Special Education

NYSSD Circle Newsletter

2009-2010: 1st Issue | NYSSD Circle Newsletter PDF icon (5MB)

Superintendent's Message

Hello Readers,

Welcome back to the 2009-2010 school year. Just as quickly as school re-opened, we are approaching the holiday and winter seasons. NYSSD has been very busy getting back into the swing of things.

NYSSD has two new staff members, Stephanie Tooke, and Cynthia Killian. We have also hired new subs for the Education program and Health Center. Some classroom teachers have switched grade levels and/or programs. The educational component of NYSSD is buckling down and getting right into the curriculum.

Staff and students are still getting settled in the newly renovated dormitory wing. The residential component has been very busy with community outings, many focusing on fall themes. NYSSD sports are in full swing and many students are taking advantage of the after school activities.

NYSSD is working on some partnerships with area agencies and local colleges. These partnerships will provide for more activities for NYSSD and the community. The school will be very busy the next few months with holiday preparations and preparing students for January RCT and Regents exams. We encourage all families to continue to use basic hygiene habits to keep everyone healthy. Please remember to keep your child home if they are sick, for at least 24 hours after symptoms subside.

I look forward to the rest of the year which will, most likely, go by very quickly.


Carriann Ray

Publications Committee

Submitted by Paulette Lemieux

Members of the committee have met twice since school opened in September. The goal for this year is to gather and organize photos that have accumulated over the years and seek volunteers to help identify the people in the pictures. This need became apparent when photos were reviewed for use in various school publications such as the Circle, the yearbook and even for the production of a video for graduation.

Hoping not to waste time “reinventing the wheel” committee members have approached people who have worked on this kind of project in the past to find out what procedure was successful and to develop a simple but comprehensive method of cataloging our information.

The next step will be to find ways to attract and motivate volunteers. Some of the ideas have included having meetings on weekends, inviting students, staff and members of the alumni to help.

Long range, the committee would like to find a highly visible place on campus to display the progress as it is being made and share our history at the same time.
Enthusiasm is growing within the committee and they are hoping to find a way to ignite others!

Educational Review

Submitted by Daniel Roberts, Assistant Superintendent

Pictured here are long time Social Studies Teacher, Mr. John Anken and along side him Mr. Gabe O’Dell. Mr. Anken has been a Social Studies teacher at NYSSD for many years and has left his imprint upon countless students that have walked the halls of our school. Mr. Anken has retired and will be missed by students and faculty. Thank you Mr. Anken for your dedication and commitment to NYSSD.
Gabe entered our Pre-School program and moved up the ranks to Kindergarten before graduating. Gabe’s presence at NYSSD was always marked with a smile and positive attitude. His teacher described him as a boy with a lot of potential in regards to his academic future. After graduating from NYSSD, I am pleased to announce Gabe is currently at his local school district and is doing well. Gabe will be missed at NYSSD and we wish him the best of luck at his new school.

Cover Story
NYSSD Signs National Anthem For Mets Baseball Organization

Submitted by Superintendent Carriann Ray

October 3, 2009 was a day to remember. Students, staff and their families and friends traveled to New York City to sign the National Anthem on the field for the METS Baseball organization. NYSSD received the call from the METS organization in September and we were thrilled to accept once again. We met at 5:00 am at NYSSD and headed out for Albany, New York.

In Albany we picked up a few more families and then it was a straight shot to CITI Field. We arrived early and had time to practice our performance and meet other students from deaf schools around the state. It was a wonderful experience being treated like royalty and escorted from place to place in the under ground tunnels of the ball park. We then were led out onto the field to cheering fans and we were greeted by the METS baseball players, who all had on smiling faces for us. We stood right in front of the dug out and waited anxiously for them to introduce us. Then in an instant we heard the announcer say, “And to sign our National Anthem, the students and staff from the New York State School for the Deaf.” There were several interpreters throughout the stadium and on the field so everyone was able to experience the moment. Then the music started and all eyes were on us as we eloquently performed the National Anthem. Harland Oldick stole the show! Our school was on the big screen for all to see. We also had a special guest that joined us on the field, Rebecca Cort, the Deputy Commissioner for VESID. Rebecca traveled in from Manhattan and was extremely proud of our school and how well we represented the State Education Department and VESID. Rebecca was taken by the excitement as well and enjoyed her time on the field. She was one of our professional photographers for the day.

