GoodNews: TSD Ranger to Ranger - May 27, 2022

View this email in your browser

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

Volume 6, Issue 7
En Español
Deaf Authors Book Festival
In early May, TSD hosted the first-ever Deaf Austin Book Festival (DABF). 

The free, two-day event, which was open to the public, brought 20 Deaf and hard-of-hearing authors from across the country to TSD for book signing, panel discussions, and informal chats.

The festival started with high school student Jayden D. reading a letter from former First Lady Laura Bush during a school-wide assembly at the R.L. Davis Auditorium. In her message, she said, "President Bush and I appreciate the Texas School for the Deaf for all that you do to help the Deaf community learn, grow, and belong. He joins me in sending our best wishes for a successful and memorable festival."

TSD students and the public were able to meet and talk with authors and ask questions about books and authoring. The festival presented a diverse selection of written works in a variety of genres that included Deaf culture and history, sci-fi, sports, travel, magic, and comic books.  

A panel discussion on diversity titled "Seeking Authors of Color" brought together Deaf authors from the  LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. They spoke about their challenges growing up as a minority in a society where their groups were not represented in literature. 

TSD High School English students even got to showcase their literary works at the book festival with their very own booth. 

Check out the photos from the event HERE
Photo shows 18 Deaf authors with Superintendent Claire Bugen sitting on the auditorium stage.
Photo shows high school student Jayden D. behind the podium reading former First Lady Laura Bush's letter. A large photo of the First Lady is on a stand next to the podium.
Photo shows two students at the RIT booth listening to the RIT representative.
Photo shows high school students from the English Language Arts class standing behind displayed books they wrote.
Photo shows a lady at an author’s booth looking at books displayed on the table.
Photo shows five Deaf authors ready to discuss diversity.

Mad City Money

Mad City Money returned this year, offering an interactive experience to High School seniors where they got to play the game of life. 

Posing as representatives for a variety of resources, TSD teachers and volunteers helped the seniors navigate through true-life budgets that included family status, occupation and salary, student loan debt, credit card debt, and medical insurance costs. 
Photo shows high school teacher Larry Smith giving instructions to students who are sitting in front of him.
Photo shows students at a table learning about child care expenses.
Photo shows Stephanie Hurwitz and Marcus Sylvester talking to a student at a booth regarding transportation costs.
Photo shows high school teacher Trevor Anderson talking to a student about banking.

National Student Poet Shares Skills with Middle Schoolers

In early May, middle school students were visited by a National Student Poet, Kechi Mbah. 

Kechi led a two-day workshop on poetry and ASL. The first day was focused on ASL Slam, using examples of Douglas Ridloff (Deaf slam poet) and the "trick" workshop, where students were challenged to write words associated with a place then challenged to write a slam poem about that place using none of those words. 

The next day, students focused on written poetry where they started with an interactive poetry memorization activity. Students had to come up with a movement for each line of the poem by Ted Jones titled "The Truth." 

After discussing different views of what the poem means, the students transitioned to the "Captioning the Classroom" activity (inspired by Christine Sun Kim's “Captioning the City" project), where students wrote lines of poetry on their own and pasted them around the classroom. 

The National Student Poets Program is the nation's highest honor for young poets who create original work. Five students from across the United States are selected for one year of service annually. 
Photo shows National Student Poet Kechi Mbah next to the display screen talking about poetry and ASL to a middle school class.
Photo shows a student presenting slam poetry in front of the class.
Photo shows Kechi and the class in a group circle participating in an interactive poetry memorization activity.
Photo shows a student writing poetry for an activity called “Captioning the Classroom.”
Photo shows a student captioning her poetry on an elephant trunk watering can.

State Police Surprise ELC and Elementary Kids

Texas Department of Public Safety (TXDPS) troopers often patrol our campus. However, it was quite a surprise to see two troopers on horseback patrolling TSD. 

Troopers Salzer and Plummer and horses Caliber and Dewey rode around the campus recently. They stopped at the football field first before continuing to the new Administrative and Welcome Center (AWC), where ELC and Elementary students gathered for photos. The children were amazed to see large Clydesdale horses, as were the adults. 

TSD continues their partnership with TXDPS in keeping our campus safe. Expect to see the troopers and their horses at TSD more often in the future.
Photo shows two Texas DPS troopers on horseback in front of the TSD electronic billboard. The Austin skyline is in the background.
Photo shows 1st grade students sitting along a retaining wall with the Texas DPS troopers and their horses in the background.
Photo shows 2nd grade students sitting along a retaining wall with the Texas DPS troopers and their horses in the background.
Photo shows ELC students sitting along a retaining wall with the Texas DPS troopers and their horses in the background.
Business Appreciation Breakfast
The Business Appreciation Breakfast, which celebrates local businesses who employ our students in varying CTE and ACCESS work programs returned in person this year.

The event started with students sharing presentations about their work experiences. Business partners then took the stage and thanked their students. 

Partners in attendance included: Blue Nail Cafe, Scan Mailboxes, North Lamar Goodwill, Embassy Suites Downtown, National Deaf Center at UT, CTE Culinary Arts, TSD's Robotics Lab, and TSD teachers.

Check out more photos HERE
Photo shows five students at the Business Appreciation Breakfast enjoying their meal.
Photo shows a business partner from the Embassy Suites Downtown talking about his students.
Photo shows five students who are on the stage talking to the audience about their experiences working at the National Deaf Center.
Photo shows the audience in attendance listening to the presentation.
Student Spotlight: Skyler W.
TSD High School student Skyler W. has  logged quite a few miles on his biking journey.

He started bike riding around the Veloway, a 3-mile long bicycle track in Southwest Austin, when he was young. Now Skyler will be competing along with the MANOS3Nation Deaf triathlete team, many of whom are from the TSD community, in the Life Time Fitness CapTex Triathlon on Memorial Day, May 30, 2022.

Skyler will be participating in the CapTex Triathlon Sprint event, which starts at 7:50 AM. So, look for Bib 2487 and cheer for Skyler. 

If you'd like to know more about MANOS3Nation Deaf triathlete team, visit their website HERE.
Photo shows Skyler in front of the Cap Tex poster holding a medal after completing last year’s event.
Photo is of the Deaf triathlete team who competed at last year’s event.

Austin Animal Center Post Big Thank You to TSD First-Graders

Photo is a screenshot of Austin Animal Center’s Facebook post thanking TSD Elementary students. The message reads, “A HUGE (and adorable) THANK YOU to the first-grade students from the Texas School for the Deaf for coming to visit us earlier this week. They even raised over $300 for our animals! We love to see future animal shelter supporters in the making.”

Congratulations to
Class of 2022 Graduates

Photo shows the graduating class of 2022 in cap and gown.
Texas School for the Deaf Twitter Account
Texas School for the Deaf Facebook Page
Texas School for the Deaf Website
Texas School for the Deaf Instagram

Do You Have Good News?

Please share your stories with us by emailing pictures and text to

[email protected]