SULPHUR, Okla. – The Oklahoma School for the Deaf recently brought home third place in the national Battle of the Books playoff competition at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.
Last year, the OSD team placed 8th among 8 teams that advanced to the national level.
“This year represents a great improvement for our middle school students,” Kristen McCurdy, OSD reading specialist and team chaperone, said.
“This was a great experience because it was fun to read and compete against other deaf and hard of hearing students my age,” Parker Simpson, 8th grader from Duncan said. “I’m proud of getting 3rd place and just for making it to nationals.”
The other team members are Shealee Junger, an 8th grader from Tulsa, and Christopher Coulston, a 5th grader from Sapulpa.
Gallaudet University oversees the middle school-level competition, which promotes literacy, academic competition, good sportsmanship and critical thinking.
The university is the world leader in liberal arts education and career development for deaf and hard of hearing students.
Battle of the Books competitors were divided into three divisions by the colors buff or blue, Gallaudet’s official colors, or green, a reference to the Gallaudet campus known as “Kendall Green.”
OSD was in the buff division.
“In this competition, the students are their own teachers,” McCurdy explained. “It is all up to them to develop questions for themselves and their team.
“One of the best parts of this experience is seeing our students develop as more critical thinkers and their feeling of accomplishment,” she added.
As the statewide resource center on, OSD offers the ultimate learning environment for deaf and hard of hearing students who meet the same graduation requirements as students in other public schools. In 2016, 240 students lived at the school during the week, commuted from home or attended summer school classes. OSD operates two satellite preschools at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and the University of Arts and Sciences of Oklahoma in Chickasha. OSD provides thousands of free evaluations and direct services each year for students attending local public schools, their families and educators. The school is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.
For more information, phone (580) 622-4900 or (888) 685-3333 toll free or visit the website at www.osd.k12.ok.us/.