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Editor: Rennie Polk Graphic Design: Randy D’Angelo FROM THE EDITOR: Without the support of many people at ASD, this publication would not be possible. I would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions: Francisco Abeyta, Jane Amoruso, Anna Andrews, Christa Bolen, Steve Borsotti, Jeff Bravin, Sandy Bryant, Sue Campbell, Barbara Corrigan, Kathleen DonAroma, Kathy Falco, Barbara French, Sue Giniso, Rosemarie Greco, Julie Holcomb, Mary LaPorta, Linda Leimberger, Kirsten Lingenheld, Dawn Love, Alexandra McGee, Robin Mengual, Denise Monte, Anne Nutt, Ed Peltier, Betty Poster, Fern Reisinger, Charle Reisinger, Marilyn Rettig, Neil Robinson, Tammy Selinger, Luisa Soboleski, Gary Wait, and Karen Wilson. I would also like to thank the students in the Biology classes for their student essay in this edition: Narelis Perez, Sophia Silva, Kevin Macisco, Hector Rivera, and Kennialisse Rolon. Last but never least, thank you to Randy D’Angelo for his creativity and patience, and to the PrintWorks staff for their expert production!

From the Executive Director As we embark on a new decade, it is important to reflect on our past and moments of satisfaction and gratification we’ve had in educating our students. I want to share with you a few vignettes of alumni who have built upon the education they received at ASD, whether at college, training or work. These remarkable young people have seized the opportunities given them, faced and overcome challenges to become self-directed, productive citizens of whom we are proud. While ASD had been educating young deaf and hard of hearing students for nearly 200 years, this edition of the ERA reflects changes and accomplishments over the last decade. We are energized about the future of our school, and though we have significant challenges, we are committed to our mission. With the help, guidance and support of our board, parents, staff and friends, we will continue to evolve and move forward, while respecting our history.  th

As we begin to plan for our 200 Anniversary, we want to take the time to thank all of the people, throughout many, many years, who have made ASD the strong, vibrant institution it is today.   Warmest regards, Edward F. Peltier Executive Director



Alumni: Where Are They Now? Kaneisha Alexis ‘08 enrolled in ASD at age 4. She traveled to ASD from Bridgeport, Connecticut, and as difficult as this was for her family, Kaneisha's mother recognized the need for her daughter to have a communicatively-accessible school curriculum delivered by highly trained, certified teachers who could meet her daughter’s needs. Throughout her years at ASD, Kaneisha participated in a broad range of extra-curricular activities. She was in the Girl Scouts, served on the school's Student Council, and was an outstanding three sport athlete. Kaneisha is now in her second year at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. She is the first in her family to enroll in college, and she continues to be focused on achieving her goals. Kaneisha returns often to ASD to visit students and teachers, and we continue to be impressed with her accomplishments!

Caraleigh Hawkinson ’08 is a sophomore at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf majoring in Arts and Imaging Studies. Cara came to ASD when she was 11 years old, and spent her years at ASD learning, maturing and preparing for the future. She took advantage of the many opportunities offered to her at ASD, and as a result, is a self-assured young woman who has set goals for herself and is ready to work hard to achieve them. Cara said, “After graduating from ASD, I was prepared and ready to start on my next adventure— thanks ASD!” Cara returned to ASD last summer to work in PrintWorks and gain more experience in the printing field. She continues to take advantage of all ASD has to offer.


need mike kennedy photo

Mike Kennedy, ‘03 came to ASD in 1995. He recently returned to campus to visit and told us he is currently teaching Social Studies (his favorite subject at ASD) at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. Mike graduated from Gallaudet and got his M.S. in Deaf Education at Westminister University. Mike reminisces about his education at ASD and recalls enjoying every subject he took at school. He remembers being involved in many organizations including Junior Connecticut Association of the Deaf, Academic Bowl, French Exchange Program and Yearbook. He was elected Class President his senior year, and although admittedly not an outstanding athlete, worked with the Athletic Department. He is still in contact with his friends from ASD. Jason Maxwell graduated from ASD in 1998. Jason is deaf with special needs (DSN). With great support from his mother and his teachers at ASD, Jason is a proud member of the Connecticut workforce. Since graduation, Jason has lived independently with the support of the ASD Adult Vocational Services Program and the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services. For

One of the traits he developed as a result of his experience at ASD is self confidence and the ability to take risks or as he says: “don’t talk about it, do it”. At Gallaudet, his major was Government. After graduation, he served as an intern in Senator Dodd’s office. He was assigned to the 2006 Committee on Health, Education, and Labor Pension where he was a researcher. He realized that, if he was going to maximize his potential, he needed further education and decided to pursue his Master’s Degree in Deaf Education. He hopes one day to return to the political arena, perhaps working for the U.S. Department of Education. For now he is happy trying to be a role model and mentor to his students as so many of his ASD teachers were to him.

twelve years, Jason has been employed at Curtis 1000 in Newington Connecticut. Connecticut Public Television featured Jason in a program on people in the workplace with disabilities. Jason is proud of his work ethic, and his employer echoes Jason’s pride saying “Jason is one of my best employees.” Jason is an outstanding example of what an ASD education and positive “Can Do” attitude can accomplish.


Occupational Skills Training (OST) Graduation

Josue Garcia, Sandy Inzinga and Jason Sankey On June 4, two students in the Adult Vocational Services Program (AVS) graduated from the Occupational Skills Training Program; Josue Garcia in Culinary Arts and Jason Sankey in Wood Design. Beverly Angeles, OST Coordinator, and Ed Peltier, Executive Director, congratulated both men on their incredible progress and success. Josue Garcia, born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, graduated from The Learning Center in 2007 (his family moved back to Massachusetts) after two years at the American School for the Deaf. He came back to ASD’s OST program to focus on the Culinary Arts Program. He was able to juggle working at Bertucci’s Restaurant, taking classes at ASD, and working in the cafeteria during lunch and dinner. Curt Hayward and Kirsten Lingenheld, Culinary Arts faculty, both commended Josue for his ability to readily learn recipes and handle kitchen equipment while maintaining a positive work ethic and impressive customer service skills. Jason Sankey was born in Jamaica and graduated from St. Christopher’s School for the Deaf. At the age of 33, he moved to the United States. His counselor at the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) suggested he come to the vocational program at ASD. He found his passion in wood design. His teacher, Dave Woodward, describes Jason as “courageous”, because he moved to a new country at the age of 33 and “humble”, as he never said an unkind word to anyone. Jason had an incredible “sense of responsibility” especially with his peers in the classroom. 5

Graduation 2009 Elementary School Graduation June 19, 2009 was a beautiful spring day for the graduation of both elementary and high school students. In the morning, the entire elementary school and a multitude of parents, friends and relatives gathered for their graduation ceremony. Two students, Christian Clauss and Brandan Macisco, were honored as graduates of the sixth grade. Fern Reisinger praised both students for the excellent effort and commitment to their academics. Students from pre-K to sixth grade received awards for their accomplishments. Everyone enthusiastically cheered the happy graduates!

Dylan graduates from Kindergarten

Fern Reisinger & Ed Peltier with 6th grade graduate Brandan



Graduation 2009

Executive Director Edward Peltier opened the 2009 Graduation Ceremony by expressing his thanks to all the students, staff and faculty and acknowledging their wonderful talent. He welcomed many Board Members and other dignitaries present in the audience as well as thanking the Local Education Agencies who were present, for their partnership in educating all ASD students.


The welcome was given by Class President Jon Cybulski who reminded his classmates of the obstacles they tackled and overcame, adding that each and every member of the class had a skill to offer. “Remember”, he said, “Deaf people can do anything but hear.”

Bryan Dolan gave the graduation speech and reiterated Jon’s remarks by talking about his dream of becoming an automotive maintenance technician. Through the support of many teachers, especially Lou Volpintesta, he is going to Southwest Collegiate College for the Deaf and will major in his field of interest. Bryan’s final comments were directed to the staff at ASD, thanking them for giving each student the tools to allow them to succeed in life. He ended with a quote from Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

Bryan Dolan giving graduation speech

Arthur Moore, ASD Board Member and Account Executive at Sprint Relay, was the keynote speaker and his message focused on accomplishing


Jon Cybulski, Connell McLarin and Mike Corson

Jolene Breault & Tim Saraqi

success: “a journey, not a destination” [Ben Sweetland]. There are a number of factors contributing to success: enthusiasm, experience, failures and accomplishments. Mr. Moore encouraged all of the graduates to continue their education as it will hold the key to their future. He also promoted the use of resources including professors, peers and counselors to aid in their career pursuits. Last, Mr. Moore promoted work ethics which are crucial to sustaining employment: positive attitude, being a team player, being respectful and giving and asking for support. Of the twenty-two students who graduated from the American School for the Deaf, ten are attending colleges including Gallaudet, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, Gateway Community College, and Northwest Community College. Other graduates have been successful in obtaining employment. Many of the students, upon receiving their diplomas, stopped at the podium to publicly thank their parents and ASD staff who have supported them through their school career.

