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J ourn a l o f t h e T e x a s S c h ool f or t h e D e a f

VOLUME 130, No. 2 WINTER/SPRING 2009 (ISSN 0893-2964)

Heritage Center at TSD

Front Cover

Letter from the Editor

Two of the graduates of 2009, Amanda Weiser and Brittnee Farek. Congratulations to all the graduates of the Class of 2009!!

Table of Contents

First, as the new editor of the Lone Star, I would like to thank all of the TSD family for the warm welcome and help with my first edition of this publication. I am excited to be a part of such a noble institution and I hope this new Lone Star marks the beginning of a great adventure.

Cover Story

My door and e-mail inbox are always open to ideas and stories that are about the TSD Community and its many supporters.

10-11..................... Graduating Class of 2009 The graduates of TSD.

Features 4-5............................................‘Grease’ Musical The TSD production was a huge success.

6................................................. Diamond Gala

TSD Foundation fundraiser held at the Austin Hilton.

7.........................Sertoma Partner of the Year

Austin Sertoma Club, 2009 Partner of the Year.

8..............................................................ArtSign 9..................................................Blanton Mural New Mural at the Special Needs Department.

12-13....................................... Senior Portraits 14............................... ‘Prom Night’ in pictures 15...................Close Up with Our Government Barbara Bush, Capitol Schoolhouse and Mark Strama.

16-17...................................Other Happenings Get the scoop in other Winter & Spring News.

18-19.............................Home of the Rangers News, awards and schedule for the next season.

20.............................................TSD Foundation 2  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

In this Winter/Spring edition, we congratulate the Graduates of the Class of 2009 and wish them a successful life and happy trails. Also we showcase the involvement of the TSD students in a variety of community activities such as the very successful production of ‘Grease’. And finally, we wrap up with an update on the TSD Foundation Board and we hope you develop a relationship with that organization also. Thank you,

Fernando Muñoz

t: (512)-462-5327 | e: 1102 South Congress Avenue. Austin, Texas 78704.

Lone Star Editor/Art Director: Fernando Muñoz Editorial Contributors: Claire Bugen, Cynthia Foss, Keena Miller, Diana Poeppelmeyer, Twyla Strickland. Special thanks to: Kalie Kubes, Annie Marks, The Blanton Museum, Brett Waltman, Stella Egbert, David Coco, Avonne Rutowsky, Chris Hamilton and Jesse Bailey. Photography: Richard Norton, TSD staff and students.

Subscription Info A one year subscription to Lone Star, the quarterly journal of the Texas School for the Deaf, costs $10. Send check and mailing address information to: Lone Star Editor Texas School for the Deaf 1102 South Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704


from the Superintendent

The Graduating Class of 2009 is settling into a new chapter of their lives, be it preparing to leave for college, entering the world of work or just trying to decide what direction to take with their lives. On the evening of June 4th, however, there was electricity in the air as fifty-one seniors received diplomas—each diploma a lighted match—each student a fuse waiting to ignite. Michelle Giterman, our salutatorian, talked about building a house as a metaphor for growing up and moving on. She talked about the importance of family for a foundation, the different types of frames for your house, your own custom design and what your finished product might look like. She encouraged her classmates to become architects of their own futures.

Administration Claire Bugen Superintendent Avonne Brooker-Rutowski Director of Instruction Gloria Seidlin-Bernstein Director of Student Support Services Gary Bego Director of Business and Operations Russell West Director of Residential Services

Governing Board Walt Camenisch, President Connie Sefcik-Kennedy, Vice President Sha Cowan, Secretary Jean Andrews Beatrice Burke Eric Hogue Susan Ridley Angie Wolf

Krystal Johnson, our valedictorian, began her speech with a moving tribute to her sister Paige Mia Johnson. She then went on to talk to us about “her secret”, the vulnerability about being ready, and the reflection on her years at TSD and what lies ahead in life. She closed her inspirational speech with a gift to TSD, which included messages from the graduates. Mark J. Myers, Provost of Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf gave the commencement address and focused on a theory of adult learning, different learning styles and activities and closed with a challenge about succeeding as Deaf or Hearing persons. Our Sign Choir performers inspired the audience with their version of “Graduation” by Vitamin C and Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish”. As always, it was a night to remember. The day after graduation we had our traditional End of School Breakfast for staff with recognition for all, service awards for five-year intervals, prizes, and lots of fun. Graduation launched a typical TSD summer of outreach services with visitors from across the state including 350 campers for summer school, 500 interpreters, parents and teachers for Communication Skills Workshops, Deaflympics athletes in training, Football Camp, Elite Volleyball Camp and Family Weekend Retreat. With this edition of the Lone Star I am delighted to introduce our new editor, Fernando Muñoz. Fernando comes to us with a great deal of graphic arts design and web experience. He landed in Austin via Oregon via Chile to work in graphic design and media in a market with a broad Hispanic population. We are delighted to welcome him to TSD.

