GoodNews: Texas School for the Deaf Ranger to Ranger - November 29, 2021

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

Volume 6, Issue 3

TSD's Homecoming

Last year, TSD's Homecoming was canceled due to COVID-19. The long-standing tradition brings together students, families, and alumni for a daylong Homecoming celebration. 

Although scaled down, Homecoming did return in October 2021 with Spirit Week, a modified pep rally, a volleyball game, a football game, and crowning TSD’s Homecoming Royalty. 

The pregame festivities started with the traditional announcement of former Homecoming Queens and Kings. In attendance: Queens Becky Chavez (2001), Amy Salinas (1991), Carolyn James Mathis (1981), Susan Judd (1971), Margie Judd Mowl (1961), and Dorothy Krystyniak (1951), and King Derrick Edmond (2001).

At half-time, High School leaders Karlin Hummel and Megan Scarboro  presented the 2021 Homecoming Royalty.  Superintendent Bugen announced the two seniors who received the most votes from their peers for the Homecoming Royalty title: Zorina T. and Zefan N. They were joined on the field by the remaining senior  nominees  Jazelina B., Trey J., Joel P., and Katherine R. as well as junior royalty nominees Shayla A. and Jayden D. 

Photo shows football player wearing #3 jersey encouraging the crowd at the homecoming pep rally.
Photo shows two volleyball players on the court. One player is passing the ball.
Photo shows the football teams in formation on the field.  One of the Rangers is getting ready to hike the ball.
Photo shows the homecoming royalty and court.

TSD Students Thank First Responders

TSD Students honored our first responders with breakfast treats last month.

TSD Homecoming Royalty Zefan N. and Zorina T. delivered donuts and coffee to TXDPS troopers, APD officers, and AFD firefighters. 

When interviewed by Fox 7 Austin, Zefan explained TSD’s goal for this.  He shared, "We wanted to recognize their hard work and give thanks for how much they've done. We know it's a lot, and we can't do it without them. 

APD police chief Joseph Chacon posted a message, thanking TSD on social media.  It read, "I'd like to thank students from Texas School for the Deaf, Zefan and Zorina, for stopping by @Austin_Police HQ this #NationalFirstRespondersDay! The poster and treats were extremely thoughtful, and we're grateful you all made time to visit this morning."
Photo shows Texas DPS troopers standing with TSD students and staff holding "thank you" signs.
Photos shows TSD high school students, Zorina and Zefan, standing with firefighters and EMS holding a sign expressing their gratitude.
Photo shows TSD students and staff standing with police officers in front of Austin Police Department headquarters building holding signs.
Fox 7 Austin covered Zefan and Zorina’s visit at APD Headquarters. YouTube:

CEASD's Recommendation: Full Accreditation

"Full accreditation!" is what a team of professionals with in-depth experience as administrators in deaf education will be recommending to the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) Board of Directors. CEASD is a national organization with accreditation authority for U.S. schools serving students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. 

In early November, the CEASD team visited TSD for three days, visiting classrooms, interviewing board members, faculty, staff, parents, and students, and reviewing support documentation in an effort to examine the whole school and its programs and to determine if TSD meets the required standards for accreditation.

Their visit started with a welcome reception sponsored by Sorenson at the South Congress Hotel on Sunday, November 7th. At the reception, Marcia Volpe, the site-visit chair, introduced the accreditation team: Jeff Bravin, Steve Farmer,  Rosemary Gallegos, and Valerie Houser. 

On Monday and Tuesday, the team members started the day early, interviewing individuals and groups on topics ranging from philosophy and mission to facilities and student services. The team members did last minute visits and meetings before announcing their findings and recommendations to the TSD community.

Reacting to the good news, Superintendent Claire Bugen said in a letter to staff, "This accreditation is testament to the work of the entire community - staff, faculty, students, parents, alumni, and friends. What a privilege it is to work in such a community, and how satisfying indeed it is to see that reflected by the site visitors."

The accreditation is based on twelve quality
 standards and is significant in that it pronounces a school's quality of education. Congratulations, TSD! 
Photo shows Marcia Volpe, chair of the CEASD accreditation team, on stage talking to an audience. Behind her is a PowerPoint slide that reads "Texas School for the Deaf CEASD Accreditation Exit Conference, November 7 - 10, 2021." On the right side of the stage are three members of the accreditation team.
Marcia Volpe, chair of the CEASD accreditation team, meets with TSD community to report findings and recommendations from their visit to TSD. 

The Early Learning Center
is Open!

As of Monday, November 8, the new Early Learning Center opened its doors for students!  Even though there are a few finishing touches that are still in the works, the staff are thrilled to be moved into their new building.  The students are excited to be exploring their new classrooms and shared spaces, and staff are over the moon to finally all be together.  The ELC is specifically designed with young deaf children in mind with everything at the toddler/preschool level and visually accessible.   We hope you come over to say hello and see it for yourselves soon. 
Photo shows a small child in a floral shirt and pants playing with a doll house.
Photo shows small child inside a rainbow barrel, smiling.
Photo shows a small child playing with a floor puzzle.
Photo shows multiple small children wearing medical costumes and playing with doctor toys such as stethoscopes, shots, and the like.

Middle School Science Class Does Escape Room

Middle school science teacher Connie Potersnak set up an escape room for her class as a creative way to study the skeletal and muscular system. 

"I decided to review what we learned by having the kids participate in an escape room and pair it with some Halloween fun, " she explained.

The kids worked together to solve questions and unlock clues. 

She added, "We were able to use our classroom pets as clues because they had to identify which had exoskeletons and which had endoskeletons."

No doubt, the students had fun learning.

Photo shows five middle school students standing around a sitting dummy dressed as Frankenstein.
Photo shows five students problem solving around a skeleton model laying on a table.
Photo shows five students unlocking a clue to the problem.
Photo shows five students problem solving to unlock the next clue.

TSD Alumni Spotlight: Emily Johnson and Kimberly Gonzales - Deafenstein

Two TSD alumni, Emily Johnson (Class of 2015) and Kimberly Gonzales (Class of 2018), played important roles in the making of Deafenstein, a workshop of an original play written and directed by Anna Wood-Jacobowitz. 

The play is about two sisters producing a film inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Kimberly plays the role of Danielle, one of the two sisters. Emily plays the role of mother and Mabel, the Creature's fiancé. 

The workshop was a collaborative effort with support from three co-producers—the National Theatre of the Deaf, Connecticut Deaf Theatre, and Gallaudet University Theatre Arts and Dance Program. They received approval from the Gallaudet Health Advisory group and the District of Columbia to arrange the bubble production of Deafenstein

Read more of the production:

[Id: Photo is a poster promoting Deafenstein. The text reads, "A Workshop of Deafenstein, Written by and Directed by Anna Wood-Jacobowitz." At the bottom right corner are logos of the three co-producers: National Theatre of the Deaf, Connecticut Deaf Theatre, and Gallaudet University Theatre Arts and Dance Program.]
Deafenstein teaser trailer. YouTube:
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