After the distribution of diplomas given by Board President Carle Mowell and Executive Director Ed Peltier, awards were given to seniors for various accomplishments. Of those awards, The Monte Scholarship is given to graduates to help them meet the financial challenges of college. Winners of this award were James Macisco, Jennifer Beaujour, Annish Haynes, Connell McLaurin, Kendra Raposo, Ray Valentin, Bryan Eldridge, Michael Corson, Jonathan Cybulski, Bryan Dolan and Muhammed Ali Kamal. The final award was the Headmaster’s Award which is the most prestigious award given to a senior. It is presented to one boy and girl who have demonstrated excellence throughout their school career. The 2009 winners were Annish Haynes and Bryan Dolan.


Ed Pelteir, Beth Ozkan (Manchester LEA), Board President Carle Mowell, Board Member Art Moore and Jonathan Perez-Cintron


Meet the Board John E. Ahearn – Corporator since 2007 and new Director in the Class of 2012: Having retired after 30 years as an attorney for Aetna Inc., Mr. Ahearn is now Special Counsel to the company. He graduated from Harvard College and the University of Connecticut School of Law, performed his military duty with the U.S. Army Reserve and has served as Chairman of the Connecticut Prison Association (now known as Community Partners in Action). Cristi Alberino, Ph.D. – New Corporator and new Director in the Class of 2011: Dr. Alberino works as an Education Consultant overseeing the high school English Language Arts testing (CAPT) at the CT State Department of Education, Bureau of Student Assessment. She serves on the CT Coalition for the Education of Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing along with Ed Peltier. She is currently pursuing a career in Deaf Education at Northwestern CT Community College and volunteers her time at ASD. Laura Lee Douaihy – New Corporator: Ms. Douaihy is a Community Executive with the American Cancer Society. She is the co-founder of Celestial Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, including a riding program for children with autism. She has associates degrees from Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Early Childhood Development and Interpreting for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and is a National Association of the Deaf Level III certified interpreter. Harold A. Smullen, Jr. – Corporator since 2004 and new Director in the Class of 2012: Mr. Smullen is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of RC Knox & Company. He has a BA in Economics from Trinity College and an MBA in Finance from the University of Connecticut. He is the Former President of National Alumni Association and former Trustee of Trinity College; a Corporator of St. Francis Hospital; a Board member of St. Francis Hospital Foundation; and a member of the Exchange Club of West Hartford and Knights of Columbus. Carolyn J. Thornberry – New Corporator: Ms. Thornberry is a college educator, public policy consultant and Chair of the Human and Leisure Services Committee on the West Hartford Town Council. She holds masters degrees in both political science and education and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Connecticut. She and her husband State Senator Kevin Sullivan have collaborated on numerous political campaigns, projects and programs.



New and Exciting Staff Program Changes As many of you know, Thangi Appanah, our Elementary School Principal, left this summer to take a position at Gallaudet University and be closer to her family. Although we will miss her, we are very fortunate to have Luisa Soboleski assume the role of Principal. Luisa has been with ASD for over twenty-five years! She started her career at ASD as a teacher, and since 2001 has been the Assistant Principal of the Elementary School. Luisa holds a Masters in Education with a major in Deaf Education. She also holds many professional certifications in education and educational leadership. Our new Junior/ Senior High Principal is Nancy Forsberg who began her duties on October 1, 2009. She comes from Seattle, Washington where she had been working in the Edmunds School District. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in General Education, Bachelor of Arts Degree in Special Education and a Masters Degree in Deaf Education. Becky Abeyta has been promoted to Assistant Principal of the Junior/Senior High School. Becky has been with ASD since 2001. She was a teacher in the Junior/Senior High School until 2007 when she became Coordinator of Academic Support Services. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education and recently received her Masters of Science in School Health. Alyssa Pecorino will be Coordinator of Student Support Services for the Junior/Senior High and Quad 1. This is a newly created position and Alyssa is responsible for all student disciplinary issues, coordinate field trips and event schedules, run special events, supervise bus ar9

rival and departure, coordinate lunch duty and oversee internet safety and ID protocol. Last year, she worked as a teacher in the Outreach Department and in the PACES program. She most recently completed her tenth summer at Camp Isola Bella and her fifth summer as Assistant Director. ASD is pleased to announce Karen Wilson as the new Director of PACES. Karen has been with ASD since 1998 and has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for ten years. In October of 2008, she became Director of Psychological and Counseling Services. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, Masters Degree in Counseling and is a National Certified Counselor. She also completed a forty hour course in Mediation from the Quinnipiac Center on Dispute. Introducing new ASD Faculty and Staff: Leo Casella Leo is a former ASD student and is a Residential Counselor for PACES. Amie DiNardo Amie is teaching in the PACES Program. She received her Masters from RIT/NTID. Natalie Keating Natalie is a teacher in the PACES Program. She has her Masters in Deaf Education from the University of New Hampshire. Melissa Nelly Melissa Nelly is a counselor in the Core Program. She received her Masters in School Counseling from Fairfield University.

@ ASD New and Exciting Staff Program... Continued from Page 8

Stefan Norton Stefan returns to ASD as a residential counselor in the PACES Program. Most recently he had been teaching in Australia. He holds a Masters of Science Education as well as a Masters in Deaf Education from Columbia University.

Susan Steers Susan is a teacher in the PACES Program. She comes to ASD from the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Baylor University and a Masters in Deaf Education from Lamar University.

Allison O’Connor Allison joins the PACES Program as a counselor. She received her Masters in Social Work from Rutgers University.

Elise Meola Elise is a new teacher in the Elementary School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Southern Connecticut State University. She obtained her Masters in Elementary Education with a concentration in reading from St. Joseph College in West Hartford.

Laura Okolo Laura is a part-time RN at the Student Health Center. She received her Nursing Degree from the University of Southern Nevada and is currently working on her Masters in Science and Nursing at St. Joseph’s College. Anise Papaj Anise is a residential counselor for the Core Program. She worked at Camp Isola Bella this past summer. Karl Reddy is the International Student Liaison. He helps students adjust to their new environment, supports their school homework, and plans and supervises student activities on weekends. Karl comes to ASD from the Austine School for the Deaf and has his Masters Degree from the University of South Africa. Tim Saraqi graduated from ASD in 2009 and is working in the Plant Operations Department.


Kelly Feeney Kelly joins ASD as an Outreach Teacher. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with a specialization in computer-based graphic design from the University of Central Florida and earned an Master’s Degree in Special Education with a dual major in Childhood Education from Dowling College. Linda Fildes Linda returns to the staff of ASD as an Outreach Teacher. She received her Bachelor’s Degree with a concentration in Speech/Language Therapy and Education of the Hearing Impaired from Northeastern University. She also received her Interpreter Certification from Northeastern. Jean Marie Hunter Jean is an Outreach School Counselor. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History/ Political Science from St. Joseph College and her Masters of Education in School Counseling from River College in Nashua, New Hampshire.

@ ASD ASD Introduces Changes in the PACES Program There are some exciting new changes to the PACES Program this year. After an ongoing review of recommendations made by the Child Welfare League of America, a new program model was implemented. This new model includes two teams under separate leadership. The Clinical Team Leader for Team A is Bonnie Nicol, MA, and Licensed Psychological Counselor. Bonnie’s team has Juan Carrasquillo, a Crisis Intervention Specialist, and Liz Citron, MSW, as the team’s clinician. Their team includes teachers, residential counselors and teacher aides for the 10th, 11th and 12th grade PACES students. Team B is led by Joe Basile, MA, Certified School Counselor. Working with Joe are Jim Craig, Crisis Interventional Specialist, and Alison O’Connor MSW, the Team B Clinician. On Joe’s team there are teachers, residential counselors and teacher aides for Elementary, 7th, 8th and 9th grade PACES students.

PA C E S Team A

PA C E S Team B

Bonnie Nicol

Joe Basile

Liz Citron

Jim Craig

In December 2009, the New York Department of Education Alison O’Connr conducted a site review of the PACES educational, clinical and Juan Carrasquillo residential programs. It was a positive experience, including the reviewer’s vote of confidence in the model, satisfaction with the academic success of the students, and support of the staff’s efforts to meet the needs of students with diverse physical and emotional challenges. ASD also received very positive feedback regarding the availability of vocational and transition services for deaf students from all programs. For more information about PACES, please contact Karen Wilson, Director at 860-570-2298. Joe Basile or Bonnie Nicol, Clinical Team Leaders, may be contacted by calling the program’s Administrative Assistant, Dotti Dillon, at 860.570.2223.