Claire Bugen

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  3


Better Than Broadway. Grease Musical a Huge Success. Co-Directors: Russell Harvard & Don Miller Assistant Director: Kristin Granitz
 Producer: Franky Ramont Associate Producer: Annie Marks
 Kalie Kubes Skye Alanis Kirsten Coahran Juan Muñoz Claira Oberrender Valeria Fuentes Cruz Lane Darby Layton Morgan Campbell Todd Wakefield Emmanuel Treviño Laura Garza Jose Manrique Charlene Burleson Brennan Ruffin
 Stage Crew
Props Director: Wendy Green Britnee Farek Rhiannon Farek Merrick Lovell Amanda Weiser 

By Annie Marks, Associate Producer – DeafACT


he cast of Grease rocked the house with musical numbers and dancing two nights in a row the weekend of April 3-4th at TSD’s R.L. Davis Auditorium.
The show was produced by a joint partnership between the local non-profit organization, DeafACT ( and TSD. Co-Directors Russell Harvard (TSD Class of ’99) and Don Miller rehearsed with the cast of high school students for a few months on campus before the show opened. The script was translated and performed entirely in American Sign Language. Students also performed songs translated into ASL with prerecorded music from the original 1978 movie

4  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

sound track.
While most of the musical numbers were performed live, the show also featured a unique way of integrating multimedia technology for a few songs which were harder to bring to life on stage. The cast, crew, and directors filmed songs like “Greased Lightning” and “Beauty School Drop Out” around the TSD campus and edited them into musical videos that were later seamlessly integrated into the show.
Both performance nights hosted a full house of audience members of all ages making it DeafACT’s largest production since the organization’s establishment in 2006.
Thanks to everyone at TSD and DeafACT for helping to make this show a huge success!

Sandy Meets Sandy

Kalie Kubes Meets Olivia Newton-John by Kalie Kubes


n April 21, my two ‘Grease’ directors, Russell Harvard and Don Miller, and I, Kalie Kubes, (a.k.a. “Sandy Dumbruski”) were in for a huge treat. Don Miller had been notified that Olivia Newton-John, who played the role as Sandy in the original musical, would be in town and right down the street at the Four Seasons Hotel. Don and Russell sent a request to the dorm staff to allow me to go meet Olivia Newton-John. My dorm staff came into my room with big smiles on their faces, telling me to hurry up and get ready because I was “going somewhere”. When Mark Johnston and I arrived at a downtown hotel, Russell and Don ran up to me. I was surprised to see them both there. Then we all went into one of the conference rooms where Olivia NewtonJohn and her husband, John Easterling, founder of the Amazon Herb Company, were giving a presentation about their natural drink, Zamu. After the presentation, Russell, Don, and I stood in line to meet Olivia Newton-John and her husband. We were so excited to meet her; we smiled with anticipation and awaited this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I couldn’t help but notice Russell and Don’s eyes gleaming with excitement, as we were getting closer to her.

Russell Harvard, John Easterling, Olivia Newton-John, Don Miller and Kalie Kubes. (left) Olivia Newton-John as “Sandy Dumbruski”.

Russell said, “If DeafACT had never asked me to become the Director of Grease and I had not asked Don Miller to be my Co-Director…I don’t think any of this would’ve happened at all. I could be wrong, and I wouldn’t want to figure out how all this fits into the puzzle.” All three of us have wondered what it would be like to meet her, so this moment was surreal. Russell pointed out how graceful and serene Olivia and her husband were; they truly did look happy and healthy. When it was our turn to meet Olivia, her smile was warm and inviting. Russell and Don introduced themselves and me, and explained how we recently did a big production of “GREASE” at our school. We got her autograph and a picture with her to look back on that truly amazing moment. Don said, “It was such an honor to be in a ‘timeless’ moment where the two Sandys met each other 31 years after the movie came out!” Before we left, I told her that I was a cancer survivor too. Her expression grew compassionate and gentle as I shared with her that I

had cancer twice, and since then, my health has gone on a spiral downward. I told her and her husband how inspired I was when Olivia said that she was able to overcome cancer with Zamu. That inspired me so much and gave me hope that I will be happy and healthy once again, just like her. Her eyes glistened with understanding as she gave me a heartfelt hug. Russell also sensed love and light in that room, and I know Don did too; it was a very special moment. The most amazing part for me was seeing how much I had in common with her, without even really knowing her. Not only did we both play the role as “Sandy” in GREASE, but also we are both cancer survivors, eager for everyone who is suffering from illness to be happy and healthy again. Russell explains how this experience was not only about meeting Olivia Newton-John, but also for him, it was confirming that the universe has brought us all together, and Zamu. Everyone was glowing that evening as we got to walk away with an incredible moment to cherish forever.

