Marty’s Center, Inc. will hold its grand opening on Friday, from 10 a.m.– 12 p.m. for the new school for deaf/hearing-impaired and speech/language impaired children that opened on Tuesday. It is at the Brainerd United Methodist Church, 4315 Brainerd Road, 423 509-9718.
Marty’s Center Inc. (Miracles are Reaching the Young) is a private, non-profit school. It is a language based program for hearing-impaired and speech/language impaired children in an inclusive environment with typical children. It serves children age 18 months to six years. Its focus is primarily for hearing-impaired children to develop auditory listening and language skills, and for language impaired children is to improve their speech and language skills as well as social skills. It also offers a comprehensive developmental, pre-academic, and auditory discrimination curriculum.
Marty Browning Dunagan, director of the school, was the former Miss Chattanooga and Miss Tennessee USA and was born profoundly deaf and attended school as a child in Chattanooga, where she received early intervention and intensive speech-language therapy. This therapy enabled Ms. Dunagan to attend a regular school program throughout her education. She attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she was a majorette with the Pride of the Southland Band for four years. She graduated in 1983 with a B. S. Degree in Deaf Education and has taught in school for 30 years. In 1985, she was crowned Miss Tennessee USA, the first deaf contestant to be awarded this title. She holds an M.S. degree in Educational Supervision and Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and has earned many recognitions for her community involvement including: International Pilot Club Woman of the Year, WRCB Jefferson Award, Sertoma Club Service to Mankind Award, and Optimist club. She and her husband, Randy, reside in Chattanooga and have four children.