Staff & Student Accolades Kudos goes to Gary Wait for his participation in Connecticut Public Television’s documentary The Power of Giving: Philanthropy. This was a wonderful piece highlighting Thomas Gallaudet’s role in deaf education. Teachers Kathy Falco and Becky Peters were also featured. Congratulations to Sandy Bryant’s son, Shane (former employee), who received his Master’s Degree from UConn in Educational Psychology and School Counseling. Congratulations to ASD eighth grader, Jenilee Marques, for her role as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker” at the Ivoryton Playhouse. 11

Jenilee has been performing since age 4 and researched her character, Helen Keller, by traveling to the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston. ASD sent a group of students and teachers to the play and all praised Jenilee’s performance. Scott Robinson, Core Counselor, celebrated his 25th year as a staff member of Camp Isola Bella. This past summer, a plaque was placed on the shed by the waterfront honoring Scott.

@ ASD Student & Staff Accolades ...Continued from Page 10

ASD has again been named a School of Excellence by the Board of Directors of the National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET). Recognition as a NASET School of Excellence is given to private special education schools that have met rigorous professional criteria and have demonstrated truly exceptional dedication, commitment and achievement in the field of special education.

community. The award also includes a $500 scholarship. Morris has been volunteering in the pre-school and elementary school program for many years. He said, “I recently became a citizen of the United States and want to give back to the community as much as I can.” Being deaf has not curbed his commitment to giving back to the school which has helped prepare him for the future.

Residential Counselor Paul Batch had one of his paintings featured on the cover of the Hartford Courant iTowns this fall. Two of his paintings were accepted in the annual juried ArtWalk exhibit in West Hartford Center.

The Department of Children and Family Services Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advisory Council held its 7th annual conference for DCF employees entitled “Keeping Families TogetherEmpowering the Disempowered” this past fall. The planning committee, which included Adult Vocational Services. Director, Sandy Inzinga, did an excellent job in coordinating this event. Several ASD staff members gave presentations including, Joan Hanna, Nancy Zurek, Joe Basile, Betsy Denorifa, and Sharon ShirleyBailey.

Congratulations to Morris Palmer, ASD senior, who has been selected as one of five high school seniors to receive the Student Volunteer Award from the Kiwanis Club of West Hartford. The “Stars for Kids” award is given to five high school seniors who have shown a commitment to serving children in the

Congratulations to teachers Sue Giniso, Jane Amoruso and Heather Fronczek for receiving a mini-grant for First Level activities; Liz Citron and Alison O’Connor in the PACES Program for a grant on Life Skills Development; and Barbara Corrigan, for a grant to create the “Deaf Girls Can” Club.

Have you Visited Us Online Lately? The New Year brought with it the new face of ASD as we launched our enhanced website. The site is designed to provide information to a variety of constituencies in an attractive, informative way. Our parents will find an enhanced site that allows them access to work being done by their child, comments from teachers, a comprehensive calendar and homework assignments. Our Board will have its own area to exchange information about issues of interests. Our supporters will have the ability to make secure, online donations as well as learn about new opportunities and initiatives. 12

Please take a moment to visit us at We welcome your feedback!



Countdown to ASD’s 200 Anniversary th

Focus on Technology

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.” Bill Gates (founder and Chairman of Microsoft Corporation) No truer words have been expressed in terms of advancing technology in the classroom. Technological access can be available to all students but only with the knowledge of how best to use the tools will a student gain the most information. ASD has been, in the last decade, as current as possible with regard to technology advancement. Francisco Abeyta, Informational Technology (IT) Services Director says “ASD has always kept up with technology advancement – the computer technology at ASD has always been at and oftentimes far surpasses, the level of technology in the public schools. Having an inhouse IT department with staff dedicated to finding technology for ASD students, as well as having teachers willing to try new technology in the classroom really helps keep us on the leading edge”.


piece of the network infrastructure – switches and routers that make up the core network); establish six computer labs – three for the High School, two for the Elementary School and one in the vocation technical department; and deploy over 200 workstations, including one in each classroom.

Since that time, the size, shape and locations of the computers have changed, but ASD has maintained its commitment to providing the best technology possible to its staff and students. Each year, within the allowable budget, the IT Department makes upgrades, to computers and the network infrastructure. The newest and fastest computers go to the students in either labs or tech classrooms. Older models are recycled to the classrooms and offices; giving Bob Nitko uses “Active Board” to teach students web design students access to the 1999 was a “leaping newest equipment is a off” year. Cogswell had brand new computers in priority. Computers at the end of their life-cycle two labs. The Internet was on campus in limited are recycled to a company in Newington, CT. areas, but staff were excited about learning what this young technology could do for ASD. In 2005, the school opened the Technology In 2000, the school completed a $1.5 million Center which houses PrintWorks, the Culinary fundraising effort to improve educational Arts center and other technology classes such as technology in the school. The funds were used web design, graphic animation, graphic design to: connect every classroom in the academic and basic computer concepts. and vocational buildings via fiber optic cable to high speed ATM backbone (a most critical Recent moves on campus have also presented



Countdown to ASD’s 200th... Continued from Page 12

challenges. When the students moved out Other technological advances include the of the Gallaudet building into the portable daily use of digital cameras, LCD projectors, classrooms, space limitations required some document cameras, digital movie cameras, using creative thinking: the Internet as instead of having a a means for room dedicated as communicating a computer lab, two (with parents, laptop carts were peers, other made available for schools, etc.), teachers to use within video phones, their classrooms. “Alphasmarts”/ “This is a in a trial “ N e o s ” phase. Ideally, we (small word would like to create processors for a permanent space taking notes), for computer access” …the list says Abeyta. goes on. New A lesson becomes interactive when students use the “Active Board” technology is Over the past decade, the use of Interactive being developed daily—advances useful for Whiteboards has increased tremendously. This Deaf students are often brought to the school’s technology (also know as “SmartBoards” or attention by colleagues at other Deaf schools, “ActivBoards”) makes learning much more parents, LEAs, and sometimes even students. accessible in the ASD classroom as it enables “If we have the funds, and a teacher or class is all students to participate in the learning. Since willing to try some kind of new technology, we 2000, the school has increased the number usually give it a try” Abeyta says. from two Interactive Whiteboards to thirty. The boards can be But having all used in conjunction this technology with a handheld is of little use learner response if it is not mechanism knows viable. This is as an “Activote” why one of the which is used for biggest areas of interactive testadvancement taking and provides has been real-time data and in ASD’s feedback about Educational student progress and Te c h n o l o g y. understanding. Since the beginnings of “Edline” is an online ASD’s use of program which ASD has been using for many computers and equipment in the classroom, years and allows teachers to set up web pages Executive Director, Ed Peltier, has been a for every class and post homework assignments, proponent of Educational Technology at ASD. update classroom calendars and is linked to their Having technology staff on hand to assist faculty electronic gradebooks. It is also intended to be by teaching them how to use new equipment a tool to maintain open communication between and enabling them to have the ability to families and teachers. incorporate technology in the classroom makes 14



Countdown to ASD’s 200th... Continued from Page 13

Kate uses a touchpad with her laptop to enable her to only use one finger it worth having that equipment. Unlike public schools, the Technology Department is located on campus and can maintain the network, fix equipment and educate teachers with projectbased learning activities. Many teachers, too, provide peer support for using technology in the classroom. Finding what works best in this environment takes practice, adaptation and patience…teachers are a well-versed in those qualities and are also excellent resources for what technology works in the classroom. Another significant change since 2000 has been in the student demographics of ASD from one having mostly academically typical deaf students to 82% deaf students with special needs. This change emphasizes the need for educational/ technological support as well as progressive software programs, flexible staff and understanding administration.


• For example, some of our students have low vision as well as being deaf or hard of hearing. In their case, they have benefited from using software programs such as “Zoom Text” Photo magnifies Captions Go Here which everything on the monitor. One of those students also uses the word prediction program

“Co-Writer,” which is provided by her town. The school also has a large monitor in the lab for students’ use. • Two students in the school have cerebral palsy, and with the addition of hardware and software, they are able to use the computer with only one finger because they can use a touchpad which technicians have programmed. The educational technicians have also installed an accessible on-screen virtual keyboard making it possible to lock the shift, control and alt keys so they can insert special characters or capitalize letters. Both students are able to participate in class using the Interactive Whiteboards with programs such as “Classroom Suite.” Technology is ever changing and who knows what tomorrow will bring? In its commitment to providing the best technology to its students and staff, upgrades at ASD continue, teachers teach more effectively and students continue to learn at the highest level possible.


