NAD visits Utah

Philippe Montalette

Every quarter, the NAD board meets community and visits schools in different cities in USA. We were fortunate that NAD agreed to meet in Salt Lake City from January 13th to 17th. We stayed at a rental house in Mill Creek. We want to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the NAD Board of Directors meeting, held last week at the Robert G. Sanderson Community Center. During this time, we had the opportunity to interact with students and educators at the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, including the Kenneth C. Burdett School and the Jean Massieu School. We also held a community town hall meeting at the Sanderson Center, in partnership with the Utah Association of the Deaf (UAD), on Friday evening. It turned out very well with over 100 people who showed up to interact with NAD board and UAD board.

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President’s Corner

President’s Corner

Wow – January has been a great month for the Deaf community AND the UAD Board!

We had the opportunity to meet with National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Board members and get to know them a bit better. We then hosted a town hall meeting for NAD on January15 at Sanderson Center and more people came than we expected! Hint – go to UAD Facebook and you will see many pictures of this town hall meeting and see who were there. NAD has many great things to work on which will impact us and will be announcing some of these goals soon so watch their Facebook page for more info.

We (UAD Board) also had a retreat on January 23-25 in Eden, Utah and it was a great and productive weekend. We worked hard and set some goals and prioritized them in order of urgency. We will be seeking members from community to help us with some of these goals so if you’re interested, let us know. A few of these goals are as following:

  • HB102 (interpreting)
  • USOR/Division of Services for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (Sanderson Center) Move- more information will be coming so watch our webpage and Facebook for updates!
  • UAD become more visible in the community and develop stronger liaisons with various organizations.
  • Update UAD Website/announcements

We have also created some new roles and assigned various UAD Board members to old/new roles. Here are some main roles and who are assigned to these-

  • PR Chairs– Pamela Mower/Roberta Dunlap Bolanos
  • Event Chairs– Laurie Bishop/Gabby Humlicek
  • Fundraising Committee– Patricia Lowry/Sari Williams
  • UAD Media Committee– Philippe Montalette/Roberta Dunlap Bolanos & Stephen Persinger
  • UAD Conference Chairperson– Sari Williams
  • By-Laws Committee– Pamela Mower
  • Legislative Affairs Liaison– Stephen Persinger
  • Accommodations Coordinator- Gabby Humlicek

We also will be having our next UAD Board meeting on February10 at 4 at Sanderson Center and we would love to have YOU come, listen and learn.

We are looking forward to working with and for you and together, we will make UAD stronger than ever!

Stephen Persinger

To a Higher Glory

January 20, 2016 – Darrell Anderson, 47, passed away in Blackfoot, Idaho. He was the patriarch of his siblings, children, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and cousins.    He was a role model to all that knew him and was an USD alumnus. Darrell was married to Julie Kimbrel for xx years. A memorial luncheon was held at the Blackfoot LDS Chapel.

Deaf Education in Utah Manuscripts Available

Jodi B. Kinner

This is to update you that most of the “Deaf Education in Utah” manuscripts are completed and are posted on the Utah Deaf History website:

My most favorite manuscript is, “Controversies Surrounding Communication/Educational Methods and Educational Placement Regarding Interpretation of “Least Restrictive Environment” in Utah.” I want to thank my husband, Duane and my children, Joshua and Danielle for their endless patience with my obsession throughout this project over the years. This project has been ten years in the making, and would not have been possible without the help of many people. Notably, Dr. Robert G. Sanderson, W. David Mortensen, Lloyd H. Perkins and other Utah deaf leaders are commended for their bravery and vigilance in protecting the deaf educational system from oral and mainstreaming influence.

I wish to thank Bronwyn O’Hara and Valerie G. Kinney for their great editing job on the manuscripts. Without their volunteer work, this wouldn’t have happened. Thank you!

Currently, Dr. Bryan Eldredge is teaching a senior-level special topics class called “Deaf Education in Utah” again at Utah Valley University. The last time he taught the class was in 2011. I want to thank him for teaching this course in order to increase awareness of the deaf educational system in Utah and to become a better advocate for ASL/English bilingual education.

On other topics than education, feel free to view the Utah Deaf History website –

February 2016 Holidays

  • 2    Groundhog’s Day
  • 7    Super Bowl Sunday, Superbowl 50
  • 8    Chinese New Years, It’s the Year 4714!
  • 9    Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
  • 10  Ash Wednesday
  • 12  Lincoln’s Birthday
  • 14  Valentines Day
  • 15  President’s Day
  • 22   Washington’s Birthday
  • 28   Oscar Night 2016
  • 29   Leap Day

Jean Massieu School News

Aimee Breinholt

January has been a full month for our students at JMS.  Our 5th, 6th and 7th grade students participated in the Lego Robotics competition.  The student teams placed 9th and 18th out of 33 schools.  Teamwork and analytical thinking skills in addition to just plain fun are results of a semester of work.

Our boys on the basketball team have spent the month busily competing in several games.  They are currently in Tucson, Arizona for the WSBCC tournament.  We hope you all are joining us as we cheer them on!