We hope to make this a yearly event as it is something that anyone who attends will never forget. As we all watch the ball games on TV we can tell all of our friends that we were on the field, and that is something to be proud of!

Dormitory Makeover

Submitted by Colleen Price

After fourteen months of what seemed to be endless construction, the time had finally arrived. The residential students enrolled in the ’09 summer school program would be the first to occupy the newly renovated dormitory wing. The two floor project was started in May of 2008. The existing dormitory was completely gutted and rebuilt into an entirely new design. The plumbing, electrical, lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and fire alarm and sprinkler systems were all updated. A generator was installed to provide power for the entire dorm in the event of an outage. Thermal windows were installed throughout as well as new interior doors. Carpets and flooring were all replaced. A monochromatic color scheme with accent painted walls and trim completed the new construction. A home away from home to our residential students, they were thrilled with their new accommodations.

An open -floor design concept of the common areas allow staff to more easily supervise and monitor students. A lounge area is adjacent to the living room which leads directly into a combination kitchen/dining room otherwise known as the “great room”. New stoves, ovens and dishwashers were installed. The new cabinets and an island provide plenty of workspace and storage for students and staff. A large picture window opens a direct view into the computer lab. Two new laundry rooms were added to each floor. Energy efficient occupancy sensors control the lighting in the hallways, bathrooms and great rooms. A significant change was removing the open style bathrooms and replacing them with six completely tiled, private bathrooms. Student bedrooms were also added to the first floor while existing bedrooms also received a makeover. Student apartments were refurbished with new private baths and kitchenettes. Individual heating/air conditioning units allow students to control bedroom temperature. Both floors are fully handicap accessible.
Construction continues on the opposite wing of the residence building, the center connector and in the basement. The same renovations will occur on the other side. The center connection and basement will receive new thermal windows, fire alarm and sprinkler systems, new lighting and ceilings. Also the snack bar in the basement will be getting a makeover with new cabinets and counter tops. Students and staff look forward to the completion of the construction in all phases. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be announced upon completion of this renovation project.

Halloween Hat Day

Submitted by Robin Lewis

The Senior Class of 2010 hosted their first Spirit Day “Halloween Hat Day”. The staff and students were judged by the Senior Class for the best hat and the winners were Vicky Stockton and Abigail Anzalone who won a pumpkin full of Halloween Treats.

Boys Soccer Team
Boys Friendship Tournament

Submitted by Coach Jeremy Roberts

To start off the 2009 Friendship Tournament the NYSSD boys had to face visiting Rhode Island. Having beat them the past two years, Rhode Island had revenge on their minds and came out and played a very hard game. Both teams had several scoring opportunities but at the end the score was 0-0. During the two over-time periods, NYSSD’s goalie, Irick Carter made two of his spectacular 12 saves persevering the 0-0 tie and sending the game into a penalty kick shoot out. NYSSD ended up winning the shoot out 3-2 with goals coming from Joseph Gardner, Brad Aldrich, and Cole Hyde.

In the Championship game NYSSD had to face a Canadian team from E.C. Drury. This game got off to a much different start with NYSSD’s Cole Hyde scoring a great goal just three minutes into the game. The Trojans held the lead into the second quarter when the game was tied up due to a NYSSD hand ball in the box, which gave E.C. Drury a penalty kick opportunity that got past NYSSD’s Irick Carter. With the score tied up at the half, the third quarter began with both teams having several scoring opportunities. However, late in the third quarter E.C. Drury got the ball inside and got their second goal of the game to take a 2-1 lead. NYSSD played a great fourth quarter but fell short in the championship game losing 2-1.

