Oklahoma School for the Deaf superintendent fired over apparent lack of certification

The Oklahoma School for the Deaf’s superintendent has been fired due to an apparent lack of certification, the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services announced Wednesday.

Valerie KaAnn Varner, who was hired in July 2011, was terminated on Tuesday.

According to a department spokeswoman, Varner was hired with the expectation she would obtain superintendent certification.

The department oversees both the state’s School for the Deaf, in Sulpher, and School for the Blind, in Muskogee.

A May 13 letter from the Oklahoma State Department of Education states that it had no record of superintendent verification for Varner at any time, the spokeswoman said.

A statement from the Department of Rehabilitation Services says: “Varner provided a cell phone photograph of a document which appears to be an (sic) falsified version of an official certificate. OSDE confirmed that they are not able to verify the legitimacy of the document submitted by Varner to DRS.”

Former School for the Deaf Superintendent Larry Hawkins will fill Varner’s former position on an interim bases.

Hawkins is also serving as interim superintendent at the Oklahoma School for the Blind. His appointment to that post was announced in February by Noel Tyler, interim executive director of the Department of Rehabilitation Services.

Tyler was brought in to replace former Executive Director Joe Cordova after he resigned amid controversy surrounding his pick to fill the School for the Blind’s superintendent position.

Oklahoma School for the Deaf superintendent fired over apparent lack of certification

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