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  5

TSD’s Third Annual

Diamond Event By Keena Miller


n Tuesday May 19, students selected from TSD’s Culinary Arts career training program, joined Executive Chef Mark Dayanandan and his gracious staff at the Hilton Austin for TSD’s Third Annual Diamond Event – the TSD Foundation’s annual fundraising gala. After preparing for two days with the executive staff, students presented a truly delectable menu that wowed all guests, making this TSD’s most memorable Diamond Event yet. The evening began with entertainment featuring two of TSD’s leading talents, Kalie Kubes and Skye Alanis, who performed musical numbers from the school’s recent production of Grease, where they played the leading roles as Sandy Dumbruski and Danny Zuko. News 8 Anchor, Veronia Castelo the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, kicked off the dinner program with introductions, followed by a touching presentation of the wines selected for the menu by TSD Foundation board member and parent of two TSD students, Jon Wolf. Wolf, an expert in the wine and spirits industry, joked by commenting that the aspiring chefs “would go far in the culinary world having chosen a menu that was this challenging to pair with wines.” Wolf ’s selections from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates perfectly complemented each course. A partnership with the Hilton Austin was formed in 2007 when TSD met award winning chef, Mark Dayanandan. Dayanandan had just been named the Hilton’s Diamond Chef, the highest honor among Hilton chefs worldwide. Today, leading the Hilton’s Food & Beverage division in downtown Austin, Dayanandan, along with the Hilton staff, remain loyal and dedicated supporters of TSD. This annual event is named in honor of Dayanandan’s Diamond title. Dayanandan and his entire staff volunteer their own personal time to work with TSD students over the course of two days to ensure a captivating dining experience for the guests. 6  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

For the third year now, select students who have proven themselves throughout the year, have the privilege to fine-tune their skills working alongside Hilton’s experts, on site in the hotel’s state-ofthe-art, double-decked kitchen facility. It is the Hilton’s commitment to give these students such a priceless experience, and the lengths that are taken to ensure excellence, that touches TSD the most. Lauren McCullough, TSD’s Culinary instructor says, “on the first day of school each year, I am approached by eager students curious about the requirements to get to participate in the next event. It is the highlight they work toward all year long.” While guests enjoyed dinner and dessert, there were spirited challenges for many of the hot silent auction items before bidding closed, and quite a battle ensued when the live auction began over the UT game package (donated by long-time friends and colleagues of TSD, BGK Architects) – the golf– lover’s outing, and the Gruene weekend getaway. With the help of these, and other gracious event sponsors, all of the auction donors and guests who attended - the TSD Foundation raised a total of $19,000.00 to assist deaf and hard of hearing students at TSD and across the state.

The Students presented a truly delectable menu that wowed all guests, making this TSD’s most memorable Diamond Event yet. From top to bottom Matthew Parsley, Derrick Gamble and Mysty Ayala.

Golf Green Dedication with Austin SERTOMA Club members, Pat Green & Tom Kelly.

‘Sertoma’ Partner of the Year By Keena Miller


he Texas School for the Deaf proudly named the Austin Sertoma Club its 2009 Partner of the Year. The club was honored, among other notables in the community, at the Austin Partner’s in Education (APIE) Salute at the downtown Hilton Austin on Tuesday May 5.

and groups in the community who need assistance.

Each year at Salute, TSD participates with A Community of Heroes, APIE, Austin Independent School District, and the Austin Chamber of Commerce to honor the teachers, volunteers, business partners and community leaders for their outstanding gifts of time, resources and energy to our schools.

SERTOMA. A curious word until three very important words come together in unison: SERvice TO MAnkind. Sertoma’s primary mission is assisting people with hearing health issues. Sertoma is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a 501(c)(3) notfor-profit civic organization with community-minded members in service clubs all across North America. Every year, Sertomans contribute more than $20 million to local communities through service projects, grants and scholarships and they have lots of fun doing it while building life-long friendships.

One of several clubs in the Heart of Texas district, Austin Sertoma has been a friend to TSD for almost 30 years providing scholarships and assistance for deaf and hard of hearing students in Texas. Since 1963, the Austin Sertoma chapter has been dedicated to providing support and sponsorships to individuals

Each year, the Austin Sertoma Club holds fundraisers and supports ongoing commitments to assist TSD with a variety of service projects - an annual Pancake Breakfast held at the school is a fun event with live music and all-u-can-eat full breakfast; the club furnishes travel expenses for TSD’s

MathCounts team to compete against other schools for deaf in Rochester New York; a National Heritage essay contest provides the winning middle schoolers with savings bonds for college each year; Sertoma sponsored TSD’s live production of GREASE in 2009, in partnership with DeafACT, Inc. – these are but a few examples of the club’s dedication to TSD.

