Utah School for the Deaf Make History

Michelle Tanner


In January the Utah School for the Deaf (USD) was thrilled to host the Western States Basketball and Cheerleading Classic from January 28th to 31st.    This tournament included, in addition to USD, students from Washington School for the Deaf (WSD), Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD), Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) and Phoenix Day School for the Deaf (PDSD).   Games were held at the Sanderson Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Taylorsville High School.

This tournament showcased the talents and skills of all our athletes.  In the end, ASDB – Tucson triumphed over Oregon for the girls with a final score of 33 – 30.  The USD boys’ team won with a score of 59 – 40 over Phoenix in the championship game.  According to others present at the tournament, Utah has not won since 1961.  So, the win was very sweet and I am enormously proud of them!

But this memorable and hugely successful event could not have happened without a great deal of support.  My heart is overwhelmed with the outpouring of assistance from the community.  I would like to thank the committee who set this all in motion and organized the details of the event: Brandon Hill designed all the public products: logo, shirts, program book and website; as well as organized the structure of the tournament and schedule. Wade Hester, our athletic director, helped coordinate and run all aspects of the tournament as well as coaching the boy’s team.  Mike Hillstrom coordinated transportation throughout the event.  Justin Anderson was extremely dedicated as the point of contact during the event.  He was present before anything began and was there to the very end.   Keith Mischo managed all the volunteers for the statistics of each game.  Janelle Joy was our cheerleading coach and coordinated the events for the opening and closing ceremonies.  Kimberly Smale-Pierce organized the food and volunteers.  Each one of these individuals was integral to the success of the WSBCC.

I would also like to thank the Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for not only allowing us to use their facilities, but also for providing support staff for security and clean up.  They were a vital part of hosting this event and a wonderful assistance to the WSBCC team.  THANK YOU!

So many people donated hours of their time and took off from work to help us.  David Davenport and Duane Kinner managed the live feeds during the games.  Their team was able to provide all the equipment and dedicated their time to allow us to broadcast all the games to others watching from other states.  Teri Yool made sure we had at least one athletic trainer at each event, but often there were interns from the local colleges and universities.  They handled all the physical injuries rapidly and with professionalism.  Patricia Lowry managed all the ticket sales.  Clay Anderson, Trenton Marsh and Ryan were excellent emcees and provided incredible entertainment.  We also had some amazing interpreters.  I am so thankful for their impressive skills.   Of course there were many other volunteers that would be difficult to mention here…. but you know who you are!  THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!  A yellow shirt is not enough to tell you how much you were appreciated.

Of course we are grateful to our referees from the Deaf Basketball Officials (DBO)! We definitely couldn’t have done this without them.  They were incredibly professional and attentive.

Finally, thank you to all the fans who came out to support our teams.  I am delighted that I have the opportunity to associate with such wonderful people who love and care for our students.  These students mean the world to me and I am thrilled to know that others see how wonderful these students are, too.

I want all the students to know how proud I am of their efforts and how happy it makes me to tell others about their accomplishments.  I care and love each one of them! I hope the WSBCC 2015 is an event they long remember and look back with fondness. Now let’s get ready for WSBCC 2016 in Tucson!!

President’s Corner

Congratulations to the Utah School for the Deaf boys’ team  for winning the Western States Basketball Classic championship! It’s the first time since 1961 that they captured first place. A big hand wave to team!

There will be a town hall meeting on Wednesday, February 25th.  The Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) issue will be discussed. Please come and share your story with this service so we can gather it and share it with other states.

We will have another yard sale, this March.  See flyers on pages 6 and 7 for more information.

The next biennial conference will be held in Provo on October 16 and 17, 2015. Do save the date! Informational announcements will be posted soon through UAD Announce and UAD Bulletin. Do join us!  We will have UTRID in partnership with the UAD at the conference.  We have posted ticket prices in advance for conference.  We offer different plans, like early bird and seniors/students. Check it out on our UAD website.

We strongly encourage you to join UAD as a member and support UAD; membership strengthens the organization. UAD needs your voice and your opinion to help move it forward in the future. Membership is only $15 a year and is tax deductible.  To join, go to uad.org and click on ‘Join Us’

Donations are always appreciated. To donate, contact Adele Sigoda at fab622@comcast.net.

Thank you,

Philippe Montalette, President


January 2, 2015 – Carl W. Farnsworth, 73, passed away in Santa Ana, California. Known as Wendell when he attended Utah School for the Deaf, he left in 1959 and attended Fremont School for the Deaf.  After that, he attended Gallaudet College for several years.  He worked for a petroleum company as a programmer until he retired early due to illness.  He enjoyed woodcraft and loved to read; he also taught ASL classes.  Funeral and burial took place in Santa Ana, CA.

