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April 30, 2004

Michigan School for the Deaf prepares for 150th anniversary

From: - MI,USA - Apr 30, 2004

The Associated Press

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — With growing enrollment and solid support from the state, the Michigan School for the Deaf holds high hopes for the future as it prepares for its 150th anniversary.

More than 50 alumni returned to the school this week to share their experiences with current students.

"We want to pass that history or legacy of MSD to the children of today," Sheila Wollard, a 1955 graduate, told The Flint Journal.

The Flint school opened in 1854 and will have its 150th birthday in October.

The school's enrollment has declined over the last couple of decades, with a low of 107 students in 2000, and has been rumored for years to be closing.

But enrollment has recently rebounded, as the school benefited from more support from the state.

The school currently has 130 youngsters from throughout the state, said Principal Cecelia Winkler. About two-thirds live at the school during the week.

Oversight of MSD was changed two years ago from the state superintendent of schools to the office of special education. Since then, the school has seen an increase in the number of support staff, including the addition of a psychologist.

"I want to be here for the 200th celebration, and I want to talk about my past and my life here at MSD," continuing education student Andrew Young said after meeting the alumni.

Young, 19, recently got accepted to Gallaudet University in Washington — the nation's top school for the hearing impaired — and plans to attend in the fall.


Information from: The Flint Journal,

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.