SUBLETTE COUNTY – Following four decades as a special education director for programs in Teton and Sublette counties, Davey Hough is retiring.
Hough has been a component of the Children’s Learning Center’s special education team since his beginnings in the career. He began as a speech and language pathologist before evolving, eventually into his final role as director. He is also the head of the Special Ed Region IV, which serves children among both Teton and Sublette counties.
Hough officially steps into retirement this month.
According to a release shared by the Children’s Discovery Center, Hough’s years of leadership in the special education program oversaw developmental screenings, appropriate therapy and a host of community education programs. His was beloved by colleagues and students alike for his compassion, patience, dedication and sense of humor.
“Davey has been an exceptional team member for over 40 years, and while we’re excited for him to begin this new, well-deserved adventure of retirement, we’ll miss him terribly,” Patti Boyd, executive director of the Children’s Learning Center in Jackson, said. “He has meant a great deal to many individuals and families in the community. Helping kids who have special needs live full lives, and reach their maximum potential.”
Hough was influential in the lives of many, including Jackson resident Tim McLaurin – a 35-year old who has Down syndrome.
“Davey has been a big part of my life. He’s really helped me out a lot with everything,” McLaurin said. “He has taught me some cool stuff. I gotta say, with Davey, he’s always been there for me when I was growing up.”
McLaurin believes his work with Hough and those at the Children’s Learning Center helped him find a rewarding career at the Vertical Harvest greenhouse.
“Being at the Learning Center changed me,” McLaughlin said. “Everybody was there to help me, and Davey is an awesome guy.”
Robbi Farrow, a longtime co-worker at the Children’s Learning Center, has also celebrated Hough. Farrow particularly pointed to his sense of humor and commitment.
“Davey has always said he doesn’t change diapers and doesn’t deal with puke,” Farrow said. “However, over the years he has always been dedicated to the children we serve and the staff who provide the services.”
Mary Kay Turner, whose son was an early attendee of the Children’s Learning Center’s special education program, also spoke about how the void left behind in Hough’s retirement.
“If I could sum up Davey in just a few words I would say that he is one of the most dedicated and caring professionals this valley has ever seen,” she said. “He continued to learn new ways to help and be effective throughout his professional career. He will be missed more than words can say.”
Hough said it’s been a long and rewarding career full of fond memories. He enjoyed helping children grow from preschool to adulthood and said he hoped he contributed to making that growth easier in some way.
“I will never forget the opportunity to meet and work with so many children, families, fellow co-workers and board members over the years,” he said. “This has been the best organization to work for.”
He said he is proud to know that he’s helped so many amazing people grow and become involved individuals in their communities in both Teton and Sublette counties. And while he acknowledged leaving his position after four decades is sad, he said he’s excited about the future.
“Retirement will bring opportunities to travel more, spend time with my family, friends, my dogs and break in my new travel trailer,” he said. “It’s a new chapter, but it’s certainly not a goodbye.”