Girls Soccer Team
New York State School for the Deaf
2009 Girls Soccer

Submitted by Coach Gloria Broadbent

The Girls Varsity Soccer Team finished their regular season with a record of 0 – 10 in the league. The girls played in the Friendship Tournament. The girls played against EC Drury in the first game and then against Faith Fellowship in the second game. The girls lost both games. They enjoyed meeting student athletes from different schools and enjoyed the opportunity to make new friends.

This year’s team was young. The girls learned many skills and are looking forward to a successful season next year. The team members of the 2009 season consisted of: Rhianna Schwabrow (captain), Amanda Miller (captain), Kheemara McKnight, Taiba Dawlat, Amber Stenson, Jessica Bergerson, Sarah Davis, Ashley Nemier, Alexis Beckwith, Julia Folsom, Kristin Miller, and Miranda Mathews.

The girls would like to thank the school, their parents and their fans (especially the boys’ team) for cheering them on at all their games. The girls would like to congratulate the Boys soccer team on their win at the International Friendship Soccer Tournament.

Look What's Happening at NYSSD
Coach's Corner

Coach Ryan

I have learned through my years of exercise and staying fit that proper eating is the key to
success. It has been estimated by experts that eating is anywhere from 75-90% in overall importance in any exercise and fitness program. I recently took my body fat down to 6% just by eating right and doing strength training 5 days a week for 45 minutes. There was a minimum investment in time-but great results. I was lean, healthy, and strong.

There are some quick tips I would like to give to people wanting to get lean and strong. Yes-you really

want lean muscle mass-muscle burns more calories and actually allows or requires you to eat more to maintain.

  1. Eat small meals 5 or 6 times a day. I always eat at least 6 times-always small, but
    balanced meals.
  2. Cut down on your carbs later in the day. You don't need carbs late-carbs are for energy. Late carbs go to your problem areas-stomach in men and hips and thighs for women.
  3. Stay hydrated. I can't emphasize this enough. Drink lots of water. Often a feeling of
    hunger is your body telling you it's thirsty.
  4. Be aware of what you are eating to avoid mindless munching that can pack on the
  5. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables-the fiber will help you feel full and your body will thank
    you for all the vitamins and minerals. Okay-happy good nutrition to everybody.


Nearby Treasures

Submitted by Melinda Magliocca and Anastasia Steele

While the other girls were busy practicing for soccer, Anastasia and I would go for walks off campus. Each week we would pick a new destination, trying to utilize other facilities near by. We went to the YMCA for a swim in their Therapy pool. The water temperature is kept at 90 degrees. Oh, it feels so warm on a cool fall day! Another place near campus is the Jervis Public Library. They have a wide selection of books for anyone of any age. Anastasia picked two books to read in the dorm during quiet time. At the end of the week, the books are returned. One other place in waking distance from NYSSD is the Rome Art and Community Center. The building is a beautiful historic Tudor mansion, which offers art classes and special events to the public. With three floors full of art, there’s sure to be something to interest your visual appetite. Anastasia enjoyed viewing all the art on display. She was sure to pick out her favorite. Rome is lucky to have so many interesting places available to the public. These are just a few that are close by.

10 Things I Can Do For My Child

Submitted by School Audiologist, Dr. Kim Sacco

As parents we are often looking for ways to further help our children in their development. We have a large population of kids that utilize hearing aids and cochlear implants and receive a significant amount of benefit from them. At school, the staff works with the students on a daily basis with their language, and if applicable their speech skills. Below are ways that, as parents, you can participate in developing your child’s speech and language skills. They are things you do everyday that you may not even realize will help with their progress.