TSD is proud to call the Austin Sertoma Club its 2009 partner of the Year! In 2008, with proceeds from these and other fundraisers, the club broke ground on TSD’s campus to install a sate-ofthe-art golf practice green for the school to reestablish its golf program. With all new Nike golf equipment donated by Texas singer/songwriter Pat Green and his longtime friend, Pat Kelly, the school now boasts an entire setup to get students exposed to the game of golf and launch a golf team in 2009-2010.

• 2009 Partner of the Year (left). • The Austin Sertoma Club sponsored TSD’s 2009 MathCounts team who took first place among 90 students from 13 states at the annual competition in Rochester New York in April 2009 (right).

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  7

Mathew Parsley at the Gourd Art class with Tony McGregor.

ArtSign 2009 By Diana Poeppelmeyer


ixty seven high school students from Arkansas School for the Deaf (ASD), Louisiana School for the Deaf (LSD), New Mexico School for the Deaf (NMSD), Oklahoma School for the Deaf (OSD), and Texas School for the Deaf (TSD), along with their staff sponsors, enjoyed an enriching artfilled weekend here at TSD, February 26-March 1. CJ Jones, a renowned comedian and performer, served as the Master of Ceremonies throughout the event and participants enjoyed a schedule packed with: team building activities; handson art workshops taught by art teachers from the various schools; hands-on art workshops taught by many deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing professional and amateur artists; art museum tours; student performances; a performance by CJ Jones that rocked the house with laughter; a wrap up dinner and dance.

Mathew Parsley at the Fiber Arts class with Carrie Lou Garberoglio.

8  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

Students at the Culinary Arts class with Cameron Garberoglio.

schedule, engaged, and HYPED! Skye Alanis and Cruz also threw in a few performances of their own to wow the crowds. CJ Jones would probably be the first to admit and proud to say that the next generation appears to be ready to follow in his lead!

Finally, all students and all sponsors from the Students at the Mosaic Frame Project with Eileen Barden. visiting schools need to be Observing workshops throughout the recognized for their contribution in the weekend, TSD art instructor, Bobbie way of workshops, performances, and Guerra, noticed how “kids were always eager participation. All brought unique engaged and eager to show their gifts, talents, and skills that were an projects. It was obvious that each artist integral part of the success of this event. touched their hearts and sparked their individual creativity.” Denise Henry, At the closing dinner, CJ encouraged staff sponsor from OSD, pointed out students to take everything they had that everything was top notch - the learned and go forward with an enriched workshops, the artists, the museum trips, idea of who they are and what they can TSD’s hospitality and facilities, and the become with all the potential they have food! In her estimation, everything was within. Then a final movie was shown “outstanding, and made everyone feel so highlighting the events of the past three welcome and special.” days and many students expressed their gratitude for ArtSign and their wish that Also deserving of much praise, was they could prolong the moment. Though the leadership of TSD students and the weekend could not be extended, graduates! Justin Perez, Calvin Young, ArtSign will go on as it has since its origin and Joe Conard taught classes like pros. 22 years ago at Oklahoma School for the Morgan Campbell, Juan Muñoz, Joe Deaf. All the participating schools have Conard, and Cruz Lane all took at least shared in hosting this rich tradition and one turn front and center leading the Arkansas School for the Deaf is eager to ArtSign participants. Cruz Lane filled welcome us all to ASD in 2011! in between events with spontaneous To see the artsign movie go to: activities that kept everyone on

New Mural at TSD

The Blanton Museum of Art’s Student Guild and Mural Vision created the expansive artwork

Victor Griffin, student (left) and Jayne Bean, teacher (center). To see more pictures visit:

Story provided by The Blanton Museum


he Blanton Museum of Art’s Student Guild organization in partnership with local nonprofit Mural Visions created an expansive artwork for a main corridor at the Texas School for the Deaf. In 2008, Jan Reed-Anderson and Monica Kurtz from the Texas School for the Deaf sent out a call to artists for the creation of a mural for their Special Needs Department. Suzanne Moore, the Blanton’s University Programs Coordinator, saw this as a unique opportunity for the museum’s Student Guild to serve the community. She, along with Beth Ferguson, a University of Texas Department of Art and Art History graduate student in design and the founder of Mural Visions, and Maria Indelicato, a UT undergraduate in Art History and Volunteer Chair of the Blanton Student Guild, worked closely with the School’s administrators to develop design concepts for the project and a strategy for completion. Along with the volunteers from the Student Guild, the mural was executed by Texas School for the Deaf students and staff and volunteers from the community, and was underwritten by Mural Visions and the Cultural Contracts Division of

the City of Austin, Jerry’s Art-a-Rama, the Texas School for the Deaf, and the University Co-op. The theme of the mural is “growth,” as illustrated by brightly colored silhouettes of children engaging in learning activities and recreation, including scenes of sign language, bicycling on the South Congress Bridge and graduation. The aim is to have the TSD pupils walk along the corridor and be inspired by the actions represented. Jan Reed-Anderson, principal of the Special Needs program, remarked “As part of our Positive Behavior Supports program, we wanted to create an environment that the students would be proud of and could acquire ownership of. With silhouettes portraying the stages of development that the students in our program will follow until they transition into the real world, the mural has already proven to be a motivator, instilling a sense of pride in our students. They point at a silhouette and think, “that’s me!”  It’s just what we wanted to achieve.” Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  9

