the state’s education system.

“She has done everything related to special education possible at the state level,” Deighan said. “I think Duncan is fortunate to have found someone as qualified as she is.”

Stephenson has experience with special education not only from the director’s perspective, but from the classroom as well. Previously working in Lawton High School and the State of Oklahoma, she will now be heading the special education program in Duncan to ensure quality education and treatment of students with special needs.

Stephenson will take the position following the resignation of the former director for special education, Michelle DeBerry.

Another special occasion for Tuesday’s meeting was a special farewell for Superintendent Melonie Hau, as the board shared some parting words from themselves and the faculty and staff of DPS.

The meeting started at 6:30 p.m. with a report from Hau that covered items such as the STEM Camp, the Hoover Family Wrestling Facility and a $1,220 teacher raise that was recently approved.

Following this, the board discussed and approved a large number of payments and topics on the agenda as they enter into Fiscal Year 19-20. These payments include new employees, the purchase of a new lawn mower for the athletic department, partnerships with Hiland for juice and milk, occupational therapy services from Southwest Therapy Solutions, fuel from Phillips 66 Company for busses and other modes of transportation, new carpeting and roofing for some DPS facilities and more.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Education will be held at 6 p.m. on July 9, 2019, at the administration building at 1706 W. Spruce.

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