IM this article to a friend!

October 30, 2003

Deaf Education/Hard of Hearing teacher new to Avon

From: Avon Sentinel, IL - Oct 30, 2003



The alarm clock. The dog barking. The television blaring. The telephone ringing. The sound of voices. Those are all every day occurrences that many of us take for granted. Imagine, though, if you could hear none of that. Imagine if your world was silent. Or, imagine, you are profoundly hard of hearing. For many of us that would mean having to make major adjustments in our day-to-day activities.

There’s many new faces in the Avon School District this year and among them is Ms. Teri Kestner. Kestner is serving the District in the capacity of the Deaf Education/Hard of Hearing teacher and her duties include assisting freshman David Sharp who is profoundly hard of hearing.

Kestner said she has a variety of duties in her role, “I follow David around to all of his classes and assist him in any way. I am also his English teacher and his resource teacher. During resource we study for tests, do homework and make vocabulary cards.”

Originally from Camp Point, Kestner graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island before heading to St. Louis where she attended graduate school at Washington University.

Prior to coming to Avon she taught for two years in Clinton, Iowa at an elementary school.

Kestner said helping at a summer camp during her youth aided her decision in becoming a deaf education/hard of hearing teacher, “For several summers back home I worked at a camp for disabled children through adults and there were several deaf and hard of hearing kids there and I just kind of picked up on sign language and learned from them. Then when it was time to apply for grad. school my advisor suggested Wash. U. in St. Louis so I applied and got accepted and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll try it.’”

Kestner said there are challenges in her line of work, “In grad. school I went to an oral school for the deaf. So, we just talked to the kids. There was no sign language. We took a sign language class, but we didn’t teach in sign and now in Iowa and then here, (in Avon), I’ve had to use sign and teach in sign so sometimes that debate of ‘do you teach in sign, do you not’ has been a challenge. And then, just working with the other teachers, sometimes presents problems, but they’ve been real good here about getting lessons ahead of time and letting me know what’s going to happen and working with David and making sure that he gets things done and turned in.”

While teaching in Iowa, Kestner said she had seven students who ranged in ages from grades three to fifth grade.

At Avon, Kestner has one student and said she enjoys it, “I like the one-on-one and I also like (working with) the older students.”

Kestner said she is currently living in Avon and is slated to sponsor the high school Scholastic Bowl team.

Copyright © 2001, Eagle Publications