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September 23, 2005

School for the Deaf celebrates 135 years

From: Salem Statesman Journal, OR - Sep 23, 2005

September 23, 2005

The Oregon School for the Deaf this week is celebrating 135 years as a community fostering lifelong learning.

Festivities began for alumni, students and family Thursday and will continue through Saturday, culminating with the Gala Banquet on Saturday night in McKnight Cafeteria. The keynote speaker for the banquet will be Thaun Nguyen, an OSD alumna and current coordinator of Mentoring and Minority Academic Support Programs at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

Hearing folks who are interested in understanding or supporting OSD may schedule a campus tour, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, and attend the homecoming football game, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Call (503) 378-3825 so that a speaking interpreter can be scheduled.

It's an opportunity to see how William S. Smith's 1870 vision of a free education for the deaf grew into a state-supported educational facility that works with eight regional programs to serve students from more than 50 schools within the state.

Students at OSD often are doubly challenged in gaining full integration in society because a significant percentage who are deaf (about one-third in 2002-04) also are ethnic minorities.

Meeting the needs of their students requires innovation and excellence on the part of administrators and teachers -- because just meeting basic needs is not their goal. The mission of OSD is "Excellence for each student."

An example of how OSD fulfills this mission is the success of alumnus Aaron Yankus, a lifelong student of OSD.

Yankus was a Statesman Journal Scholastic All-Star in 2002-03, graduated from OSD in 2003 and attended the Rochester Institute of Technology/ National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

OSD graduates Jon Myers and Steven Blankenheim, both of Salem, also now are at NTID.

Congratulations, OSD.

Copyright 2005 Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon