GoodNews: Texas School for the Deaf Ranger to Ranger - October 25, 2021

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Welcome to Good News!
Highlighting Achievements and Successes at
the Texas School for the Deaf.

Volume 6, Issue 2


Elementary Art Class Creates Mural for Deaf Awareness Week

You may have noticed a beautiful mural hanging at the Elizabeth Street gate entrance during Deaf Awareness Week. 

The mural was created by our very talented TSD Elementary Art students in honor of Deaf Awareness Week. Their De'VIA (Deaf View/Image Art) celebrates the idea of Creating Connections, TSD's theme for the 2021-2022 school year. 

If you want to see or take a selfie in front of the mural, drop by the Pease Building lobby.
Photo shows the mural painted by Elementary Art students hanging at the Elizabeth Street gate entrance during Deaf Awareness Week. The mural is painted yellow, blue, and red with signs for "connect," "I love you," and "congratulations."
Tres estudiantes de 3er grado se paran con la maestra de arte Mindy Moore frente a un mural bellamente pintado que honra el tema de Creando Conexiones que TSD ha adoptado para el año escolar 21-22.
Eight 4th grade art students gather around the mural they helped paint.

TSD Alums Win First Game as Gallaudet Bisons

Photo shows nine TSD Alums standing shoulder to shoulder in their Gallaudet Bisons football uniforms.
TSD Alums from Left to Right: Brandon Brentham (47), John "Jack" Scarboro (56), Chandler Sexton-Ruiz (80), Conner Egan (43), Dalton Taylor (9), Preston Grant (33), Russell Rohde (29), Kylar Sicoli (88), and Zarek Nathanson (45). 
Photo shows Marissa G and Holden E with text that reads, "TSD Students Selected to Represent Team USA at Deaf Olympics". The photo is on a drawing of the American flag.
Marissa G. and Holden E. have been selected to represent Team USA at the Deaf Olympics in Brazil, May 2022. 

Marissa has dreamt of going to the Olympics since she was little. She began swimming as a toddler and started competitive swimming when she was 6 years old.

Similar to Marissa, Holden has been dreaming of going to the Olympics sine he was little. He started swimming since he was six months old at the YMCA in Delaware. He then began swimming competitively at the age of 5 with TSD Sea Rangers.

Holden has broken several league records in his age group events at the Capital City Swim League (CCSL) at Texas A&M University.

For Marissa, after years of hard work in decreasing her swim time, she felt she was ready to apply for Team USA. "My wonderful coaches, Nick Bannon and others, helped me with training and support. After all the hard training, I finally met the qualifications for the Deaf Olympics." 

She added, "A few weeks later, I got the acceptance email. I was so thrilled!" 

Marissa's parents, Susie and RG, share their excitement as well.  Susie shared, "We are proud that Marissa is selected to participate in the Deaf Olympics Swimming team." Referring to a drawing Marissa made, her mom added, "See the picture that Marissa drew when she was 9 years old; her dream came true!"

Holden's favorite quote is "keep chasing your dreams and they may come true." A strong quote that is coming to fruition after years of hard work.

Holden's parents added "We are humbly honored and extremely proud of Holden being selected to represent Team USA. We believe that 'reach for the stars' is what keeps us going even after we fail. We are excited for this opportunity to see Holden thrive in his passion for swimming."

Holden and Marissa are doing fundraisers for the USA Deaf Swimming Team. Visit Holden’s fundraising page at Visit Marissa’s fundraising page at

Congratulations Marissa and Holden!

[id: Picture is a self-portrait of 9-year old Marissa made with crayons showing her with her left thumb up in the air and holding the Olympic torch in her right hand. She is standing in the water wearing swim goggles and a swim cap.  An American flag is  beside her.  In crayon, she wrote, "You can Win!," and "I believe I can win.  No matter what, I never give up."]

Student Spotlight:
Sam S.


TSD student Sam S. has been selected to be part of the Team Texas basketball team at next year's Special Olympics in Orlando, Florida.

