JMS Academic Bowl Team Wins Team Sportsmanship Award

by Kristi Mortensen

Three players and two coaches representing Jean Massieu School flew to Washington, D.C. for the National Academic Bowl on the first Friday in April. Students Danny Himes, a senior at Skyline High, Josette Savea, a junior at Skyline High, and Katie Cook, a freshman at West Hill Middle School, and coaches Kristi Mortensen, coach, and Jenefer Reudter, assistant coach, made up the team. It took almost all day to travel by plane.

When we arrived at Reagan National Airport, a guide from Gallaudet University met us. We travelled by way of Metro with another team to Union Station then hopped on the Gallaudet University shuttle to Kellogg Hotel at Gallaudet University campus. It was a very nice and breezy travel.

We spent all Saturday morning touring the National Mall with the New Mexico team. The first museum we visited was the Constitution. We stood in line for nearly an hour to get into the building for FREE! After we spent about two hours inside the building, the four coaches discussed and decided to split into three groups. One group wanted to go to another museum, another group wanted to stay at the National Mall to visit the Abraham Lincoln memorial, and the last group of one player and mother decided to go back to Kellogg due to a health situation. It was Jenefer Reudter and Kristi Mortensen that took Danny Himes, Katie Cook and Kalle, a junior and New Mexico School for the Deaf exchange student from Sweden, to the National Mall to visit the Abraham Lincoln memorial.

We arrived at the Gallaudet campus just in time to register and begin our weekend with other teams. Danny, Josette and Katie did very well throughout the matches. They did score high but not high enough to win the matches.

In the end, our team carried the best spirit of all. We cheered on them whether they lost or won the matches. In the end, the National Championship went to Model Secondary School for the Deaf at Gallaudet campus, secondplace went to Hinsdale South High in Illinois, thirdplace went to Indiana School for the Deaf, and fourth place went to W.T. Woodson High from Virginia. Then to our surprise our JMS team won first Team Sportsmanship; the second Team Sportsmanship went to Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind.

Before we flew home the next day, we participated in the150th year Charter Day celebration of Abraham Lincoln signing the paper to establish Gallaudet College. We visited a very special museum showing how Gallaudet College has fared throughout the years. It will be a day to remember!

Katie Cook, Josette Savea, and Danny Himes along with JMS mascot the Buzz cousin

Katie Cook, Josette Savea, and Danny Himes along with JMS mascot the Buzz cousin

Gallaudet University President Alan Hurwitz, Jenefer Reudter, Kristi Mortensen, Jesse Saunders, Coordinator Gallaudet Academic Bowl (regional and national levels)

Gallaudet University President Alan Hurwitz, Jenefer Reudter, Kristi Mortensen, Jesse Saunders, Coordinator Gallaudet Academic Bowl (regional and national levels)

President’s Corner

The Utah Association of the Deaf will host a picnic and chili cookoff on September 14.  After the picnic/chili cookoff, a town hall meeting will be held.  To cap the evening, an ASL film will be shown.  Mark Wood proudly announces his 10th movie called “Beyond the Embers: Vol. 1.”  It is an exciting movie full of mysteries and bizarre tales.  To view the trailer, click on this link: https://vimeo.com92960667.

We had two good fundraising events during the Deaf Studies Today conference at Utah Valley University.  The monies will be used to send the two delegates, Dan Hoffman and J. R. Goff, to the National Association for the Deaf conference, July 2014.

Pamela Mower has been appointed to replace a member at large, Meme Kerr, who resigned for personal reasons.  We welcome Pamela to the UAD board.

We encourage you to join UAD as a member and give your support to UAD; this strengthens the organization.  UAD needs your voice and your opinion to help us move forward in the future.

Philippe Montalette

Wedding Bells

April 26, 2014 – Jeff Hanks and Melanie Mears were united in marriage.  Jeff brings four children and Melainie has three children. A reception was held at the 2nd Ward for the Deaf.


Kleda Quigley’s email address in the 2014-2015 Utah Telecom Book is incorrect.  The correct email address is

Farewell Party

Dona Mae DeYarmon, who has been at the Legacy House Assisted Living for less than five years after living in Washington state for 38 years, was honored at a farewell party on April 26, which also was an early birthday party for her.  Her actual birthdate is June 27, 1934, when she will turn 80. She was born in Delta so Utah is her home. Over 50 friends flocked to her place to wish her well.  She flew with her daughter, Jolene, the following Monday to live in the daughter’s home in League City, Texas..

Wheeler Scholarships Available for 2014-2015 School Year

The Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf is pleased to announce that two scholarships of $1,000 each are available this spring for the 2014-2015 academic year, with a deadline of July 31 to apply.

The organization has awarded scholarships to deserving deaf students in colleges and universities for more than 30 years.  Awards are given based on student grades, financial need, and maintaining a full time status.

Criteria for qualifying includes three years residency in Utah, GPA of 3.0 or higher, proof of deafness, and more.

Eligible candidates for the scholarships need to apply now and gather up all required documentation to be sent in well before the deadline.