  1. Make sure the device (hearing aid and/or cochlear implant) is worn consistently.
  2. Be active in taking care of the equipment and teaching your child the importance of the equipment.
  3. Always gain your child’s attention using your voice first.
  4. Use a normal voice when you are communicating with your child, don’t yell or over exaggerate.
  5. Talk about the tasks that you are doing.
  6. Teach them about the sounds in the environment.
  7. Encourage your child to use their voice (if applicable).
  8. Expect age appropriate behaviors, teach them there are consequences to their actions.
  9. Everyday activities can be a learning experience (for example a trip to the grocery store can open up a world of new vocabulary and language for the child).
  10. Let your child know that you are proud of their efforts ( “good listening”, “good speech”).

There are many opportunities throughout the day that help to give our children language skills. By being an active participant in their everyday learning we can work together to help them achieve better listening and language skills. Think of every opportunity as a chance to help your child reach their full potential.

Daily Living Skills Program

Submitted by Tom Nelson

The Daily Living Skills Program teaches students to live independently in a home environment. The emphasis is to teach students to develop skills that will help them function at home, school, and in their community. They learn to interact with other students in the dorm, they go grocery shopping, and they learn to function with the citizens in the community. The DLS Program collaborates with the school staff to strengthen student success for the future.

Elementary Boys and Girls Dormitory

Submitted by Jessica Poczatek

In October, the Elementary Boys and Girls Dormitory Departments went to the Fort Rickey Game Farm for the Fall Fun Festival. After paying a visit to the petting corral and feeding the baby goats, the students took a wagon ride around the zoo and were able to see all the different animals the zoo has to offer. Next was a second petting zoo area, where the children were able to see the zoo’s wolves, and fed a variety of farm animals, including a donkey, llama, chickens, peacocks, pigs, and more goats. The children all got to pick out a pumpkin to bring home and spent some time enjoying the brisk fall air while playing on the small riding tractors and scooters. A good time was had by all, and it served to be a memorable event to mark the advent of fall.

Art Class Recognizes Dia de los Muertos

Submitted by Tom Karpe

Students broadened their cultural horizons by learning about the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, which is celebrated on November first and second. Students were exposed to many examples of artwork that pay tribute to this special day of remembrance of friends and family who are deceased.
For this particular project students viewed and discussed the etchings and prints of Josè Posada and his representation of humorous calacas or skeletons. The students used Q-Tips to create their own light-hearted calacas in various poses.

What Is The New LS Class at NYSSD

Submitted by Kara Linn

LS class? What is that? This stands for Language Support class and it currently has three students in its pilot year. Our three students this year come from countries in which their families speak Russian, Burmese and Spanish. More and more students are coming to NYSSD as emigrants from other countries and are in need of extra language development instruction in the areas of reading, writing, listening/attending and signing/speaking.
Students are scheduled to participate in an individual class
and/or a group class. The individual class focuses on reading, sight words, reading comprehension, and the three areas of writing: mechanics, grammar and composition. The themes tie into the student's grade level science and social studies topics to give them an extra boost in their homeroom classes.

Students assigned to the group class participate in attending/listening and signing/speaking activities. These include following directions, answering questions, recognizing school vocabulary and words that make up parts of sentences (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.), oral reading presentations of books at students' independent reading levels, interviews/surveys, etc.

These students are making great progress so far this year. We look forward to showcasing some of our accomplishments at the “Yes I Can” fair later this year.

11th Graders Travel to the New World!

Submitted by Stephanie Tooke

The 11th Graders in Miss Tooke’s Social Studies class have assumed a new role. Not only are they students but they have also become travel experts! The next time you need a travel brochure just ask one of the 11th graders…they’ll be glad to share their expertise!

The students have just finished working on a travel brochure, research-based project of the 13 English colonies and created a travel brochure outlining the major historical events of the colonies. They were required to provide pictures and maps to accompany the information provided in the brochure. The students are now experts in the field of the colonies.