As the Special Olympics Texas motto goes, "Let ME be brave. Let US be strong!" Sam has trained very hard to be select by Team Texas. He's the only Deaf player selected for the team, which makes this even more special.

His coach, Stephen Kuhns, said, "Sam is proud of himself. Years of training have paid off, and he's excited to represent the state of Texas and the Deaf community."

His team is currently seeking support.  For information on how you can help Sam and Team Texas, please visit the following link,

Congratulations, Sam! 

[id: Photo shows student Sam S. in his TSD Rangers basketball uniform kneeling next to a Wilson basketball.]
Pounding the Pavement
On the first Wednesday of the month, the TSD community is invited to run a 5k (3.1 miles) race around campus. Not feeling 5k ready? That's where Mark Holcomb comes in the picture! 

Every Wednesday, he hosts a TSD Staff Running/Walking Club to encourage them to have fun, destress, AND train for the 5k race. The social club allows people from all departments to meet, run/walk, and create connections. You may have seen them running and walking after school on Wednesdays.  All staff are invited to the social event every Wednesday at 3:45 (to stretch and chat) with a 4pm start time.  Meet them at the TSD clock tower!
Mark shared, "You may be wondering how I became passionate about this sport.  Well, thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown, I was given the opportunity to try a new form of fitness which I thought I hated--running! As I ran more, I found myself getting better and more involved within the running community in Austin.”  In fact, Mark added, "I was recently selected as one of 15 Race Ambassadors for the Austin Statesman CAP 10K race. In this role, I will be running A LOT and representing the CAP 10K at various races in Austin.”  
This year is the 45th annual race, and Mark will be hosting more training and group runs as it gets closer to the big day on April 10, 2022.  Be sure to reach out to him if you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity.  Even if you aren’t up for the 10K, be sure to take advantage of the fitness opportunities offered in Ranger Nation!

[id:  A headshot of Mark Holcomb, wearing a Statesman Cap10K Race Ambassador black polo, with the Austin skyline in the background.  Mark is a ginger with a long beard wearing black framed glasses.]
A flyer is shown.  On the left hand side, it reads, “Join Your Community.  TSD Stampede - 5K.  Run/walk the first Wednesday of the month.  4pm at the clock tower.”  On the right side, Dani Barbin, wearing an aqua t-shirt and black shorts, runs around the TSD loop with her arms in the air.  The smile on her face exudes success and pride.
A group of 13 participants in the first TSD Stampede of 2021 stand/kneel with the TSD clock tower in the background.  Four TSD students wearing their Rangers Cross Country uniforms and nine staff members are ready to rock the race.  Everyone is wearing race bibs and athletic clothing.
Prior to the start of the weekly Run/Walk Club, Mark Holcomb stands before the six participants, giving instructions about the course.

A Visitor from
Alaska School for the Deaf

Acting Supervisor at Alaska School for the Deaf, Clara Baldwin, is standing next to TSD Superintendent Claire Bugen in front of the TSD Elementary Art students’ Deaf Awareness Week mural.
TSD was recently visited by an administrator from the Alaska School for the Deaf (AKSD).

Ms. Clara Baldwin, Acting Supervisor at AKSD, came to TSD to learn more about our early learning programs, instruction at the elementary level, instructional coaching, and outreach services. 

Regarding her visit, Ms. Baldwin said, "I'm impressed by the Texan hospitality upon my arrival and really liked how TSD is cohesive with the Culturally Responsive Teaching framework."

She added, "I got the chance to meet several administrators and have conversations with them."

"I found one recurring thing about all of those conversations - that TSD is very student-centered campus."

Stella Egbert, TSD Director of Instruction, said she really enjoyed Ms. Baldwin sharing her experience working with Alaskan Natives. 

She added, "I think [Ms. Baldwin] has a rich experience administering there and wish her well and for her community to benefit from what she envisions as a program that can be not only accessible for Deaf students, but connecting with their communities."
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