Drumright teacher retires after 45 years of service, reflects on impacting Oklahomans

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A long-time teacher at the Central Technology Center in Drumright is retiring. His impact on the thousands of students he’s had goes well beyond the walls of his classroom.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Danny Hoggatt has more than 3,500 former students’ pictures, covering the walls and parts of the ceiling in his office at Central Tech. He can point out each one. And tell you what they’re doing now.

“I put them all up there. You don’t forget that,” said Hoggatt.

After 45 years of teaching printing and design he’s retiring. The program was first called Offset Printing when the tech school opened in 1970. In fact, when the school first opened in 1970, he was one of the first students to be part of the printing program.

“If my memory serves me right there were 14 of us in the first class. We changed the name of the program maybe 16 or 17 years ago,” said Hoggatt.

That came with all the technology advancements. They now use mac computers for their digital printing program. But it’s not what he taught that made a difference. It’s who.

“They’re my kids. That’s all I can say. I don’t know. I just found this and was showing someone, this is the first class I taught in 79,” sad Hoggatt.

Danny showed me letters from students who wrote him sharing how he changed their life. He didn’t only help them find creativity in the line of work. He helped create their own path to life.

“Kids are coming here to learn skill, but they’re also learning live lessons. And it really makes a difference when they know you really care,” said Hoggatt.

He asked students for a picture that he could add to his wall. A project he started when he start teaching in 1978.

As the photos come down—they’ll always hold a special meaning. They’ll also be put away in a picture album to look back on the memories of the last 45 years.

Danny’s last day is Tuesday, and the school is having a big celebration for him. Danny says he’s looking forwards to more fishing trips with his wife.

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