A First at NYSSD

Submitted by Shari Reed

For the first time in the 24 years that I have been associated with NYSSD, we have hearing students from Strough Middle School (see article “NYSSD Students Attend Strough Middle School”) attending ASL on our campus. Joining Roman Kazragis, ASL Teacher, Shari Reed, SEA acting as assistant/interpreter, Kristin Miller and Kyle Sova are seven 7th graders from Strough. These students are accompanied by Mrs. Candace Westcott, Teacher’s Aide.
The students are all enthusiastic and eager to learn ASL. They are a bit surprised that there is more to ASL than just “signs”. Roman spends a good part of the class teaching the importance of facial expression, body language, orientation and accuracy. The class spends time out of their seats practicing these skills.

It was an eye opener for the hearing students to learn that many of our students live at school Monday through Friday. A living arrangement that many of us see as ordinary and necessary sparked some pretty interesting questions. One student was amazed that Kristin and Kyle eat, sleep and shower at school. Once we arranged a quick tour of the dormitory area it quickly became evident that the dorms serve as a home for our residential students. However, this remains an amazing realization for the Strough students.
As we travel the halls of Strough on the way to Technology, we see many of the ASL students and greet them in sign as a quick practice session. As the learning progresses, I am “turning off” my voice during some activities. The students are shy and withdrawn at first but after a few minutes they relax and understand Roman. Receptive skills usually do develop quicker than expressive skills. Hopefully this collaboration between the schools will continue and the opportunities to learn while integrated with peers from a different learning environment will grow.

NYSSD Lego Robotics Club

Submitted by Harry Baran

Students at the New York State School for the Deaf (NYSSD) have been immersed in learning to build and control robots in the Robotics Club. Lego Robotics is a non-threatening and productive way for students to learn about technology through project creation. Students first use Legos to construct his/her robot and then learn to program it to perform challenging tasks that include: tug of war, pit of despair, tractor pull, drag racing, and more.
The Robotics Club consists of advisors, Harry Baran and Vicky Stockton Allen and students: Fayra Santiago, Sarah Davis, Ashley Nemier, Kyle Sova, and Brian Borden. The club meets on Wednesdays between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. in the technology room. Happy Roboting!

Boys Dormitory

Submitted by Sarah DeBoer

This fall the boys dorm made October our “Healthy Living Challenge” month. During this time we set goals for living healthier in the areas of fitness, personal care, cognitive health and eating habits. The boys tracked their progress on a chart as they earned points for playing sports, choosing healthy snacks, getting enough sleep, personal hygiene, etc. We also planned additional relevant activities like making apple and yogurt smoothies, and having push-up contests, to supplement our everyday routine.

As our finale for the Healthy Living Challenge, we held a spaghetti dinner for the participants on the night before the last soccer game. During the dinner we discussed the way food breaks down in the body, and the role of carbohydrates as stored energy (like the kind of energy that would be needed by the soccer players 24 hours later). It was a learning experience for all, and just the kind of boost we needed to kick off a healthy year in the dorm.

Cortland ASL Students Visit NYSSD

Submitted by Denise Arena

Spectators, come one, come all! …especially the ones who wish to practice their ASL skills. NYSSD is always happy to welcome students from area colleges who are interested in the deaf culture. On Tuesday, September 29, 2009, students from SUNY Cortland came to mingle and practice their newly learned language while watching NYSSD’s soccer team play against Holy Cross (Oneida).

Though there were some exciting and tense moments on the field, off the field college students Janelle Wingerter, Anthony Archetti and Curtis Arena split their time between the game and rooting crowd. Sinclair Newman, Taiba Dawlat, Jamel Edwards, Keith Grant and Irick Carter were among a group of students/staff which extended Trojan hospitality. “A very enjoyable experience!” exclaimed Janelle. “The students and staff were very patient; that made it nice to practice our finger spelling,” expressed Anthony.

The college trip left such an impression other that Cortland students had to come see for themselves. The following month Cortland students Brandon Herwick, Kate Bartholomew and Curtis Arena traveled to Rome, NY, for the 19th Annual International Friendship Soccer Tournament on October 16, 2009. Curtis remarked, “It was quite an experience being able to sign to deaf students from other states and Canada. The first game in overtime was exciting to watch.”