Graduating Class of 2009 By Avonne Brooker-Rutowsky


he Class of 2009, comprised of fifty-one Rangers who also identify themselves as “Panthers” (class mascot) departed Texas School for the Deaf on June 4th as they eagerly made their way into the world. Dressed in their class colors of hot pink and black and full of spirit, it was inspiring to witness them embark upon a new journey in their lives.

Dr. Myers’ commencement speech was followed by our Salutatorian Michelle Giterman’s speech where she paralleled life with building a house. Krystal Johnson’s Valedictory speech began with her announcing that she had a secret. She then elaborated on the secret of how she and her classmates succeeded during their days at TSD; it was the continuous support they received from their TSD family each step of the way. She closed her speech with a big postcard and shared with her graduating classmates that they each have one remaining homework assignment to complete after leaving TSD--send a postcard to TSD to keep us informed of how they are doing. We look forward to checking our mailbox here on campus and hearing about how our graduates are thriving!

SWCID Provost, Dr. Mark J. Myers, was the commencement speaker at the graduation ceremony. His speech sent our graduating seniors a message encouraging each individual to become a CHAMPION in their adult world. He emphasized the importance of Cooperation and Commitment, being Honest with yourself, maintaining an Attitude where you believe in yourself, The staff and students having Motivation at Texas School for and Maturity to the Deaf are proud get the job done, of all of our 2009 sustaining Patience graduates and their and Persistence to be Students of TSD since kindergarten Merrick Lovell and Eduardo Juan Casillas perform the TSD accomplishments. We successful, Initiate school song with current TSD kindergarten students. wish them all the best and Instill yourselves, as they begin a new being able to Overcome adversity in order to become stronger, chapter in their lives. We hope to see them back on campus and doing all of these things Now! Dr. Myers wished all of from time to time so they can share more about the lives they our graduates the best as they transition from high school to are continuing to build and the secrets to their continued college or the workforce. success. 10  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009



1 Clockwise: 1) Salutatorian Michelle Giterman and Valedictorian Krystal Johnson. 2) Dalton Allen. 3) Allison Ralston. 4) Amanda Weiser and Brittnee Farek. 5) Aleida Aguilar Bilchis, Elsa Martinez and Araceli Pineda Rodriguez.





From top to bottom: John Serrano, former High School Assistant Principal. Salutatorian Michelle Giterman and Claire Bugen.

7 6) TSD students before the Graduation Ceremony. 7) Tenja Smith, Aireul Allison, Martina Ruffin, Brittnee Farek and Amanda Weiser performing the graduation song with other students.

Krystal Johnson during her valedictorian speech in front of Superintendent Claire Bugen, guest speaker Mark Myers and members of the Governing Board.

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  11

Congratulati Aleida Aguilar

Dalton Allen

Arieul Allison

Serina Arellano

Fahim Azizi

Tremon Blackshear

Brianna Brackens

Miguel Briones

Kirsten Brown

Gabriella Caballero

Maleny Cárdenas

Joseph Conard

Christon Davis

Joshua Dove

Armando Estrada

Brittnee Farek

Rhiannon Farek

Delvin Furlough

Jarlen Giacona

Michelle Giterman (Salutatorian)

Taylor Guterrez

Akila Haley-Pinder

Demetrius Holt

Krystal Johnson (Valedictorian)

Eduardo Juan Casillas

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Class of 2009

Benjamin Lockwood

Merrick Lovell

Elsa Martinez

Joseph McNeal

Paloma MejĂ­a-Devora

Robert Menchu

Meagan Meyer

Marco Molina

Briana Nandin

Levi Parks

Araceli Pineda Rodriguez

Allison Ralston

Jeanette Ramirez

Christine Ridgway

Densin Rodriguez

Martina Ruffin

Jamaal Sears

Lacoma Singleton

Tenja Smith

Javier Solis

James Tucker

Stephanie Vasquez

Raven Washington

Amanda Weiser

Jonathan Whitten

Cy Young

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  13

A Past to

b e r m e m e R

and a night to remember - the Junior Senior Prom 2009.


the 80’s, decorations focused on the era of the 50’s and 60’s. The dance was energized by a great fajita dinner and students walked away with souvenir water bottles imprinted with the theme and date.

