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January 2, 2004

New superintendent for St. Mary's School for the Deaf

From: Buffalo Business First, NY - Jan 2, 2004

The board of trustees of St. Mary's School for the Deaf appointed William Page Johnson as its new superintendent, the 10th administrator in the school's 150-year history.

Johnson, who is deaf and is also the son of two deaf parents, comes to Buffalo from the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he served as superintendent since 1987. Before that he was superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, IL, a position he held for 11 years.

During his 16-year tenure in Iowa, Johnson helped implement numerous improvements in the educational and student-life programs, enhanced vocational and job-training services and opportunities, and oversaw many technological advances. Under his leadership the school also updated its curriculum to meet state standards, introduced innovative teacher-training initiatives and constructed a multi-purpose complex on campus that boasts athletic facilities, a swimming pool, classrooms and meeting space.

While at the Illinois School for the Deaf, both the school and Johnson received national and state recognition for the innovative programs he instituted such as combining computer instruction with captioned films to improve the reading skills of hearing impaired students. Now common practice for teaching the hearing impaired, the Illinois School was the first deaf school in the nation to use this approach.

Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Denver, a master's degree in deaf education from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in philosophy, also from the University of Iowa.

He is a member and past president of the Conference of Education Administrators Serving the Deaf (CEASD) and a member of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Iowa Association of the Deaf (IAD).

Johnson replaces Patricia Velocci, who served in an interim capacity following the resignation in January 2003 of W. Winfield McChord Jr. Velocci remains a school administrator at St. Mary's.

Founded in 1853, St. Mary's School for the Deaf is an independent day and residential school that provides specialized services to students of all ages who are deaf, functionally deaf, hard-of-hearing and those who have a communication and/or physical challenge.

© 2004 American City Business Journals Inc.