February 2015 Holidays

1    Super Bowl Day

2    Groundhog’s Day

14  Valentines Day

16  President’s Day

17  Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)

18  Ash Wednesday

19  Chinese New Years

22  Oscar Night 2015

22  Washington’s Birthday

Deaf PIP Update

Paula Pittman

Our primary focus during the month of January has been hiring and training new staff.  We hired a new Parent Advisor, Adrienne Shearer-Davis, who will be working in the Jordan district (one of the fastest growing areas in the country!) and we completed training for her and our new Parent Advisor out in Duchesne, Alyse Farnsworth, this past week, so they are now learning on the job and doing wonderfully.  We also said goodbye to one of our Deaf Mentors, Yvonne Montalette, who resigned from her position as a Deaf Mentor in January to pursue her studies at the University of Northern Colorado and to focus more on her work at UVU.  We will miss her, and we are diligently looking for a qualified Deaf adult to replace her, so if there is anyone in Utah County who is willing to do some driving and interested in being a Deaf mentor, please apply for the position.  You can apply by going to the www.utah.gov website and looking under state employment opportunities, then scrolling down to find the Deaf Mentor position.  You must have high level ASL skills for this position, must love kids and enjoy teaching adults and children ASL.  We hope to get some good applicants to fill this Utah County/Central Utah position!

We also hired three new Deaf mentors in January and will be training them soon.  We are thrilled to add Eli McCowan, Jayson Bluhm and Diane Acosta to our Deaf Mentor Team!  Eli will be working with families in the Salt Lake Valley, Jason with families in the Davis County area, and we are thrilled that Diane will be covering the St. George/Cedar City area!  We are so excited to have these amazing folks on our Deaf Mentor/PIP Team! We only need two more Deaf mentors and we will finally be fully staffed. One to fill Yvonne’s position, and one to help us with the Salt Lake Valley area.  Both of these positions are part time, so if anyone is interested, please apply!

We will continue with training and hiring through February and March and hope to have a fully functional team trained and working by April.  We are now beginning to focus on getting all of our data together and ready for our end of the year report for the legislature and are also beginning to plan for our Spring PIP Retreat and our upcoming PIP Family Camp which will take place June 5-6, 2015.  We need volunteers for PIP Camp this year, so if you are interested in volunteering to work with our PIP babies and their siblings this summer at PIP Family Camp, please contact Michelle Green at michelleg@usdb.org or 801-628-4768.  Thank you for your support of the Parent Infant Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing!

Jean Massieu School News

Aimee Breinholt

January has been an active month for JMS and we have lots coming up in the next few months.  JMS students participated in the Lego Robotics Competition on Jan. 10th.  Both Lego Robotics teams did well!  The Wrath of the Deaf Robot (5th/6th) team did especially well in the robot game taking 3rd place.  The Walking Deaf (7th) team earned all top scores for the Core Values competition which included, teamwork and collaboration.  Together they earned the “Judges Choice” award, which was given to our school because we did well across the board.  We are proud of our students and grateful to the hard work and dedication of our staff.

We also participated in the Battle of the Books with a team composed of JMS and KBS students.  This competition is hosted by Gallaudet and encourages reading among deaf students.  Each student is given a couple books to read in preparation for the competition.  Then students come together to compete as a team and answer questions about each book against other schools for the deaf across the nation.  Their first competition was January 15th against the Oklahoma School for the Deaf. They then competed against Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and the New Mexico School for the Deaf on the 22nd.  Our team worked hard and had a great learning experience with the competition.

Our boys and girls basketball teams have worked hard through the season.  January comes to a close with the Western States Basketball and Cheerleading Classic (WSBCC).  We are so proud of our girls for their hard work and dedication.  We are thrilled to congratulate our boys in taking first place in the tournament!!  It has been a wonderful experience for all involved.  Thank you to so many of you who volunteered several hours to make this happen!

We are entering another legislative session.  USDB is requesting additional teaching positions to meet our ever-increasing enrollment.  JMS has particular interest in a transition teacher.  This building block is vital to continue to meet the needs of our students.  Any support you can give in making this happen would be greatly appreciated!

We have some upcoming events with which we would like your support.  Please mark your calendar! Our Academic Bowl team is working hard to prepare for regional competitions that will happen in March.  They need to raise funds for this.  They will host an ASL Variety Show on February 20th at JMS.  Come enjoy a great evening and show your support for our students.

Our next family night activity will be March 12th from 6-8pm at the Deaf Center.  We will be discussing communication with your deaf child.  There will be activities for kids and PTA will be providing dinner.  Come join us for a great evening with an opportunity to mingle and learn.

JMS is still looking for an auditory habilitationist who will work with students specifically in a speech, listening and language capacity.  This is a part time position.  Please help us spread the word to find a qualified teacher.  For any inquiries please contact me at aimeeb@usdb.org.  To apply for the position, submit your resume, transcripts and a copy of your teaching license to carold@usdb.org or mail them to USDB Humman Resource Office, 742 Harrison Blvd., Ogden, UT 84404.

Have a wonderful February!  We hope to see you!

UAD DONATION flyer 2015

UAD yard sale march 2015

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