The theme was ‘A Past to Remember’ and though we covered the 50’s –

Taylor Guterrez was elected as the Prom Queen and Ben Lockwood was elected as the Prom King. After this highlight of the evening, many students returned to TSD for a midnight swim.

By Brett Waltman

he Junior Senior Prom was a big success and will be a great memory for all who attended. The prom was held at the Onion Creek Country Club on the evening of May 16th. Over 100 students and about 20 staff partied till 3 a.m.!

14  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

Close Up with

Our Government Video Conference with Barbara Bush Juan Muñoz and other public school students with TSD supporter Senator Florence Shapiro.

Texas Capitol Schoolhouse By Mari Liles

The Texas Capitol Schoolhouse is a legislative event to give students and teachers from across the state of Texas the opportunity to showcase how technology is being used to improve public schools. The goal of the event is to provide information for legislators, other state leaders, and the general public about how the most advanced technologies and best practices are improving the way teachers teach and students learn! TSD’s 1st graders and high school video technology students participated in technology classroom demonstrations at the Texas State Capitol on May 11th, 2009. Three students from Ms. Gay’s 2nd grade class: Cage Hall, Chloe Kuhns and

Jewel Rocha and four students from Ms. Guerra’s High School Video Technology class: Juan Muñoz, Kalie Kubes, Claira Oberrender and Kirsten Coahran all impressed their Senators and Representatives with their technology skills and projects. This TCSH event occurs every two years and TSD is one of about 10-12 schools that were invited to participate this year. TSD, with its heavy emphasis and reliance on technology in the classrooms, has become one of the forerunners of this exciting event. Our students have been invited to participate in this event since it started in 1996.

Meeting Representative Mark Strama TSD students Tenja Smith and Kalie Kubes had the opportunity to discuss K-12 funding through the ARRA (the “Stimulus Funds”). Normally, discussions and decisions are made at much higher levels without too much input from the campus or even district levels, and even rarer, from student levels. This opportunity was one of those rare ones. On May 5th, a statewide video conference was held specifically to enable students to learn about and then ask questions about the funding. They were able to indicate what is important to them.

Imagine that, asking the beneficiaries what they want! One key person that was live with the students is State Representative Mark Strama. He is currently the Chair of the House Committee for Technology, Economic Development and Workforce. In addition, there was representation from very high levels at TEA to listen and interact with the students. Basically, the decision makers wanted to hear what students think their schools need if given stimulus money.

On April 22, 2009, Mrs. Gay’s first grade class had the opportunity to interview the former First Lady, Barbara Bush. 11,000 students across Texas participated in this video conference and each class was invited to submit questions. Our first grade students submitted several options and their question asking Mrs. Bush to recall her favorite experience as first lady was selected. It was an honor to be chosen. Cage Hall introduced our school and his classmates and then the students all signed the question together. Mrs. Bush related a heart-warming story about a diplomat who arrived in America and kissed the ground because he was so happy to be in a democracy and feel freedom. She was greatly touched by his gesture. She was ALSO very impressed with our students and we hope her conversation with us goes down as another one of her favorite memories! Ashlene Etkie, Cage Hall, Chloe Kuhns, Jewel Rocha, Mason Rosko, Grace Soechting, K e n n e d y T o y n e s , Anahly Tristen and Connor Upchurch represented our school and Region 13. Way to go First Grade! Barbara Bush. (Courtesy George Bush Library, PD).

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  15


Winter Spring

“Holiday Window Wonderland” T

he Scarbrough building in downtown Austin on the southwest corner of 6th and Congress is one of Austin’s landmark buildings. It is a historic building that was once home to one of Austin’s finest department stores of the same name and once again TSD had the honor of installing their Holiday window display. Dubbed “Holiday Window Wonderland”, the display is an excellent opportunity to share something about the young Deaf artists who attend TSD.

Scarbrough Building - 6th & Congress.

Cinco de Mayo

celebration at TSD

TSD students at the International Festival, celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The event was hosted by the Hispanic Club and the activities included: a soccer match, food, “Friendship Bracelets” and a piñata workshop with Elementary students. Also the Mexican-American Cultural Center’s traditional Aztec dancers performed.

16  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

Adorned with TSD students artwork from Photography, Multimedia and Digital Graphics classes, the display also reflects the technology that the school is known for. A large flat screen TV brought to life the work of Video Technology students who teamed up with student’s studying American Sign Language as a foreign language in a compilation of movies and animated holiday sequences. Last year, the entire display won a Barbara Jordan Media Award, given by the Governor’s Office.

Ranger Day 2009 By Stella Egbert

This year’s Ranger Day was spearheaded by our Counselor, Trish Grooms with her outstanding committee of teachers, teacher assistants, and parents. The focus of Ranger Day is two-fold; to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and to reflect on what has been learned throughout the year with the partnerships of the Travis County Sheriff Office and Run-Tex.

running the KidMarathon on the track, and they had various stations to visit throughout the morning. We had our TCSO personnel on campus (ranging from the K-9 team to the SWAT team) as well as having a fun-filled afternoon, enjoying the waterslides and obstacle courses.

