Joy D. Culbreath celebrated major milestones in her life on July 29 as friends, family, and coworkers gathered for her official retirement from the Choctaw Nation at a reception held at Choctaw Nation Resort RV Park in Durant, Oklahoma.
Culbreath, who is stepping down as executive director of education for the 200,000-member tribe, was also celebrating her 75th birthday.
Culbreath said she would still be involved with the Choctaw Nation through several projects, including a historical book and various educational programs. She spent 15 years at Choctaw Nation after retiring from Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
She gave thanks and offered stories at the “rock ‘n roll” themed event, which itself was a nod to her proclamation that she graduated high school with Buddy Holly and “danced with Elvis at the Cotton Club in Lubbock.”
Culbreath graduated from Lubbock High School in 1957. After graduation, she attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in business education and elementary education, Master of Behavioral Studies (Certified Professional Counselor) and Master of Administration.
Joy has a great love for children and young people and was recognized by the Oklahoma State Board of Regents as the first recipient of the “Champion for Student Success” award.