:-( Can it be?

A well qualified candidate was passed over in the search for a new Superintendent of the Indiana Deaf School for reasons that are hard to fathom.
A graduate of ISD, David Geeslin has fulfilled various positions within the school over the past decade while pursuing advanced academic studies. I met David in 1991, the year before I left ISD to further my own education. He was an enthusiastic new member of the faculty and the bilingual-bicultural committee – a mixed group of Deaf and non-deaf teachers, administrators, and support staff who had worked through the often difficult and troubling historical issues of prejudice, discrimination, and distrust that unfortunately are endemic in many residential schools for the deaf.


I have always been grateful for my initiation into the Deaf community among such a wonderful group of committed people who were guided by an amazingly strong vision: to transform Deaf education from its centuries-old legacy of suppression (of sign language and therefore of deaf culture) to a contemporary model of linguistic equality and genuinely egalitarian relations among deaf and non-deaf peers. My life over the past decade has been shaped, in many ways, by the powerful and positive impact of participating in this group: it was proof that social justice is not only possible, but actually practical.
David, in my experience, has always been practical. I see that he will present a workshop on legislation this fall at the Indiana State Sign Language Interpreter`s conference. Obviously, he is aware of the need to work with institutional mechanisms to generate change. David

3 thoughts on “:-( Can it be?”

  1. Indiana Deaf News Readers,
    Recently, Jerry Cooper sent a message asking you to share your disappointment that I was not selected for the superintendent position at the Indiana School for the Deaf. While I was obviously disappointed that I was not selected to fill the superintendent position at this time, I have been very grateful for the outpouring of support from both the state and national community.
    Given the Board’s decision not to offer the position to any of the existing candidates, I believe the Board’s selection of Cindy Lawrence to serve as interim superintendent was appropriate. ISD needs an interim leader to run the school until a superintendent is selected. Selecting the director of the outreach department, whether hearing or Deaf, was a logical choice because this department is primarily self-directed (with a cluster type of management requiring less need for direct supervision) and her absence will have the least negative impact on school operations.
    Secondly, I have known Cindy Lawrence for fifteen years. Mrs. Lawrence has been with ISD through our transition to a bilingual/bicultural school. She supports the philosophy and mission of the school. She is a strong ally for the Indiana Deaf community and a faithful servant to our shared vision for our students. I fully support Mrs. Lawrence in this interim position.
    I would ask you, members of our Deaf community, to freely and respectfully share your opinions with the Board about who you would like to lead ISD and educate our esteemed Board Members about the unique nature of Deaf education, but I would also ask you to support the Board’s decision for the interim appointment, as I do.
    In a positive way, the application and interview process for the position of superintendent only served to increase my commitment to be an effective, knowledgeable and passionate leader in Deaf education.
    Thank you for your support.
    Sincerely,
    David Geeslin

  2. David Geeslin is one of the top Deaf educators in the state of Indiana. I know. I have known him for the short time, but I know he is a great teacher, principal and Deaf leader.
    I remembered both Ann Reifel and Wendy Whiting had explained how important ISD students need Deaf Leaders. David Geeslin is a perfect example.
    Please continue to support David Geeslin for the top leader in ISD.
    Thanks.

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