Texas School for the Deaf Class of 2021



Contact: Gabriel Cardenas

Phone: 512-462-5372

Email: [email protected]




Texas School for the Deaf Class of 2021

Commencement Ceremony – 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 27, 2021


Austin, Texas – May 27, 2021 – The first graduating class to persevere through their final two years of school during a global pandemic, the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) celebrates the accomplishments of 56 extraordinary students today. 

TSD’s in-person commencement ceremony, outdoors on the school’s R.L. Davis field, begins at 7:00 p.m. CST this evening. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance is limited to invited guests only. 

The commencement address will be given by Dr. Christopher Moreland, TSD school board member, associate professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas of Austin Dell Medical School, and himself a TSD student who attended summer computer camp in 1992. 

TSD, and the graduating class of 2021, celebrate a year of academic and athletic achievements, including:

  • 22 graduates who have so far been accepted into colleges and universities
  • 21 graduating with dual academic or career and technical education credits 
  • The first ever six-man football team which won the 2020 TAPPS state championship
  • 3 graduates who were part of the team which won the 2019 TAPPS robotics competition
  • 7 graduates on the 2019 National Deaf Volleyball Team of the Year
  • 12 graduates on the 2019 National Deaf Football Team of the Year
  • 2 graduates on the 2019 and 2020 National Deaf Girls Basketball Teams of the Year
  • 10 graduates on the team awarded 2020 National Deaf Wrestling Team of the Year
  • 7 graduates who were part of the 2018 National Deaf Girls Cross Country Team of the Year
  • 1 graduate who was part of the 2018 National Deaf Boys Cross Country Team of the Year
  • 5 graduates who participated in the Special Olympics
  • 4 graduates who took center stage in the school’s performing arts program


TSD senior and class of 2021 Valedictorian, Alyssa Glennon of Buda, has excelled in numerous academic and extracurricular activities during her two years at TSD.

Salutatorian, Zara Thompson, also of Buda, has spent her entire educational career at TSD since the age of 15 months old. 

Both graduating seniors were actively involved in Jr. National Association of the Deaf (NAD), performing arts, and athletics. 

With plans to both continue their education, Glennon will attend Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the nation’s only liberal arts university for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, while Thompson will pursue a degree in finance from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  

Claire Bugen, TSD Superintendent says, “this class has proven how resilient and adaptable our TSD students are to forge ahead through their senior year during a pandemic. Because of the many challenges we faced together, this graduating class will always hold a special place in my heart.”

A giant big screen, thanks to the help from Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment, will broadcast the ceremony for maximum visibility and accessibility for all.






Christopher Moreland, M.D., MPH, FACP, FHM, is an associate professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School and a hospitalist at Dell Seton Medical Center. Moreland received his medical degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and completed his residency and academic medicine fellowship at the University of California-Davis. As a clinician, educator and administrator, With a passion to address health disparities and workforce diversity, particularly with regard to populations and professionals with disabilities, Moreland is committed to supporting and mentoring residents and medical students on their path to becoming excellent physicians.


The Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas. Educating Texas students who are deaf and hard of hearing since 1856, the campus also provides outreach and educational resources for students, their families and professionals in the field of deaf education throughout the state of Texas. With educational excellence and a strong belief in a culture and community at TSD, students form a unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents. TSD is an environment where students learn, grow, and belong. For more information about the Texas School for the Deaf, visit http://www.tsd.state.tx.us/.