Student Spotlight: Kaylee Ragon

Kaylee Ragon

Kaylee Ragon, from Tecumseh, always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She started as a teacher’s aide in her school’s elementary special education classroom while still in high school. Encouraged by a teacher who happened to be a Drover alum, she explored the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s deaf education and speech-language pathology degree programs. In fall of 2020 Ragon began her journey at USAO as a first-generation college student.

During her time in the program Ragon forged her own identity, exploring the multiple paths she could take with her degree.

"The diversity within USAO’s education program has given me endless opportunities to explore a variety of teaching strategies and methods, allowing me to figure out what kind of teacher I want to be,” she said.

Last May, during her deaf education clinical placement, everything clicked for Ragon. Confident in her choice, she embraced deaf education as her major. Her personal experience with vision impairment uniquely equips her to understand the thoughts and needs of her future classes. Her own experiences fuel her passion to work in an early childhood classroom with deaf, blind and deaf-blind students.

“I’m very thankful for how much support I’ve received through the Student Success Center, disability services, my professors and the rest of the campus who knows what I’m capable of, and pushes me to be the best that I can be and reach my fullest potential,” said Ragon.

Katie Fields, instructor of early childhood educationm, made a memorable impact on Ragon’s journey through higher education. Fields went above and beyond, teaching students how to think outside of the box, get out of their comfort zones and most of all how to believe in themselves.   

Kaylee has participated in several leadership roles during her time at USAO. Previously, she served as a senator in the Student Government Association, acted as the public relations chair for Droverthon and worked for the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. She was the president of the American Sign Language Club, a member of the leadership team for the Baptist Collegiate Ministries, a contributing writer for The Trend and completed her third orientation as a leader this past fall. Currently, she is working as a teacher assistant in the Child Development Center on campus and getting ready to student teach in the spring.

Ragon's determination and engagement have made her a standout example at USAO. The deaf education program at USAO, known for its diverse and dynamic instructors, research opportunities and small class sizes, takes pride in Ragon's achievements.

“Part of the education program philosophy is that we continue to be a lifelong-learner. I hope to embody that as I grow in my teaching career,” said Ragon.

Ragon plans to take additional courses to prepare for teaching in a Montessori classroom, aiming to continually add to her teaching toolbox.

About the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma

As Oklahoma’s liberal arts college, the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma provides a distinctive education in the liberal arts and sciences, supporting both its interdisciplinary core curriculum and major fields of study with superior teaching. USAO fosters diversity of thought and practice to help students realize meaningful, purposeful and productive lives as global citizens in a rapidly-changing world.