Arts at ASD

Mike Kachuba with the help of Teacher Karen Manko explain the instruments and their function to the children. As part of ASD’s 2009-2010 commitment to the arts, Pre-K through eighth grade students enjoyed a variety of art programs this fall. Guest artists from Young Audiences CT worked with our students in different settings. These artists were supported through The Connecticut Culture & Tourism Commission, Young Audiences of Connecticut and ASD funding. ASD students were exposed to new types of art forms, as well as the patterns and rhythms of music. Research has shown direct correlations between music and improved literacy skills in children. For students in the classes of Becky Peters, Karen Manko and Sharon Halscheid, five classes of music and rhythm were taught by Mike Kachuba. Mike, or “Mr. Mike” as he became known in the building, taught the Pre-K through third graders how to produce and recognize beats using wooden sticks, drums, shakers and other instruments. Students were divided into two groups and spent Tuesday mornings with Mike, alternating with an ASL story/ language and art activities and music. The teachers worked smoothly as a team with 16

Denise Monte assisting in the music and rhythm classes and Barb Corrigan coordinating the art lessons. Bob Bloom, a Connecticut drumming artist, wowed the students with his powerful drumming and exuberant songs. He was able to quickly adjust his repertoire for each of the four 45minute classes he taught. Students in grades three through six and Quad 1 students were delighted with Bob’s class where they used castanets, drums, tambourines and other small instruments to play along with Bob. He also gave them colored scarves that were incorporated into rhythmic moving and dancing to the beats. His drumming could be heard throughout the Junior High School area. The feedback from the teachers was extremely positive with stories about how the students came alive during the drumming. Anita Farquhar, one of the Quad 1 teachers, spoke movingly about one noncommunicative student who blossomed in this class.

@ ASD Arts at ASD

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Judith Mortenson from Very Special Arts and Art Teacher Barbara Corrigan demonstrate a step in the mask making process. Judith Mortenson, instrumental in bringing these programs to ASD, taught a five session mask-making class to Quad students in grades 7 and 8. Masks made in this workshop seamlessly coordinated with the quad’s 2009-2010 theme of “I Am”. Students worked with Judith under the guidance of their teachers, Anne Nutt, Kathy Falco and Jennifer Hong in the Cogswell art room. These classes were a hubbub of focused activity as the students created stunning masks. Work began in October, and the masks were finally available at ASD’s Open House in November. In retrospect, the value of these arts workshops can be expressed by quotes from the Cogswell staff such as “awesome, amazing, great, terrific, and wonderful.” “The kids loved the workshops so much that some of them wanted to get drums for Christmas,” said Linda Leimberger.


Jenilee ready to apply color to her mask

This was a collaborative effort that required team teaching to ensure the success of the workshops. It was an amazing way for our students to experience “the arts”.


First Level: Literacy Enhancement and Good Work Habits through Performance Acting out is something encouraged in the First Level. In order to enhance vocabulary skills and good work habits, students in this class perform skits for other students and staff members. The process is broken into three categories, signing up for certain roles, learning the language involved with performance, and performing the skit. The first step involves signing up for one of three roles: promotional designers who make invitations, programs and playbills; tech crew who design and create scenery and gather props; and actors who write the script and rehearse/ perform the play. Each group is required to create a rubric for evaluating the performance.

This process prepares students for the world of work. Good job skills and work habits reap rewards! In preparing for each performance, students are exposed to theatre vocabulary such as cast members, tech crew, promotions team, script, prop etc. Throughout the year, the vocabulary grows as well as other learning activities. Teachers also choose themes to perform which reflect healthy habits, including eating and exercise. While the students are having fun performing, they are also learning and teaching others ways to improve their lives!

The cast and crew smile as audience applauds their performance. 18


Campus Events

Over twenty-five years Otis Elevator has been spreading the best cheer to our elementary school students before the holiday break. We thank Otis and their wonderful employees for their special care and thoughtfulness to give special “wish� gifts to our students!



Campus Events—HomeComing



Campus Events—Open House



Campus Events窶認ES Holiday Party



College and Career Day October 2009

Big Plans, Big Dreams. What will your life be like after graduation from ASD? In an attempt to answer that question, ASD Seniors and Juniors and their parents/ guardians attended the annual College & Career Fair on October 21, 2009 in Ward Gym. Guest speaker, Desiree Duda, Outreach Specialist at Postsecondary Education Programs Network (PEPNet), made recommendations for both students going to work to college. She covered such things as organizational skills and goal setting; what students need to do in high school before they graduate (taking challenging classes, completing homework, asking questions) and choices for their future (employment requirements and Student Harry Skolnick visits with Art Moore at the SPRINT Relay Display college entrance requirements).

Desiree Duda Reviews PEPNet website with students.


Dawn Love, school counselor discusses college procedures with Senior Jacob Waring.

After the presentation, students were able to visit display tables manned with representatives from several colleges and universities which offer programs for deaf students including Gallaudet University, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Northwest Community College, Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, and Houston Community College, as well as gather information from agencies that serve Deaf people; PEPNet, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS), Relay Connecticut, ASD-Adult Vocational Services (AVS) Connecticut Chapter of Kids as Self Advocates (CTKasa), Commission on Deaf and Hearing Impaired (CDHI), and FSW, Inc. CT. Whether students decide to get a job or attend college, the first step in the process is education and awareness of the many opportunities available to them.

an asd education ASD offers a wealth of resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, youth and adults. ASD’s elementary, Junior and Senior High Schools offer campus-based education and training, and the school’s Outreach and Support Services provide educational and support services to deaf students and their teachers in local school districts throughout the region, as well as audiological, educational and employment services for ASD students and deaf and hard of hearing individuals throughout New England.

ASD provides Birth-to-Three Services Elementary School Junior High and High School PACES (Positive Attitudes Concerning Education and Socialization) Program Outreach Services Comprehensive Residential Life Program Extracurricular Activities Athletics Extensive Resources and Support ASD students have full access to the school’s comprehensive audiological, psychological, academic and career services. Services include speech and auditory evaluation and training, sign language instruction, cochlear implant support, occupational and physical therapy, and personal, academic and career counseling.


support the school Like non-profit organizations everywhere, the American School for the Deaf (ASD) depends upon contributed income. Following are a few of the many ways gifts and contributions enhance the lives and educational experiences of our students:

An ASD Snapshot: Students Served ASD is a Connecticut State Department of Education approved special education program and is licensed for residential services by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. ASD is also approved by the states of Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Vermont and New Hampshire. ASD is accredited by the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) and the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). ASD provides comprehensive educational services to students from 98 Connecticut school districts (including our Birth-to-Three program), six states outside of Connecticut, and six international students. Since 2007, ASD has graduated 48 students and 23 of those students were accepted to college. Colleges include: Gallaudet University, Rochester Institute of Technology (NTID), Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf, Asnuntuck Community College, and Northwest Community College.

Early Childhood Services After School Language Enrichment The Technology Center, including PrintWorks and the Culinary Arts Center Camp Isola Bella The French Exchange Program ASD’s History Room You may also make an unrestricted gift to ASD. Unrestricted gifts are the lifeblood of ASD as they allow us to use your donation to support the school’s most critical needs. Planned Gifts Planned gifts provide an opportunity for the donor and the Development staff to work together in developing a mutually beneficial strategic plan for charitable giving. To learn more about planned giving, visit the website of Leave/A/ Legacy ( For further information about supporting ASD, please write, call or e-mail: Marilyn Rettig, Director of Institutional Advancement 139 North Main Street West Hartford, CT 06107 860-570-2353 (V/TTY) E-Mail: Donate online: You can also make secure online donations by going to our website: and clicking on “support”.



