A former Iowa Park teacher’s legacy continues after his passing just over a week ago.
Kevin Pugh was a 31-year-old special education teacher for DeSoto ISD. Kevin and his sister, Shaylin Pugh, planned to open up a Diagnostic Clinic in the Wichita Falls area before his passing and she plans to continue to make that happen.
Kevin was a graduate of Midwestern State University. When he graduated from MSU, he became a high school chemistry teacher at Iowa Park. He was there until leaving to become the Assistant Director of Special Education for DeSoto ISD. After the state department told DeSoto ISD they needed to fix their educational system with the special needs program he worked with Executive Director of Special Education Dr. Akweta Hickman in coming up with an education plan.
“This type of plan was something that takes some time to put together and the state gives you a year to fix it but the magnitude of this plan was very intense and we got it done in 6 months,” Dr. Hickman said.
Kevin’s dad Scott Pugh says that what lead Kevin to become a teacher was he was bullied himself and he felt a strong connection with the kids.
“The ones that were gifted and that were really smart he wanted to help them and work with them and make their school life better,” Pugh said.
But Kevin has always had a soft spot for helping special needs children.
“We have some friends of ours as well that have an autistic child and he did some work with that child and I think he developed a passion in him with that,” Pugh said.
Scott hopes people remember the legacy his son left.
“I just want to see his work continued. We’ve set up a scholarship fund to hopefully plant that seed in someone else. Kevin was a warrior for special needs and autistic children,” Pugh said.
Dr. Hickman knows how important he was to the special education program at DeSoto ISD and says he will be missed.
“He was able to do research in a way that was very different from most people because the research usually talks about what should happen theoretically what could happen. But with him he was able to translate to practical application for the benefit of the students,” said Dr. Hickman.
Kevin’s untimely passing is being blamed on heart failure from a surgery he had as a teenager.
He was working towards his Doctorate at North Texas University and they are in the final stages of granting him it posthumously.