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May 10, 2003

ISD superintendent retires

From: Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil, IA - May 10, 2003

BRIEN T. BOYCE , Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Iowa School for the Deaf will host a retirement reception for its longtime superintendent, William Johnson.

The reception will be from 3 to 6 p.m. at ISD's Lied Multipurpose Complex.

Johnson and his wife, Vivian, will move to Dryden, N.Y., in late May, and will officially retire Sept. 1.

Jeanne Prickett, administrator of the Hawaii Center for the Deaf and the Blind, will assume duties as Iowa School for the Deaf superintendent June 16.

Prickett will become the first woman to serve as the school's head since it was founded in 1855.

Johnson's career includes 16 years as superintendent at ISD, 11 years as superintendent for the Illinois School for the Deaf and 12 other years serving in special education administration or teaching positions.

His doctor of philosophy and master's degrees were both obtained at the University of Iowa.

"The mission of Iowa School for the Deaf is to be the best school for the deaf in the country," Johnson said. "We want a well-rounded education program that enables students to achieve their academic potential, have skills to effectively interact with people, live independently and know they can do just about anything they put their hearts and minds to."

The challenge of having significant hearing loss himself was somewhat compromising in the educational field.

"In my mind, deafness is the most difficult disability to deal with from an educational perspective," Johnson said. "It's also the easiest disability from the vocational aspect to be successful. We (individuals with hearing loss) can be productive citizens and contribute to our communities."

Johnson has received a number of awards over the years, including the Mercy Hospital Heritage Award, the Robert Davila Award, Leadership Family Award, Service to Mankind Award, induction into Abraham Lincoln High School's Alumni Hall of Fame and Renaissance Faire king.

©Daily Nonpareil 2003