Student Spotlight – Preston Conroy

Preston Conroy is an outgoing eight-year-old with a witty sense of humor—and, as of last Thursday, a proud graduate of OVV.

Preston’s parents, Brian Conroy and Stacey Dugan, first found out their son had hearing loss when he failed his newborn hearing screening. After three more failed tests, they took him to Dayton Children’s Hospital for a more extensive hearing evaluation. It was there that Preston was diagnosed profoundly deaf in his left ear and moderately deaf in his right ear.

“When I learned the news, I was devastated and very upset,” Stacey recounts. “Then we found out about Ohio Valley Voices through Preston’s pediatric ENT, Dr. Daniel Choo. We were initially hesitant as we were trying to mainstream Preston through Centerville schools. But when we realized Centerville wasn’t a good fit, we had him evaluated for OVV.”

Preston was enrolled in Ohio Valley Voices at the age of six—first in the summer program, then in the Learning Center program. It proved to be a perfect fit. “We haven’t looked back,” Stacey says. “Preston’s experience at OVV has been nothing short of exceptional. He has grown so much over the past three years and his speech has improved by leaps and bounds.”

Preston and his family

Preston spent the past year focusing on reading, science, and math with his teachers Miss Danielle, Mrs. Ash, and Miss Janice. Their encouragement, combined with OVV’s language-enriched environment, helped prepare Preston for entering a mainstream school in the fall. 

As Stacey hastens to add, though, it isn’t just the children who benefit from Ohio Valley Voices’ personalized intervention. The parents do too. “OVV supported us as parents by communicating with us whenever there was a change with Preston’s speech or he was learning a new skill,” she explains. “The teachers always made it a priority to share Preston’s achievements with us.”

Preston’s OVV story reached its inspiring and heartwarming conclusion Thursday, May 27th at the Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony. During his farewell address in the OVV auditorium, Preston spoke to the crowd about his love of science class, his appreciation for his fellow graduates and teachers, and his dream of one day becoming a fireman. It was a fitting capstone to an amazing journey.

Stacey and Brian, meanwhile, are proud of their son and immensely grateful to Ohio Valley Voices for giving him the tools he needs to succeed. Reflecting on her family’s OVV experience, Stacey concludes fondly, “The OVV community is special. They understood the obstacles faced by parents of children with hearing loss and helped us overcome them with ease.”

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