Applications are available at the UAD website,  On the home page, look at the right side near the bottom where you see the Ned C. Wheeler Scholarship Foundation for the Deaf information.  Click on “Application.”

For further information or to request an application, contact Valerie Kinney, secretary at  or call her by VP 801-784-6962.  You may also contact Melainie Garcia, chair, at or call her at 801-731-1038.

May 2014 Holidays

1   May Day

5   Cinco de Mayo

6   National Teacher’s Day

8   VE Day, WW II

11  Mother’s Day

26  Memorial Day

Jean Massieu School News

Michelle Tanner

April has been a very productive month.  Our students are busy learning during and after school.  Our Academic Bowl team had the opportunity to participate in the National Academic Bowl this month.  We are grateful to Kristi Mortensen and Jenefer Reudter for all their efforts in making our team successful.

During this month we participated in our annual Stingers game; which included the students against the staff.  Although it was a very tight game, the students won by 2 points!  We also appreciate all the people who made or purchased cake for our silent auction.  All proceeds were donated to our Student Body Government, which helps our students learn leadership skills.  We also held our annual JMS Film Festival that highlighted video clips from our student body.  Finally, our 9th graders attended the NASA Space Camp for the Deaf in Alabama.  The memories and learning from this experience will be unforgettable.

The first week of May we will be celebrating our teachers!  We have the best teachers in the state and we are forever grateful for all their hard work and dedication.  If you feel inclined, we would welcome any kind notes you would like to share with our wonderful teachers.

On May 15th and 16th our drama students will be performing Peter Pan in the JMS auditorium.  We would love to fill the auditorium! Come enjoy their final performance of the year!

In the Fall, JMS will be filling two new teaching positions.  At this time, we are looking for a preschool teacher and a 3rd grade teacher.  Individuals with a degree in deaf education and a background in the ASL/English Bilingual Bicultural approach to teaching deaf children are encouraged to apply.  If you or someone you know is interested and qualified for either of the these positions, please send a letter of interest and resume now to Carol DeRosier at  We are currently reviewing applicants for both of these positions.

We will also be seeking 5 new aide positions in the Fall.  Watch the Utah State Jobs website ( for when these position become open.  Anticipate we will be interviewing in July for these positions, as well as any individuals interested in becoming a substitute teacher for JMS.  We would love to have many substitutes to support our classrooms.

As always, if you would like to make a donation to JMS, please bring in a check made out to USDB with the notation that it is for JMS.   Thank you for all your tremendous support!  We genuinely appreciate it.

$500 College Scholarship Awarded to Local Student

Hamilton Relay, Telecommunications Relay and Captioned Telephone Service provider for the state of Utah, has awarded a $500 college scholarship to Tatiana Tabish, a student of Juan Diego Catholic High School from Draper, Utah.

The Hamilton Relay Scholarship opportunity is available to high school seniors who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking. A recipient is selected within each of the states where Hamilton is the contracted service provider and is one of several ways the company gives back to the communities it serves.

“Hamilton takes pride in creating opportunities for higher education and promoting outstanding leadership across the country,” said Utah Outreach Coordinator, Katie Anderson. “We are excited to have the opportunity to contribute to furthering Tatiana’s education and wish her success in reaching her personal and professional goals.”

Tatiana was awarded the $500 Hamilton Relay Scholarship after completing an application and writing an essay under the topic of communication technology. Tatiana plans to attend the University of Utah this fall to pursue a degree in the medical field.

About Hamilton Relay – Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 16 states and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services

Katie Anderson, Utah Outreach Coordinator,

USD Parent Infant Program (PIP)

Paula Pittman

We have been busy in PIP the past couple of months!  We hosted a 2-day parent retreat at the Robert G. Sanderson Community Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in conjunction with the Blind PIP Program on March 21-22.  The theme for the retreat was “A License to Chill”.  We know that parents who have infants and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing or blind or visually impaired are often so focused on helping their child that they forget to take care of themselves. So we wanted to give them some time for themselves to learn and relax. We had 72 people in attendance and the parents had a nice time meeting one another and gaining some ideas for how they can care for themselves as well as taking care of their family.  We had wonderful speakers at the retreat, and were able to treat parents to 10 minute neck and shoulder massages compliments of Healing Mountain Massage School.  It was nice to be able to do something nice for our PIP parents!