What’s Cooking in Culinary Arts Since the opening of the new state-of-the-art Culinary Arts kitchen, the students have been busy making meals and spreading good will! This past summer, students under the guidance of Chef Curtis Hayward and guest chef, Mike Sinsigalli, West Hartford Assistant Fire Chief, prepared a luncheon for the West Hartford firefighters. The firefighters were delighted to be treated to such delicious food and learned the sign for “thank you”. Once school opened, students in the program started their first business venture – a deli. Each day, an email is sent to staff members with the menu of the day, including soups, sandwiches, desserts and chips. Staff place their orders either through email or in person, using a designated form which the students designed. Students read the orders, make the sandwiches, deliver and collect money (which is used to replenish ingredients). Their teacher, Kirsten Lingenheld, teaches techniques and accompanying vocabulary, as well as safety and sanitation practices. The staff is thrilled to have this convenient option! For the last ten years students in the program have contributed a gingerbread house to the “We are the Kids” Program hosted by local celebrity, Gary Craig, at the Connecticut Expo Center on Christmas Day. This project requires a collaborative effort with students in the Wood Design program. The gingerbread house is designed and built by students in Wood Design and then transported to the Culinary Arts Café to be decorated with candy and icing. Each year, the designs are more elaborate, and the individuals who run the Christmas Day event , as well as the 1200 children who attend, are incredibly grateful for the effort made by our students. Before the holiday break, students in the Culinary Arts Program formed the “ASD Chili Team” after being asked by the International Chili Society to participate in the Operation E.L.F. (Embracing Lonely Families) Holiday Reception at the Connecticut State Armory on December 12, 2009. Families of deployed and soldiers and airmen of the Connecticut National Guard were invited to the reception. The ASD students not only made enough chili for 100 but came to the Armory to serve it. The highlight of the day was having their photograph taken with Governor Rell. Culinary Arts teacher, Kirsten Lingenheld, said the students were really touched by this experience, and they hope to continue giving more to the community in the upcoming year. 26

Culinary Students feed the West Hartford firefighters

Students preparing deli sandwiches

Governor Rell with the ASD Chili Team


When a visitor arrives on the campus of the American School for the Deaf, they are always impressed by the graceful lawns and long driveway leading up to the Gallaudet Building, the focal point of the ASD campus. As they pass the Gallaudet building, however, on the right they will encounter a fairly non-descript, low building that is impressive, not because of its architecture, but because of what goes on inside. It is the Graham H. Anthony Vocational building and the home of PrintWorks, a full service print shop that, for five years, has served nearly 600 clients in the Greater Hartford area and has, in the process, changed the lives of countless deaf and hard of hearing students.

Students help with finishing and quality control. As part of ASD, PrintWorks is non-profit, so these services are available at very competitive rates. Utilizing an efficient staff of seasoned printing professionals, coupled with interns/ students just starting out in the field, PrintWorks meets the needs of both non-profit and for profit businesses located around Connecticut and beyond, while providing training to our students, many of whom go on to pursue careers in printing and graphic design. PrintWorks continues to evolve not only technologically, but organizationally. In 2010, PrintWorks will be adding in-house mailing capabilities and “web-to-print� technology that will enhance and simplify the ordering process using online resources.

NTID Intern, Jillian sets up the printer for production.

So if you happen to be visiting the ASD campus, by all means, stop in! We would be happy to give you a tour, and show you what we can do!

The relationship between printing and the deaf community is not new. As a matter of fact, ASD had a print shop on campus as early as 1923. But visitors to PrintWorks will see immediately that the current facility has evolved into a true state-of-the-art business that bears little resemblance to print shops of yesterday. Among the many services that PrintWorks provides is high-speed black and white and full-color printing. Using both digital and traditional offset processes, they produce booklets, brochures, flyers, posters, postcards, envelopes and all types of stationery items. In addition, PrintWorks has wide-format digital printing capability which allows staff to produce large posters, banners, and other signage products. They also offer a full complement of finishing, bindery and graphic design services. 27

Student Richard Graham using the cutter, prepares a job for a customer.


ASD’s Long History of Serving International Students

English teacher Christa Bolen works with a current UAE student ASD has had a long history of providing educational opportunities to international students. In the recent past, we have served students from the Bahamas, Singapore, Tanzania, Canada, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. While United States families of ASD students are not required to pay tuition, foreign students are required to do so. Sometimes funding comes from their government and other times families are responsible. Currently, ASD is serving five students from the United Arab Emirates. These students arrived in the United States in the late summer and have been immersed in the ASD experience. Their goals include becoming proficient in English in order to be able to attend an American college or university.


ASD works with the student’s first language, and develops an individualized instructional program which addresses the student’s needs. For most non-English speaking/signing students, immersion in American Sign Language is an essential first step. This immersion takes place in the classroom, dorm, playing field and other social activities. As students acquire and become more proficient in ASL, their English skills increase. The goal for most international students is to gain adequate competency in

Shahry Shilati helps translate for students at College and Career Day the English language in order to score high enough on the American College Test (ACT) to continue their education at an American college or university. ASD has the ability to house and support students with language challenges. We provide health, audiological, and counseling services, as well as attention to students’ cultural, social and religious needs.   International students who have come to ASD for an education have gone on to do great things. Several students from UAE now work in security and oil fields, another is pursuing a Masters Degree in Japan. Other international students are attending Gallaudet University. These success stories are indicative of the commitment ASD makes to each student it serves, no matter the challenges.

beyond the classroom

Student Essay:

Best Trip Ever to “Project O” in Long Island Sound By Narelis Perez, Sophia Silva, Kevin Macisco, Hector Rivera, Kennialisse Rolon We are students in ASD’s Biology class. A group of us went on a field trip to Avery Point in Groton, CT for “Project Oceanology”. We learned about animals and plants living in an estuary, Long Island Sound. We walked to Envirolab II, a research boat. Captain Ian explained the safety rules. The important safety rule is “Don’t throw up on the deck. Throw up in the water!” We held the rope and let the net into the water for collecting animals and plants living in the water. This is called a trawl. After awhile, we pulled the rope on to the back of the boat. The back of the boat is called the stern. The net was filled with spider crabs, starfish, a small skate, grass shrimps, comb jellyfish, sea lettuces, kelp, and a “devil’s whip”. We used books to identify the organisms. We learned the scientific and common names for each. There were 113 spider crabs in our trawl.


We went to Fishers Island to count the seals there. The Harbor Seals migrate to the Long Island Sound in the winter and early spring. They go back to the Gulf of Maine during the summer. There were 156 seals at

Hungry Point. They were resting on the rocks and eating in the water. They rest on the rocks because they are mammals and need to breathe and cannot sleep in the water. Most of us noticed that the color of the seals’ fur changed from white to black. They were white when they were dry and black when they were wet. We enjoyed our trip to Project O. We saw so many different things related to plant and animal life in the Long Island Sound. This is important to us because it is part of our environment, and we live near the Long Island Sound.

beyond the classroom

Beluga Whale Contact Program Late last spring, two Biology classes taught by Mary LaPorta and Betty Poster were fortunate enough to participate in the Beluga Contact Program at Mystic Aquarium. The Beluga Contact Program was a wonderful culmination to a year of studying animals and the environment.   When the students arrived at the aquarium, they met in a classroom to learn about the history and physiology of beluga whales.  The students were then given “waders” in order for them to join the whales and trainers in the rocky Arctic Coast exhibit. They were able to touch the whale’s

back and belly and observe closely how they breathe, spout and “sing.” Aquarium trainers taught the students how they care for the whales and demonstrated the way in which “contact” sessions are beneficial to the whale’s health and well-being.  The ASD students learned a different kind of sign language which is used to communicate with the whales. It was a oncein-a-lifetime experience, and the students and teachers were especially appreciative for the partial funding of this trip by the UNICO Club of Farmington, CT.

The After-School Literacy Enrichment Program (ASLEP)

By Barbara French, ASLEP Teacher

Recognizing that reinforcement of classroom reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, and language development will improve overall student performance, the American School for the Deaf implemented an After-School Literacy Enrichment Program (ASLEP) in 2001 for its Elementary School students in the Greater Hartford area. Classroom teachers recommend


students whom they believe will derive the greatest benefit from program participation through the increased opportunity for language stimulation, and some students have the program included in their Individual Educational Plan. The twelve week program for Elementary School students, ages 4-13, is divided into two

ASLEP detectives on their first adventure

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sessions with students placed in one of three groups based on their ages and skill levels. Approximately 24 students participate during each session. Each group is headed by a Group Leader, assisted by an aide, who is responsible for developing daily lesson plans and ensuring that there is regular communication with parents about student participation and progress. Students’ activities are theme based, and there is also time dedicated to outdoor play. Older students participate in a homework center where they are able to receive individual assistance and have access to computers.

each floor in search of “Bear” who was finally found. The ASLEP detectives wrote a second story on their adventure of finding “Bear”. The detectives were called to duty again on November 12th to find the missing Thanksgiving food at Elizabeth Park in Hartford. The challenge this time was darkness. As the day grew shorter, the students fought the clock to search of the food. Apples, red onions, peaches and pears were among the missing food. No challenge is too great for our ASLEP students, and all the food was found. Again the detectives gathered to record their experience.