The students began the day with

Southside Flying Pizza is TSD’s Newest Community Partner By Keena Miller

Southside Flying Pizza became Texas School for the Deaf ’s newest Community Partner this past spring. “It feels good to do good!”, Art Goldstein said when he presented the first check for $545.47 to the school on July 2, 2009.

John Pennington and Art Goldstein present the first check to Hal Caldcleugh for the TSD Foundation.

New and innovative “Hunger Rush” technology from Revention Inc. of Houston became available to allow customers to order pizza directly from SSFP on the internet. Goldstein wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to

make ordering easier for all customers. He convinced Revention to donate the software and add a customized charitable giving module for TSD. SSFP’s system includes a communitygiving component that encourages customers to place orders online, by offering an easy way to give back to the community. For every order placed using SSFP’s web based system, 5% goes to the TSD Foundation.

You can visit the website at:

“Discover Your World” Engages Youth Leaders By David Coco

TSD sponsored another successful Discovery Retreat for mainstream hard of hearing and deaf students during the weekend of April 4, 2009 at Peaceable Kingdom in Youngsport Texas. The theme of this retreat was “Discover Your World” and included a variety of different presentations and activities focusing on

discovering your self-identity through international travel. The keynote speaker was Josh Swiller, a deaf author from Gallaudet University, who gave an inspiring talk about his experiences in the Peace Corps in Africa. The retreat also included talks by Mark Gobble on his travels through China and Tibet with deaf students and Michael Wynne on his visits to Central America. These

deaf adventurers helped the students realize that foreign travel for deaf students and adults can be an enriching and life changing experience. The retreat included 27 9th and 10th grade hard of hearing and deaf mainstream students from across the state. Retreat staff included deaf college students, TSD staff, Peaceable Kingdom staff, and other community representatives.

On Saturday night all the students joined to present a series of skits illustrating different scenarios for international communication challenges. After a nature walk lead by Nick Bannon on Sunday, the students bid farewell to their newly made friends. As they departed we saw them telling their parents that they were not ready to go home yet and to make sure they got signed up for the next retreat.

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  17


Sports Banquet

Congratulations to all our Award-winners!!!

Special Awards Manager of the Year (female): Elsa Martinez Manager of the Year (male):

Robert Menchu Sportsmanship Award (female):

Rhiannon Farek Sportsmanship Award (male):

Edwin Nirider Ranger Pride Award (female):

Christine Ridgeway Ranger Pride Award (male):

Marco Molina Rookie of the Year (female):

Jamie Utzman & Keisha Hernandez Rookie of the Year (male):


Football Most Dedicated Player: Most Dedicated Player: Ranger Award: Most Improved Player:

JV Football All-Around Football Player: Most Dedicated Player: Most Valuable Player: Most Oustanding Player: Coach’s Award:

Coach’s Award: Martika Giacona Cheerleader Most Spirited Cheerleader (winter): Matthew Parsley Most Skilled Cheerleader (winter): Michelle Giterman


Most Valuable Player: Most Oustanding Player: Most Improved Player: Most Valuable Player: Most Improved Player:


Mysty Ayala

Most Oustanding Player: Most Improved Player: Coach’s Award:

JV Girls Basketball

Jay Hill

Most Improved Player: Coach’s Award:

Scholar - Athlete of the Year (male):

Benjamin Lockwood

Spring Boys Track Most Valuable Trackster: Most Oustanding Trackster: Most Outstanding Trackster: Most Improved Trackster:

Marcus Gentry Jay Hill Kyle Winter Ernesto Garcia

Girls Track Best All-Around Athlete: Most Dedicated Trackster: Most Dedicated Trackster:

Michelle Giterman Myeisha Justice Marivel Holguin

Softball Most Valuable Player: Most Oustanding Player: Most Improved Player: Most Improved Player:

Krystal Johnson Serina Arellano Keisha Hernandez Mireyda Bustos

Marcus Gentry Jairo de Leon Jay Trujillo

Most Valuable Player (boy): Coach’s Award (boy): Most Improved Player (boy): Most Valuable Player (girl): Most Improved Player (girl):

Forrest Godfrey Edwin Nirider Trannon Cheek Paloma Mejia Kimberly Engle

Austin Hill Cody Kornkven

Girls Basketball

Athlete of the Year (male):

Omar Valdovinos Marivel Holguin Taylor Guterrez


Boys Basketball

Athlete of the Year

Scholar - Athlete of the Year

Krystal Johnson Serina Arellano Ashlee Lambert

JV Volleyball

JV Boys Basketball


Jonathon Ford Horacio Hernandez


Jonathon Ford

Ashlee Lambert

Joe Conrad Jarlen Giacona Orren Aden Adrian Barajas

Most Improved Wrestler: Coach’s Award: Most Dedicated Player:

Ashlee Lambert Brandi Prater Tenja Smith Michelle Ngwu Myeisha Justice

Wrestling Most Valuable Wrestler: Coach’s Award:

18  Lone Star • Winter-Spring 2009

Benjamin Lockwood Adrian Barajas

Athletes of the Year, Jay Hill (left) and Ashlee Lambert (right) with Superintendent Claire Bugen.