The five Cortland College students look forward to another opportunity to visit NYSSD in the future.

Time Capsules; Global History and Geography

Submitted by Shari Reed

As the school year began, TJ Delamater, Bataan Hoang and Amber Stenson began the second half of the Global History and Geography class. Although they walked into the same classroom, they were welcomed by our new Social Studies teacher, Miss Stephanie Tooke. Miss Tooke began working in our high school due to the retirement of longtime social studies teacher, John Anken. Miss Tooke brings technology, high expectations and several different teaching techniques to the classroom.

Part of her lesson plan is to have the students complete projects several times throughout the school year. The first project focused on a new vocabulary word, “artifact”. Students gained a better understanding of this word as well as “archeologist” when Miss Tooke related them to the Indiana Jones movies. I was able to enhance their understanding by talking about our visits to the Rome Historical Society during summer school. During our visits there, students saw many artifacts, including the actual radar station in which our military first detected the hijacked planes involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9-11-01. This artifact was donated by the North EastADS unit located in Rome,
Students then began making their time capsules. They chose five areas such as clothing, technology, food, furniture, cars/vehicles, just to name a few. They found pictures depicting the use of these items. After placing them in a shoe box, the students jumped ahead in time 100 years. They were to imagine that they discovered these artifacts dating back to 2009, in the year 3009. Using their imagination (they needed some encouragement and prompting) the three students answered a series of questions ranging from “What do you think this artifact may have been used for?” to “What can this object tell you about the time period?” Students then presented their time capsules to the class. This project made students think about the past as well as the future. In addition, it provided an opportunity for them to present in front of a small group. It was obvious this was new to all three students, but they rose to the occasion and presented well. Chances are they will have more practice in this area before the end of the year.

Elementary Girls Dormitory Events

Submitted by Jennifer Roberts, Terry LaGasse, Kelly Szyper and Cherie Day

The elementary girls dorm had no problems getting into the spirit of Halloween this year. We invited the hearing girls to join us for a Girl Scout cooking activity in our dormitory. The group made "Halloweenies." The Halloweenies consisted of hot dogs rolled up into crescent roll dough. The troop had a lot of fun rolling and wrapping their hot dogs up to look like creepy mummies. The girls also made smiley face tator tots. They had a delicious and fun meal together. We gave them a tour of our new dormitory, with which they were impressed. All of the girls gave a sneak preview for their hearing friends of their Halloween costumes. The evening was a great success.

Another event that took place the next evening in the elementary girls dormitory was our Halloween Party. We invited friends and family. The group dined over pizza and french fries to start. Then the group enjoyed dancing and playing a few games, such as musical chairs, spoon pass, and pin the eye on the pumpkin. The kids all won prizes for their enthusiasm and participation. The children enjoyed eating all the goodies they helped make the night before. The party had a nice spark at the ending to make it complete. The girls all watched the video of the party that staff had recorded through the evening......and all the children were tucked safe in their beds as visions of Jack-O-Lanterns danced through their heads.

Heifer International at NYSSD

Submitted by Gail Brett

Calling all Cows, Goats, Chickens, Rabbits, Water Buffalo…
You name it and Heifer International provides it for people throughout the world to help them improve their way of life and build a sustainable future.

This year the theme for our Social Skills/Character Education program is “Yes We Can!”; we can improve the world. We have adopted Heifer International as our community service project. It’s a world renowned charity whose motto is: Not a Cup, but a Cow. Instead of providing people with food, Heifer gives them the gift of animals, plants, and trees to raise and use for their livelihoods. Families and villages become self-reliant, lifting themselves out of poverty. Each family that receives an animal agrees to “pass on the gift” by giving one of the animal’s offspring to another family in need.