This past fall the ASLEP program theme was “The Wonderful World of Mystery”. October 6th was the first day of training for 26 young detectives who joined the ASLEP detective agency. The first challenge was learning vocabulary related to detective work. Learning words was part of their afternoon drills which would help them become outstanding detectives. Reading clues is a very important part of detective work.

The last adventure of the season was a trip to the West Hartford Police Department. Our young detectives were able witness the operations of a real Police Department. With eyes wide open, they asked questions from the Community Relations officers. Learning about and experiencing the life of law enforcement

The ASLEP detectives were given ID cards which they placed in wallets they designed. To complete their role, each student was given “Sherlock Holmes” detective hat. One has to look the part to play the part.


The first mystery occurred on October 20th when three groups of detectives headed to Rosedale Farm in Simsbury, ASLEP Students visit the West Hartford Police Station CT to find “The Box” hidden in the corn maze. Students were armed with a code book and map to help them officers enhanced their knowledge of detective find their way through the maze. As the moon work. Another story was completed comparing was rising in the east, our older detectives located the West Hartford Police Department with our “The Box” and when they looked inside they own ASD ASLEP Detective Agency. found a mysterious creature which sent chills For six weeks the ASLEP detectives worked down their spines. As part of their assignment, hard studying mysteries and solving cases. From the students followed up with the “paper work” their experiences, they learned to stay focused that is required upon completion of a job and and pay attention to detail. They also learned the wrote a story called “The Box”. importance of teamwork while enhancing their vocabulary. The second mystery was to find the missing dog named “Bear”. The ASLEP detectives needed to Thank you to the staff and volunteers who helped make follow clues which were distributed throughout this program a success: Betsy Denorfia, Sandy Bryant, the ASD campus. Each clue would bring them Holly Miller, Deb Swan, asd Students Sophia Silva, Maria closer to finding “Bear”. Clues brought them Dadaria, Andrea Velasquez and Cristi Alborino (ASD back to the Cogswell building and they scoured Board member).

beyond the classroom

Literacy Beyond the Classroom On the Road ‘09

By Anne Nutt, On the Road Teacher Silva, Narelis Perez, Jacob Waring and Cesar-Gabriel Jiminez-Colon, set their sights on the Land of Enchantment – New Mexico! Guided by teachers Barbara French, Nancy Zurek and Anne Nutt, the team endeavored to discover the wonders of the southwest with particular emphasis on Native American culture. The New Mexico School for the Deaf in beautiful Santa Fe was “home” for eleven busy days. What a different environment from New England – soaring, craggy Left to right; Sophia Silva, Narelis Perez, Jacob Waring, mountains and vast plains, Cesar-Gabriel Jiminez-Colon and Kevin Ramos the scent of balsam and The American School for the Deaf’s 10-day sage, various hues of earth and ochre. Whereas summer learning expedition “On the Road” New England cities have tall skyscrapers, Santa enables selected students in the 10th, 11th and 12th Fe is a city of short adobe buildings. We are grades and teacher guides to engage in a multi- used to squirrels scampering around, but on the disciplinary experience that focuses on literacy NMSD campus the travelers were greeted by and emphasizes teamwork, challenge, and self- prairie dogs! discovery outside the walls of the classroom. It also affords them unique opportunities to refine their analytic, writing and technology skills. Since the program’s inception in 2006, students have traveled to different locations in the United States; these locations become their “field classrooms” where they engage in hands-on learning through investigation and creation of daily journals on laptops. Students have followed the route of Lewis and Clark, explored the site of the California Gold Rush and traveled to Tennessee to learn about the South and the Civil War. This past summer students traveled to New Mexico. By recording and posting their daily discoveries and perceptions on the ASD’s website, their experiences are shared with other ASD students, teachers and parents. This year’s explorers, Kevin Ramos, Sophia 32

Anthony Lovato explains his jewelry making to the students The explorers were ready with pen and paper, laptop and camera. As with all the On The Road expeditions, the students are responsible for compiling daily written and photographic journals and investigations. The writing, editing

beyond the classroom Literacy Beyond the Classroom... Continued from Page 26

and uploading takes place at the end of long, intense days of exploring, and work often continues until the wee hours of the morning. Maps, itineraries, and guide books offer previews of each day’s adventure. Responsibilities are delegated, lunches made, backpacks ready, and they’re off! To start the fun, all had the chance to experience a rodeo. Horses and bulls, lassos and whips, outrageous boots and fancy hats were a

Walking around the ancient dwellings in Bandolier National Monument fitting initiation to southwestern culture. More of this was found in Santa Fe, along with amazing works of art in every genre imaginable. Historic sites such as Loretto Chapel and Palace of the Governors offered insights into the settling of the West and mixing of diverse cultures. Exploring the past was replaced by a vision of the future while visiting the Santa Fe Prep School. A tour of their award winning “green” library offered ideas of mixing beautiful architecture with environmental stewardship. As they continued their travels, the explorers



became fully aware of the interconnection between environment and culture. They explored both in places like Bandelier National Monument, Pecos National Park, Taos Pueblo and Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Each site combined the richness of Native American culture and history with an appreciation for the land and nature. They climbed up ladders to peer into cliff dwellings and down to experience the sacred space of a kiva. Hiking desert trails and reading ancient petroglyphs connected them with people who left their marks on limestone walls over one thousand years ago. The epitome of connection was realized in meeting the Lovato family of Santo Domingo Pueblo. Anthony and his mother, Mary, continue their family tradition of making silver and turquoise jewelry. Anthony demonstrated his craft and explained the process, history and traditions associated with making his necklaces and bracelets. The Lovato family welcomed the group to their home and hosted a sumptuous buffet lunch attended by extended family and neighbors. After this came the unexpected honor of watching and participating in the town’s celebration of the Festival of St. Peter, including horse races and foot races in the central plaza.

beyond the classroom Literacy Beyond the Classroom... Continued from Page 27

Celebrating the final day with Anthony - on his birthday. The group was completely enfolded by the family, and it was unanimously decided that the final day of the trip would be spent with the Lovatos. The final day happened to be Anthony’s birthday, so he took the group up the mountains to his ancestral land behind Tent Rocks. After an exhilarating drive up the mountain, all hiked to the top to look out upon the majestic Kiwa



homeland where Anthony told an ancient Pueblo story to the group. Back at Mary’s house, another meal was shared and gifts were given. What a perfect example of “connection”! And how wonderful that, while they enhanced their knowledge and literacy skills, the students also learned the most important lessons of friendship, humanity, and generosity. Learning beyond the classroom… what On The Road is all about.

beyond the classroom

French Exchange Program: Long Time Pen Pals

The relationship between the American School for the Deaf and the Institut National de Jeune Sourds de Paris (INJS) has been in existence since the early 19th century when Thomas Gallaudet traveled to Europe looking for guidance in his efforts to set up the first school for the deaf in the United States. The connection between the two schools was re-established in 1989, and students from both schools have a chance to meet, visit each other’s schools and exchange ideas and cultures. During a two-year cycle, the students taking French at ASD and the students taking English at INJS become pen pals and exchange letters and e-mail. They meet face-to-face every year at alternating locations. This past spring, students from ASD traveled to Paris to visit their pen pals. This spring, French students will visit ASD. Funds for the trip are raised by students, family contributions and charitable donations. The ASD French students are looking forward to hosting their French pen pals!

ASD and Lewis Mills:

Pen Pals for Ten Years…and still going strong By Anna Andrews and Robin Mengual


Like most teens, high school students at the American School for the Deaf and at Lewis Mills High School in Burlington, CT share lots of common interests – music, cars, sports, movies, to name just a few. But these teens also share one special interest - a love of sign language. Since 1998, students from both schools have participated in a pen pal exchange under the direction of Robin Boe Mengual, ASL teacher at Lewis Mills High School and Anna Andrews, High School English teacher at ASD. About every 4 weeks, the students at one school write a letter and make a video using sign language for their corresponding pen pals at the other school. This exchange benefits both groups academically and socially. The Mills students get practice in expressive and receptive signing skills while the ASD students get practice in reading and writing English. The groups generally have an opportunity to meet

twice a year and practice their social skills in the mix of deaf and hearing worlds. It’s a wonderful way to make new friends and learn something new at the same time. In a typical cycle, the students begin exchanging letters in October. Then the Mills students come to visit ASD in late fall or early winter. The ASL 1 class spends the morning on a tour of campus and observing classes in Cogswell. The ASL 2 students shadow their ASD pen pals and attend classes with them. They are also required to interview a hearing-impaired adult staff member. All the students meet for lunch together. The afternoon session is spent in playing icebreaker games and other sign language games. Before the Mills students head to their bus, there is always a flurry of picture-taking and exchange of e-mail addresses.

beyond the classroom ASD and Lewis Mills Continued from Page 29

In the spring, ASD students visit Mills. After a campus tour, students work together on composing an ASL poem and play other ASL games. Lunch in the cafeteria is followed by an informal basketball game in the gym and more sign language games. Again, a flurry of photos and hugs as the ASD students leave Burlington. During the 10-year existence of the program, students from both schools have participated in a variety of other activities together. Groups from both schools have attended ASL-interpreted performances at the Hartford Stage Company and on Broadway in New York City. In 2007, students from Mills took on the role of voice interpreters for ASD students performing a play celebrating the 190th anniversary of ASD’s founding. Mills students have also come to ASD for ASL poetry contests, Deaf Heritage Week celebrations, and the Peace Jam Forum in 2008. Another activity was teaching sign language together to middle school students at HarBur Middle School in Burlington. Depending on the year and the quality of the friendships that form, students have attended each other’s proms and graduations. The program has also given several Mills students a key to their future as they head toward post-secondary programs in deaf studies and interpreter training.