We are now preparing for another event for our Deaf PIP families that is just around the corner!  On May 2-3, we will be having our first Deaf PIP Family Camp in six years.  The Deaf PIP Program used to have a PIP Family Camp every year, but the program stopped hosting them some time ago.  Our staff has been sad about that because it is the only event that we sponsor where events and activities were planned for the entire family.  So this year we are bringing back PIP Family Camp!  We will, once again, be using the Sanderson Center to house our event on Friday night, which will be our literacy night called, “Life Without Books is Un-Bear-Able!.”  Our staff will highlight a different book in each available room in the Sanderson Center.  In addition to the story being presented in different communication approaches (ASL, spoken English, cued speech, signed English), the children will do activities or crafts that are connected with the book.  Families can move from room to room and experience each book that they have interest in.  On Saturday, PIP Camp will move to the USDB campus in Ogden where we will have some wonderful presentations for parents while the children will be involved with activities all day with other children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their siblings.  The focus of these activities will center around literacy and fun with books.  The presenters we have invited this year will be discussing behavior and communication and how using effective communication reduces negative behaviors in children, the importance of early literacy for a child’s language and cognitive development, and our USDB audiologists will be talking to parents about all things related to audiology and hearing, including the impact of different hearing levels and types of listening devices available for children today.  At the end of the day, we will close with a panel discussion of parents who have raised happy and successful children who are deaf or hard of hearing.  We are looking forward to this upcoming event and hope it will be fun and beneficial for everyone who is able to attend.

As the 2013-2014 school year comes to a close, I will be turning my attention to data and looking at the number of children and families we served this year as well as analyzing our data to see what kind of progress our children made in the past year.  I hope to report some of those numbers to you in the next couple of months.  In the month of May we will hold our last Toddler Group sessions and Listening Time sessions and will also have our final Story Time events and will take a break from these activities through the summer months when so many people are enjoying summer activities and family vacations.

As I close, I want to take the opportunity to extend a huge thank you to the staff at the Sanderson Center!  We always feel so welcome when we have PIP events at the center and the staff and the Deaf Community always go out of their way to make sure families feel welcome.  I realize how fortunate we are to have such a wonderful Deaf Center that is available to us for big events for our children and families. Thank you all for your support of our Parent Infant Program!

Utahn Selected as Student Speaker at Gallaudet Commencement

Roberta Dunlap is the daughter of Robert DeSpain (deceased) and Deborah DeSpain of Louisana, and daughter of the Jeffrey Dunlap family of Salt Lake City.  She is a Skyline High School (SLC) graduate. She has been selected for the honor of speaking on behalf of undergraduates at the Gallaudet University commencement.  Quoted below is from the Gallaudet press release:

… “It is my honor and pleasure to announce the student speakers for the 145th annual commencement exercises, which will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014 beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Field House. Roberta E. Dunlap will speak on behalf of the undergraduate Class of 2014…

Roberta E. Dunlap was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from Skyline High School in Holladay in 2009. While attending Salt Lake Community College, she worked at two part-time jobs, served as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and volunteered at the Good Samaritan Program in Salt Lake City.

Roberta transferred to Gallaudet in 2011. She is graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and a double minor in Psychology and Family and Child Studies. During her three years at Gallaudet University, she has been a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society of Psychology; secretary of the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Studies Honor Society; former President, Vice President of Programming, and Philanthropy Chairperson of Delta Zeta Sorority; Vice President of Greek Council; and a member of the university’s cross country team.

Roberta received recognition for her academic and leadership abilities, including John L. and Eleanor L McKinley award from Delta Zeta Sorority, the Hamilton Relay Award, and the Rotary International Foundation Award. She has worked at the Gallaudet University Library for three years, and has been an intern with Gallaudet University Press for the past year. Most recently, she received the Kappa Sigma Fraternity “Sweetheart of the Year” award, and attended the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention conference in Jacksonville, Florida.“

Hamilton Relay Award Given to Utahn

Chelle George of Salt Lake City, Utah works tirelessly as an advocate for individuals with hearing loss. Chelle has been described by her peers as a leader who is very active, organized, easy-going and well-respected as a teacher and friend who shows dedication in everything she does.

Highly involved within her community, Chelle serves on the Advisory Council for the Utah Division of Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a representative for individuals who are hard of hearing, and is currently serving her second term as president of the Salt Lake City Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Chelle is a member of the steering committee and has served as co-chair of the Salt Lake City HLAA Walk4Hearing for three years. Chelle was recently featured in a “Seen & Heard” article in the January/February 2014 issue of Hearing Loss magazine, a publication of HLAA.

Chelle is also a frequent and key contributor to the SayWhatClub, a world-wide online community for individuals who are hard of hearing, where she is an active participant on their social media committee and is involved with planning their national convention. Chelle is also involved with the Loop Utah movement as a member of their social media and steering committees. As a consumer advocate for this group, Chelle is involved in building awareness of hearing loss and assistive listening technologies, and encouraging businesses to install hearing loops within their facilities and public venues. In addition to her volunteer efforts, Chelle works as a hard of hearing assistant at the Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where she teaches coping skills classes, works on special projects, and assists clients in the assistive technology lab. We commend Chelle George for her advocacy and dedication toward making a difference in her community and are pleased to present her with the Hamilton Relay 2014 Better Hearing and Speech Month Community Recognition Award for the state of Utah. This leadership recognition has been brought to you by Hamilton Relay.

About Hamilton Relay – Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 16 states and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services nationwide. More information is available at

Kate Anderson, Utah Outreach Coordinator

SLCAD Legal Rights Workshop May 15

Gala 2014

UAD Conf Date Survey Results with Text

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