Teresa Kunde shared the following update from the high school: “Our high school students have cooperated with the ASL 3 class to put on an AMAZING Deaf Awareness Week.  Each Deaf student selected a group of hearing students and then worked with that student group to plan one day of the Deaf Awareness week.  The students made posters and banners that are up all over the school that have things ranging from interesting facts about deafness, famous Deaf people, Deaf History, and some basic signs you can learn.”  We are proud of our students!

We are pleased to announce that Travis Montgomery has been hired to work in the library both at JMS and KBS.   Our staff and students are looking forward to accessing library curriculum and enjoying read alouds.  Please join us in welcoming Travis to our JMS family.

Many of our students are participating in a reading clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Trish Vierra works with several tutors to make this a success for each of our students.  We are pleased with the progress we are seeing.  We would like to add to the program by offering activities such as sports, art, dance, etc. on the reading clinic days (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  We are looking for people who can teach and support these types of after school activities.  If you have a skill you would be willing to teach, we would love to work with you.  Please contact me (

Brandon Hill, our ASL specialist has written a spirit song for JMS.  You can view the song at  Join us in showing our JMS pride by learning our song!  …“Color what…yellow, yellow, BLACK!”

Please stop in and see us at JMS and thank you for your support!

PIP Update

Paula Pittman

The Parent Infant Program for the Deaf hosted our second annual PIP Polar Express in December.  We had had about 300 parents and children who attended this year (69 babies under the age of three!), and it was a great success!  We had a larger room this year, thanks to the kindness of the Radisson Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, and that made the event more enjoyable because families had room to spread out. We had Christmas games set up at one end of the room for the children and activities at each tables for the families to do together while they waited to get a chance to see Santa. The Radisson staff also prepared a wonderful hot chocolate bar with donuts and fruit for all of us to enjoy.

Dale Boam was our signing Santa again this year, and he was amazing! The children loved him, and it was such fun seeing all of the excitement in the children’s eyes as they waited to see Santa, and such a joy to see them light up when Santa gave them a gift and a candy cane.  One of the nicest things about the PIP Polar Express is that it is fun for the whole family.  Our PIP children and their siblings all had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap, and everyone got a photo made with Santa and each family got a copy of the book, The Polar Express.

Special thanks from PIP to the Radisson Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City for their facility, to Dale Boam for being such a wonderful Santa, to the UTA for providing families with train passes, the PIP staff who come together to make this event a special time for families, and to all of the families who ventured out on the PIP Polar Express adventure!!

We have started the new year kind of slow, as is typical for PIP as families come back from the holidays and begin getting back into a regular routine. But we are working at full speed once again now and we are looking forward to the new year.  We will begin the second ASL class for PIP families in March and will begin preparations for our PIP family camp, which will be in June.  So we have many fun things to look forward to in 2016.  Happy new year to all of you and thank you for your support of the Parent Infant Program!

USDB Update

Michelle Tanner

January is the month for basketball and the WSBCC.  This year we were only able to gather a boys team.  Hopefully next year we will have more girls that are interested.  Although our boys played hard, we lost most of the games for the 2015-16 season.

The Western States Basketball Classic was held the final week of January.  It was a wonderful experience for our boys!  Our first game was intense! Although we were down by 12 points at the half, we rallied to tie the game in the fourth quarter 33 to 33. We lost in over time to a free throw in the last seconds of the game; which made the final score 39 to 40.

The second game was against British Columbia School for the Deaf from Canada. The final score was 37 to 53. It was a fun game to watch as both team demonstrated the friendships that had developed.

Our third game was also a win. This was against the Oregon School for the Deaf.  The final score for that game was 53 to 36.

The fourth game four was a nail biter!  We were within 2 points throughout most of the game.  Then we pulled it off in the fourth quarter and won 35 to 28.  It was a great game!

The fifth game was a heartbreaking loss. Although we were not favored to win, our boys played well.  For those that watched, you know we have some disputes with scoring.  But according to the official records, the final score was 41 to 40.

The last and final game was a joy to watch!  Thankfully there were no scoring mishaps and fouling problems. Both teams played a clean game. The final score was 33 to 17.

We were ahead the entire game and by the fourth quarter it was very apparent that we were going to win. So the coaches put in the younger players; which was obvious to all by the dramatic difference in their size. But the younger boys were eager and ready… And they had some skill of their own. 🙂    After one of them was fouled and made two easy free throws I am sure the crowd started to wonder about the depth of our team. But when the smallest of them all drove through some taller players and made a lay up under pressure, the crowd went wild. It was a moment I will never forget.

In the end our team came in 3rd place for the tournament.

What a great experience for all that participated. I am sure they will cherish these memories as much as I will. I am very proud of each one of them and impressed with how the coaches handled the team.

It was a great ending to the tournament. A special thank you to the coaching staff!  (Jayson Blum and Dan Mathis) And an honorable mention goes to Whitney James for her dedication and commitment to the team this year as well.  Thank you Wade Hester, our Athletic Director.  Without his devotion, this wouldn’t have been successful.  I have appreciated the tireless efforts he has given to this team.  And thank you to all the parents and fans for all the support.  When we come together to support our students and they devote themselves to learning, we all succeed!

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