One noticeable difference between the program today and the one 10 years ago is the use of technology. During the first few years, videos were made with heavy cameras that were held on the shoulder. Then the VHS tape had to be physically mailed or carried to the other school. Today, we use light, hand-held cameras and post the videos on an internet site called a wiki where students are able to access each other’s videos from their computers. Ten years ago, students used a phone/TTY relay service if they wanted to connect with each other outside of class. Today, students use webcams and videophone websites to chat. Over the years, many members of the ASD staff have been part of the program. English teachers Becky Abeyta, Christa Bolen, Kim Burrell, Kathleen DonAroma, Cindy Lindenberger, Gail McCormack, Donna Wilson, Mary Winchell, and Betty Young have worked with their classes on the videos and letters. Countless other staff members have graciously given their time for student interviews. Administrators at both schools have supported the program by approving transportation and funding. Thanks to all the staff at both schools who have made the pen pal exchange such a success! The gift of shared communication in two languages is one that has been and will continue to be cherished by all the students, hearing and deaf alike.



beyond the classroom

Partnering with Lincoln Elementary School

ASD students join Lincoln Elementary students in their spring performance In the fall of 2009, Jen Burwin, a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain, CT, wanted to teach her class sign language. In order for her students to fully embrace the language, she felt it would be helpful for them to interact with deaf children of the same age. She contacted Linda Leimberger at ASD and a relationship began between the two schools.

The students meet throughout the school year, doing various activities together. Last spring Linda’s ASD class was invited to Lincoln Elementary to perform a signing/singing production of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine”. Parents and students enjoyed the performance, and it was a first for the Lincoln Elementary music teacher teaching a song in sign as well as voice!

Enhancing Literacy through a Partnership with the Montessori School of Greater Hartford The Montessori School of Greater Hartford has been a part of the ASD campus for many years. For the 2009-2010 year, students from ASD are teaming up with students from the Montessori in a program which will expand the auditory component in the classroom; optimize the potential of language-learning experiences by increasing exposure to spoken English and establish a partnership with neighboring hearing peers. 37

Primary and elementary students have been selected to meet twice a week with Montessori students during recess, lunch and assigned reading activities. While in its exploratory stage, the end goal of this program is to enhance literacy by increasing listening skills in a classroom setting; develop conversational skills through social interactions; and develop self-advocacy skills with hearing peers while still recognizing the value of sign language and ASD’s special instructional approach.

asd community

Visitors at ASD Honoring our Soldiers: Cogswell Tribute to Matt Lavoie

Wearing red, white and blue and waving American flags, elementary students and staff welcomed Matt LaVoie, son of ASD’s Head of Security Sam LaVoie, who was injured while serving in Iraq in 2008. The students and staff wanted an opportunity to honor Matt for his bravery. Different classes made presentations, some did songs and poems; others offered gifts of handmade flags, pins, cookies and a special 38

t-shirt with all the students’ names written on it. A special banner was hung in the cafeteria bearing messages and signatures of the students as well. Mr. Peltier, a veteran of the Vietnam War, thanked Matt for his bravery and keeping our country safe.

asd community Visitors at ASD Continued from Page 32

West Hartford Rotary Distributes Dictionaries to the Third Grade PWC Volunteer n the art room

Nikita thanks “Noah Webster” for her dictionary Two members of the West Hartford Rotary visited the third grade students late last spring to hand out Webster Dictionaries. This was part of a town-wide initiative sponsored by the Rotary to provide all West Hartford Third grades with dictionaries in an effort to strengthen their vocabulary. Why Third grade? It has been determined that by the time a student reaches the Third grade, they have developed enough language skills to appreciate the use of the dictionary. What a nice gift for our students! The Rotary plans to continue this tradition each year.

PWC Volunteer helping at a Physical Education Class

Corporate Community Service As part of their Community Service Day, PricewaterhouseCoopers returned to the ASD campus and worked in the gardens at Cogswell.


PWC Volunteer who is an actuary learns to sign numbers

Volunteers take a break on the job for a group photo. Despite the inclement weather, the group weeded, planted and mulched. Integrated into the day, each volunteer visited with the Cogswell students during class and experienced a “taste” of ASD learning. They visited a physical education class, a first grade class, pre-school, art class and a math class. All enjoyed meeting the students, and the volunteers even learned some sign language.

asd community Visitors at ASD Continued from Page 33

museum and visiting classrooms. Doug Hinton who has been heading the program for many years also had the chance to visit with some of his former students. This year he had the opportunity to catch with up with First Grade teacher Karen Manko.

Westminster School Chooses ASD’s Isola Bella for Community Service Day Clean and Healthy Teeth Thank you to ASD Corporator Dr. Sarah Schlegal and her husband, Dr. Liam Doran who is a dentist, for visiting our elementary students this past summer. Dr. Doran discussed the importance of good oral health and making regular visits to the dentist. He demonstrated how dentists clean teeth and also reminded the students to watch the food they eat. Each child received a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Eye Screening ASD is grateful to Dr. Paul Mitchell who continues to donate his time at ASD to perform eye examinations on students at no charge. Thank you for nearly 25 years of offering your services!

Forty students and faculty members from Westminister School (a private day and boarding school in Simsbury, CT) traveled to Isola Bella in the late fall for their Community Service Day. They painted furniture, railings, cleaned up brush, raked paths and hauled wood. Staff from ASD’s Plant Operations was extremely appreciative of their hard work!

Lion’s Dinner 2009

Canisius College Students from the Graduate Deaf Education program at Canisius College visited the campus again this year. They spent the day touring the

David Yadach thanks students for their presentation on Culinary Arts.


Karen Manko and her kindergarten class pose with students from Canisius College

Over 100 Lions Club members from District 23B came to ASD for their annual dinner and meeting last October. This year the Culinary Arts students from the PACES program prepared the meal and served dinner to the guests. Students gave a short presentation on the Culinary Arts Program, and the District Governor,

asd community Visitors at ASD Continued from Page 34

Chef Curt Hayward poses with students while serving dinner to the Lions Club David Yadach, presented each student with an “opportunity is knocking” pin. The members of the Lions Club were thrilled with their meal and many have asked for the lasagna recipe!

United Way Day of Caring – September 11, 2009 ASD thanks the employees of Enterprise-RentA-Car for selecting our school to volunteer on the Day of Caring. Employees painted three different rooms in Ward and Kusiak Gyms. The staff and students were very grateful.


Thank You! ASD would like to thank the following foundations for their recent support of specific program initiatives:

American Savings Foundation Ensworth Charitable Foundation Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Raymond Foundation People’s United Community Foundation TJX Foundation Teleflex Foundation

ISOLA BELLA What is Camp Isola Bella? It is the American School for the Deaf’s summer camp in Taconic, Connecticut. The camp is located on the former property of the Alvord family. The 29-acre island

the celebration of our 40th anniversary. We added a pavilion, acquired a new Jet Ski and motorboat, and implemented new technology on the island. However, some things have not

and 30 acres on the neighboring shore were willed to the school by the late Muriel Alvord. A wide range of activities are offered, providing challenges and utilizing the skills and interests campers bring to the island. The camp follows the school’s Total Communication philosophy which means that whatever a camper’s mode of

changed including our “candid camera” tradition (watch out!), evening activities, friendly cabin competitions, overnight camping trips, special day trips, and an energetic and highly-qualified staff.

communication: sign language; oral; aural; lip reading or a mix, staff is willing and able to meet it. Our doors are also open to Children of Deaf Adults (CODA), and hearing siblings of deaf campers! Since 1964 deaf and hard of hearing campers have attended Camp Isola Bella for a fun-filled summer of unforgettable experiences.


