Bugen’s career in deaf education began in 1968 as a first-year teacher in New Jersey at what was then known as the Milburn Avenue Day School for the Deaf, now the Regional Day School in Milburn, N.J.
In 1975, when she moved to Austin, Texas with her husband, Bugen first taught as a substitute teacher at TSD. She was soon promoted to Principal of Instructional Services, then to Assistant Superintendent in 1989.
Bugen became TSD’s 27th Superintendent in 1998, and has led TSD to become one of the nation’s premier center-based schools for deaf students. Utilizing innovations in educational methods and technology, she’s developed creative programs to address gaps in special needs education.
A leader in deaf education, Bugen has worked alongside state leadership, as well as stakeholders in Texas deaf education, including parents of deaf and hard of hearing students and communities of deaf citizens to improve educational outcomes for deaf students.
Bugen was pivotal in the development of the National Agenda for the Education of Deaf Students – a coalition of parent, consumer, professional and advocacy organizations working to develop an effective, communication-driven educational delivery system for deaf students.
More recently Bugen served a critical role in developing “Child First” - a national campaign to ensure that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) appropriately addresses language, communication, and educational needs for deaf and hard-of-hearing children.
Throughout her accomplished career, Bugen has served as president and secretary of the Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf and the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD). She is presently chair of CEASD’s Accreditation of Schools Committee while serving as an at-large member of the board of directors.
Bugen currently is also acting chair of Gallaudet University's (Washington D.C.) board of trustees.
“While I am fortunate to be the one recognized today,” Bugen said upon receiving the T.A.P.E.D. award, “it is only because of all of you who have been alongside me all this way that I accept this for us.
“We have come miles from where things stood in deaf education when I started.
“Truly, on behalf of all of you who understand this is as important as I do, I thank you. We have left a mark and made a positive difference. Of that, I am sure.
“And I expect us to continue to do so,” she said, “because we have to.”
ABOUT THE TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF: The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) is the oldest continuous operating public school in Texas. Educating deaf and hard of hearing students of Texas since 1856, the campus also provides outreach and educational resources for students, their families and professionals in the field throughout the state of Texas. With educational excellence and a strong belief in a culture and community at TSD, students form a unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents. TSD is an environment where students learn, grow, and belong. For more information about the Texas School for the Deaf, visit www.tsd.state.tx.us.
ABOUT T.A.P.E.D.: The Texas Association of Parents and Educators for the Deaf (T.A.P.E.D.) is an organization of families, educators and communities collaborating to ensure excellence, equality and success for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. T.A.P.E.D.‘s annual Statewide Conference for the Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SWCED) is the statewide voice in Texas for educators and parents of deaf children. Excellence in Texas deaf education is in part due to staff development, training, resources and support provided to parents, educators, interpreters, and other stakeholders through SWCED and T.A.P.E.D., whose collaborative efforts are aimed at continuously improving the education for deaf and hard of hearing students, and the education for Texas’ special needs children. For more information, please visit, www.taped.org.
Contact: Gabriel Cardenas
Phone: 512-462-5372; cell 512-689-7933