414 years of service … 311 in Yukon

YPS retirees celebrated for dedication to education field

YPS retirees gather for a group photo at the May 1st YPS Board of Education meeting. This year’s retiring educators have a combined 414 years in the field of education, with 311 years spent in Yukon. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A dedicated group of Yukon Public Schools’ personnel are being celebrated as they end their careers after more than 400 years of education service.

Twelve YPS retirees on May 1 attended the final YPS Board of Education meeting of the 2022-23 school year.

Family, friends and fellow educators filled the board meeting room of the YPS Administration Office for the presentation.

“This year’s retirees have dedicated a combined 414 years to field of education – 311 of those 414 here in Yukon,” YPS Assistant Superintendent Diana Lebsack said.

Lebsack introduced the 12 honorees one at a time before each shook hands with a receiving line comprised of YPS Board of Education members – Leonard Wells, Cody Sanders, Suzanne Cannon, Brian Coulson, and Jeff Behymer.

“This is so bittersweet, but we are here to celebrate,” Lebsack told the audience. “They are going into retirement, and even though we are losing some great experience in the classrooms, we’re very excited to honor them and all their years of service.”

These retirees – which included two site administrators – were presented gifts by Fran Cates and Susie Grimes of the Canadian County Retired Educators Association.

Twenty-one people – 13 certified educators and eight support staff – are the Yukon school district’s 2022-23 retirees.

Retiring Parkland Elementary teacher Mary Ward (right) is presented a gift by Yukon’s Susie Grimes of the Canadian County Retired Educators Association. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

All retirees and their years of service to YPS are:


  • Paula Simpson – Myers Elementary remedial specialist (20 years)
  • Kandy Myers – Ranchwood Elementary music teacher (27 years)
  • Sheri Stone – Parkland Elementary second grade teacher (38 years)
  • Lisa Megli – Yukon High School associate principal (31 years)
  • Belinda Bedell – YHS elective career tech teacher (28 years)
  • Tammy Loy – YHS computer science teacher (5 years)
  • Kathryn Fuqua – Myers Elementary third grade teacher (6 years)
  • Lori Parks – Central Elementary first grade teacher (20 years)
  • Henry Harrison – YHS elective career tech teacher (14 years)
  • Ron Brummett – Myers Elementary principal (13 years)
  • Linda Prentice – YHS library media specialist (32 years)
  • Beth Wann – Special education physical therapist (7 years)
  • Anna Schick – Myers Elementary library media specialist (11 years)


  • Mary Ward – Community Engagement Department Millers 3 teacher (12 years)
  • Linda Drake – Lakeview Intermediate paraeducator (21 years)
  • Vicki Beals – Skyview Elementary paraprofessional (5 years)
  • Lehia Brake – Curriculum office manager (15 years)
  • Frankie Bottom – Surrey Hills Elementary secretary (11 years)
  • Orville Williams – Transportation Department bus driver (12 years)
  • Thomas Stark – Parkland Elementary custodian (18 years)
  • Lorie Hutchinson – Skyview Elementary paraeducator (14 years)

Those retirees who attended May’s YPS Board of Education meeting gathered for photos in front of the Yukon Miller backdrop.

The meeting then continued with board member comments.

“This is amazing; all the hours and time these teachers have given,” YPS Board Vice President Brian Coulson said.

Board member Cody Sanders also thanked the retirees for their long service.

“We can’t thank them enough for their dedication to the community and our school district,” Sanders said.

Retiring Ranchwood Elementary teacher Kandy Myers shakes hands with YPS board member Cody Sanders. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)


Among business items approved at the May 1st YPS board meeting were:

  • A resolution for the Schools and Libraries Universal Services for fiscal year 2023-24. The e-rate discount is $188,545.76 with the applicant share $125,697.84.
  • An out-of-state travel request for the Yukon High School academic team to participate in a national tournament May 26-30 in Atlanta, Ga.
  • Renewing membership in the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.
  • Yukon Fine Arts Center rental contracts with To the Pointe for a May 20 dance recital, Studio 5678 for a June 30 dance recital and Dance Etiquette for a May 25 dance recital.
  • Modification of board policy to allow the use of commercial purchasing cards “for the acquisition of goods and services needed to conduct official school business.”

The last day of Yukon’s 2022-23 school year will be Thursday, May 18. Commencement is set Friday, May 19 at YHS Miller Stadium, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.

Retiring Yukon High School teacher Henry Harrison stands beside YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth as he is introduced. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)