2009 was the end of an extremely busy decade. Isola Bella saw many transitions; from the introduction of the PACES session in 2004 to

This year we are proud to announce the addition of our Leadership and Literacy program. This program is designed to provide and reinforce literacy skills necessary to have a meaningful and productive life in a competitive and everchanging world. Daily program activities are carefully planned to develop basic personal autonomy, appropriate future aspirations and positive participation in society. Last year’s theme was “Ready…Set….IB”! This year, with the addition of many new and exciting programs, our theme is “Expanding the Poss-IB-ilities”! For more information visit our website at or email the Camp Director:

asd outreach

Outreach Education Services: ASD Partners with Public School Systems students.

Jan Galati, Outreach Educator speaks at the Outreach Conference In 2001 the American School for the Deaf developed a new, coordinated approach to serving deaf and hard of hearing children not enrolled at the school. Kathleen DonAroma was hired to coordinate services which were offered to support professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing students throughout the state. At that time, one teacher was hired to work with two students. By 2004 sixteen towns were served with ten teachers and twenty-four students. Currently, twenty-six towns are served with sixteen teachers serving fifty students. “We have an extraordinary staff whose skills are matched with student needs. As the only school in the state that will provide programming to deaf/hard of hearing students, regardless of their communication approach to the curriculum, we are diligent in supporting the goals of the Individualized Evaluation Process and collaborating with the educational team involved in the process.” – Kathleen DonAroma The sixth Outreach Conference “Contributing to Student Success” was held this past November, and over 160 professionals who work with deaf or hearing impaired children attended. Twelve workshops were offered both morning and afternoon covering many areas of interest to those teaching deaf and hard of hearing 43

Gerald Bateman, Director of the Master of Science program in Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, was the keynote speaker. Bateman discussed the challenges for mainstream deaf and hard of hearing students and optimal learning environments. Teachers of these students assume the role of being a resource and facilitator. He discussed the necessary qualities of teachers of the deaf; caring, proactive, empowering students to self advocate, have strong content knowledge, be involved with the deaf community and be motivational and inspirational. This year, ASD presented two awards in appreciation for outstanding efforts on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing students: Jan Galati,

Colleen Hayles consultant, CT Bureau of Special Education and former ASD Executive Director, Harvey Corson Outreach Educator, Special Education Teacher at Southington High School and the Waterford Public School System for Education Advocacy. Jan said later in letter of appreciation, “The Outreach Conference has been beneficial in assisting me to learn, communicate and practice new teaching strategies for both deaf and hard of hearing, as well as, hearing students.”

Institutional advancement


The 33rd Annual Golf Tournament will be held on May 21, 2010 at Blue Fox Run Golf Course in Avon, CT. We promise sun and fun! Last year’s tournament netted over $36,000 in support of various school programs and services. ASD is extremely grateful to our loyal sponsors and GameBoard donors. Special recognition goes to Sodexho and Willis HRH for their Champion Sponsorship.

Emcee Bob Maxon

Foursome From Willis HRH

Board President Carle Mowell with Board Member Jennyfer Holmes

Congratulations to 2009 First Prize winners—Scasco Energy


2009 Second Place Winners from WB Mason

From the archives

ASD’s Move to West Hartford

In 1821 ASD erected its first building on Lord’s Hill (now Asylum Avenue) located on the western edge of the city. In addition to the school building, the eight acre site included an orchard and gardens, as well as an ample space for recreation and for expansion as the school grew. The city reservoir, at the north edge of the property, afforded an ample supply of pure water, as well as a place for skating in the winter months. Over the years, a dining room, kitchen, workshops for vocation education, and a chapel were added to the original plant. However, similar to the school, throughout the 19th century, the city of Hartford was also expanding; and the Lord’s Hill site was gradually surrounded by the city’s westward expansion. At first, the school’s surroundings were largely residential, and the site continued to be ideal for a boarding school. As the century advanced, however, residential steadily gave way to business and industrial sites, as homeowners sold and moved further west.  By the first decade of the 20th century, ASD found itself in a neighborhood far different from the countrified location of a century earlier—a neighborhood far less conducive to the nurturing of young children and youth. Ever to the influence of environment on its students, the school’s directors concluded that a more rural setting would afford a better learning environment than its now “downtown” site – a decision hastened by pressure from the city to cut a new street through the school’s property. 


Therefore, when in 1919, a tract of farmland along what is now West Hartford’s North Main Street become available, the directors purchased the site—and with the completion of Gallaudet Hall and the sale of the Hartford property to the Hartford Insurance Company, the school moved to its present home in West Hartford.

Sports Recap Fall 2009:

Girls Volleyball and Boys Soccer Both Place Third in 2009 Metro Tournament!

Girls Volleyball The girls took 3rd Place in the Eastern Tournament at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf as well as receiving the Sportsmanship Award. Tanasia LaFrazier earned the All Star award. The record for the 2009 season was 3-17.

Boys Soccer 2009 Metro Tournament: The tournament was played at the New York School for the Deaf and ASD placed 3rd! Their third place game against New York School for the Deaf ended in a tie and went into overtime losing 2-1. All stars chosen were Tenzin Passang, Dequan Thomas and Marcus Greco. The team also received the 2009 Metro Soccer Sportsmanship Award! The record for the 2009 season was 4-7

Congratulations to both teams for their positive attitude and teamwork!


In Memoriam George E. Borsotti, father of ASD employees, Darlene and Steve Borsotti, passed away in October, 2008 at the age of 81. In addition to Darlene and Steve, he is survived by his wife of 52 years, Lillian, and son, Kevin.

c Alice Cogswell Boglisch passed away at the age of 96 in January 2009. She was a former employee at the American School for the Deaf

c Carol Ann Karabestos, mother of PrintWorks employee Dean Karabestos passed away on January 5, 2009 at Hartford Hospital after a courageous battle with cancer.

c Arthur J. Denorfia passed away at the age of 52 on July 16, 2009. He was the husband of Betsy Denorfia, Specialist for Family Education Services. He was employed at K.G.M. Construction and is also survived by his mother, and children, Arthur, Jr. and Elyse.

Bishop Raul Gonzalez, former Corporator at ASD, passed away on July 5, 2009. He was born in Puerto Rico and came to Hartford in 1971 to help start Youth Challenge, a faith-based residential drug free program. He was also the author of his autobiographical book, “Raul a True Story”.

c Elaine L. Dupuis, passed away on September 29, 2009. Elaine worked at the American School for the Deaf for 11 years. She is greatly missed by her colleagues in Plant Operations and many staff members of the school. She is survived by her husband, Francis and children, Renne, Matthew-David, Michelle and OviaHannah, granddaughter Joelle and several nieces and nephews.

c Orlando Stevens, father of Ray Stevens, former Director of the ASD PACES Program, passed away at the age of 101 on November 1, 2009. A memorial service will be held in July 2010.



Sherrie Lee Peck, Teacher at ASD, passed away on August 17, 2009. She was a graduate of Elizabethtown College and earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from the College of New Rochelle. Before coming to ASD, she was a teacher at The Learning Center in Framingham, MA. She taught at ASD for 3 years, most recently in the PACES Program. She is survived by her parents, James and Mary and sister and brother-in-law, Shellie and Charles Lee. Sherrie will be missed by her colleagues and students.

George Plikaitis, husband of Pegeen Plikaitis, Director of Student Health Services, passed away November 3, 2009. He is also survived by his two daughters, Elizabeth and Maggie and their husbands, Michael and Jared.

American Era is published semi-annually by the Office of Institutional Advancement, American School for the Deaf, 139 N. Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06107-1269. This publication is distributed to families, employees, alumni and other interested people. Subscriptions are free to all alumni. Postage paid at Hartford, CT.


The American School for the Deaf (ASD) complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws prohibiting the exclusion of any person from any of its educational programs or activities, or the denial to any person of the benefits of any of its educational programs or activities because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability, subject to the conditions and limitations established by law.

American School for the Deaf

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139 North Main Street West Hartford, CT 06107 (860) 570-2300 (Voice) (860) 570-2222 (TTY)


This issue was published by the students, faculty and staff of the American School for the Deaf at PrintWorks, ASD’s full-service print facility providing quality service at reasonable rates to non-profits and small businesses. PrintWorks provides training and experience to ASD students and Adult Vocational clients to enhance their job-readiness and advance their education. For more information about PrintWorks, call 860-570-2365 or visit us on the web at

Americanera 2010