There is a new face in the faculty at Wilson School. She’s 77 year-old Betty Tubbs, and it’s all the younger faculty can do to keep up with her. Betty Tubbs has just one kidney, after losing one to cancer in 2008. She has a pacemaker. “All I can say is God took care of me,” is what Betty comments often to those who ask about her life after cancer and chemotherapy. “I’m just so thrilled to be able to work with children again” is what you will hear Betty say. Many adults who were at one time in Betty’s care and still live around the Cushing area call her “Grandma Betty.” She feels it is an honor to have loved and cared for her far-reaching family of children in the Cushing area. She’s an inspiration to all who are around her.
Betty has lived in Cushing since 1951, and worked at Cushing Daycare for 33 years. She also worked at the historic Cushing Hotel – now known as Cimarron Towers – 18 years prior to her caregiver days. Taking care of children is her specialty. How, do you ask, did Betty get a job with Wilson School at her age? It is through a program called The National Indian Council on Aging. Koln Knight, Cushing schools superintendent, informed his principals earlier in the year about this program that he utilized to hire senior citizens while at Oak Grove. Betty Tubbs found her way to Sally Wright, principal at Wilson School, and the paperwork was started to get Betty employed at doing what she does best. The Wilson four-year olds just love Ms. Betty and consider it a privilege to leave class with her to work on shapes, colors, and counting.
Tubbs and Wright were guest speakers last month at the Cushing Senior Citizens Center to try to recruit more senior citizens to the program. Basic qualifications include being 55 years or older, with yearly income not exceeding than $13, 500 per year. It is not a requirement to be of Native American descent to qualify. The NICOA program is considered a training program for the elderly. The school principal can design a job description for the applicant that can be a part-time position such as a classroom tutor, librarian, or custodian – to name a few. The job applicant works up to 20 hours per week and gets a paycheck from NICOA. If you know of an interested senior citizen, feel free to contact Wilson School for an application packet or call 225-4683. Betty Tubbs will be there Monday through Friday, and would be happy to help answer any questions you have for her about the NICOA program.
With her 78th birthday coming up next month, Betty says it is a blessing to be healthy. She says that she just can’t wait to get to work each day to see the faces and hear the comments from her four year-old fans at Wilson School. Betty is a shining example about living life to the fullest.