Get Ready for the fall season! Football and Volleyball Fall Schedules

Kyle Winter.



Boys Varsity

Track & Field Classic By Jesse Bailey

USADTF (USA Deaf Track & Field) collaborated with TSD for the event. The classic is an annual event and USADTF is now working with MSSD with hope that they will host next year. Thomas Berg and Ruth Seeger.

08/21/09 Texas Christian Academy (&)




09/04/09 Cypress Christian




09/11/09 Brazos Christian High Schoo

Home 7:00PM

Saturday 09/19/09 California School For The Deaf

Home 5:30PM

Saturday 09/26/09 Shiner High School



Saturday 10/03/09 Maryland School For The Deaf




10/16/09 Dallas Home School




10/23/09 *St Joseph Catholic HS




10/30/09 *Regents




11/06/09 *Waco Reicher Catholic HS





Saturday 11/14/09 Bi-District Playoff

Girls Varsity


Nine deaf schools participated in the classic and the Team Champions were Maryland Girls and California-Fremont Boys. We witnessed a few meet records and our very own Michelle Giterman, Senior, and Marcus Gentry, Junior, won best field athlete awards. Despite bad weather on Friday, we ran in front of a good crowd and under pleasant weather on Saturday. Thomas Berg and Ruth Seeger, whom the classic is named after, were in attendance.



08/11/09 Hill Country Christian

Home 7:00PM

Thursday 08/13/09 Austin Royals

Home 6:30PM


08/14/09 Waldorf Tournament



Saturday 08/15/09 Waldorf Tournament




08/17/09 San Marcos Baptist Academy




08/18/09 Brentwood Christian

Home 6:30PM

Thursday 08/20/09 Grace Academy

Home 6:30PM


08/21/09 Summit Christian Academy



08/24/09 San Marcos Baptist Academy

Home 6:30PM


08/25/09 Brentwood Christian


Thursday 08/27/09 Grace Academy Tuesday

09/01/09 *St. Gerard Catholic

6:00PM 6:30PM

Home 6:30PM Home 6:30PM

Wednesday 09/02/09 *Regents



Home 6:30PM

09/08/09 *San Juan Diego


Thursday 09/10/09 *Round Rock Christian Academy




09/11/09 Brentwood Tournament



Saturday 09/12/09 Brentwood Tournament




Home 6:30PM

09/15/09 *Keystone School

Saturday 09/19/09 Not Your Ordinary School

Home 2:00PM


09/21/09 *New Braunfels Christian Academy Away



09/22/09 *Concordia Academy



Thursday 09/24/09 *St. Gerard Catholic




Home 6:30PM

09/29/09 *Regents

Wednesday 09/30/09 *San Juan Diego




10/02/09 Spike Out XI



Saturday 10/03/09 Spike Out XI




Home 6:30PM

10/06/09 *Round Rock Christian Academy

Thursday 10/08/09 *Keystone School



10/12/09 Not Your Ordinary School

Home 6:30PM


10/13/09 *New Braunfels Christian Academy Home 6:30PM

Thursday 10/15/09 *Concordia Academy


Home 6:30PM

For complete Schedule, Directions and Scores including JV Football and JV Volleyball. Please, visit the High School Sports page at: TSD team pictures. Senior Michelle Giterman and Junior Marcus Gentry, Junior, won best field athlete awards.

Journal of the Texas School for the Deaf  19

The foundation of their lives is built with guidance, education, care and love.

Bringing together community and business involvement to encourage academic excellence in Deaf Education, and provide statewide resources and student support

TSD Foundation 2009-2010 Board of Directors Danny Lacey - Chair Michael Moody - Vice Chair, Operations John Blazier - Secretary Hal Caldcleugh - Treasurer Vince Pendergast - Asst. Treasurer Joe Brown

John Hodnett - Advisory

Mike Sharp

Claire Bugen - Ex-Officio

Parker Kennedy, Ph.D.

Peter Strople

Jack Busenbark

Ryan Melody

Patty Viramontes

Marilyn Galloway

Paul Rutowski

Jon Wolf

Mark Seeger

For giving opportunities please contact us: • e-mail:

Lone Star Winter Spring 2009  
Lone Star Winter Spring 2009  

The Journal of The Texas School for the Deaf