Our students are learning to think about others and make a difference in the world. They will be planning and participating in fundraisers to help support Heifer International. To start us off this year, we had Gaby McGhee speak to us about the organization and her experience volunteering at the Heifer Ranch in Arkansas. We also had two special guests visit us at the assembly, two goats from Finndale Farms in Holland Patent. While these goats will not be going to Heifer International families, they certainly sparked the interest of our students and made for a fun day.

Sadako and the Sixth Grade Reading Class

Submitted by Debi Popovich

The sixth grade reading class has just completed reading Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. This is the true story of a girl growing up in Japan in the early 1950's and the effects the war and the atom bomb had on her and her family. As culminating activities, the class made a time line of Sadako's life and also invited Kathy Young into our class to share her experiences of living in Japan. The class made a special treat of "sushi" to share with Kathy, and she taught us to fold origami peace cranes. If you would like to learn more about Sadako, please stop by and visit our classroom. We would be happy to share information with you!

NYSSD Students Attend Strough Middle School

Submitted by Shari Reed

For many years NYSSD and the Rome School District have had a positive working relationship. Among several wonderful opportunities our students have benefited from are the “Technology” and “Home and Careers” programs at Strough Middle School. After a several year gap, two 7th grade NYSSD students are taking Technology this semester. Kristin Miller and Kyle Sova attend daily with NYSSD staff Harry Baran and Shari Reed serving as Educator and Interpreter respectively. Strough is only 3 blocks from our school so walking in the good weather is an easy task. When the weather requires, we will be transported by a school vehicle.

The 7th grade level of Technology focuses on woodworking. Students learned about the Ages of Technology: Handcraft, Mechanization and Cybernation; and the three kinds of technology: Physical, Biotechnology and Information/Communication. Before moving into the wood shop, students also learned the 7 resources of technology, basic mechanical (3D) drawing and measuring to sixteenths. Once the students moved into the wood shop they learned to use a hand saw, a plane, a trim saw and a router. The first project, a sign, is nearing completion. Soon the students will be able to choose one of several more difficult objects to make. The same skills will be applied to this project.

Kristin and Kyle have adjusted well to being in the mainstreamed classroom. The Strough students are accepting, as well as curious. Many of the kids take the initiative to start a conversation with Kristin and Kyle.

When the second semester begins we will continue to attend Strough taking 7th grade Home and Careers. Harry and I are confident that Kyle and Kristin will do as well in that program as they are in Technology.

YMCA Community Interaction

Submitted by Dennis Ryan

NYSSD is privileged to have a working co-op relationship with the Rome YMCA. The YMCA is located one block from the NYSSD campus. It is a beautiful facility with several swimming pools-including a therapeutic pool. It also has several weight training rooms and a teen strength training room. It also has a teen center and full gymnasium. NYSSD students make liberal use of this facility. Students enjoy the warm therapy pool and its 94 degree water. Some of the students who regularly swim in this pool are Robert Foland, Vinnie Vicik, Asia Bohlen, Darlene Martin, Leora Massaroni, and Aaron Spencer.

The teen weight training facility is also very popular. Led by NYSSD staff Sandor Sarus, the following students enjoy this activity: Martin Reese, Geovany Lainez, Jamel Edwards, Cole Hyde, and Brian Borden. The YMCA has been a great source of social and recreation activities with hearing and non-hearing peers in a community setting. It has been great fun for our students and a fantastic means of meeting our Strategic Plan Goals. NYSSD is fortunate and thankful for having such a nice facility so close to the NYSSD campus. Any questions about the YMCA, contact Dennis Ryan at NYSSD.

Recap of Summer School 2009

Submitted by Martin J. Gorski

This past summer’s weather did not put a damper on our 2009 summer school plans in the Residential Program. We may have had to alter some of our original plans, but with a little creativity and flexibility we were able to accomplish everything we had set out to do.

The weather did not keep us from attending our weekly scheduled picnic outings to our area State parks. We were able to have our picnic cookouts, build sand castles and swim at Delta and Green Lakes state parks. This year we attended Arise Farms for some horseback riding, horse drawn carriage rides, bicycle riding and a walk through a petting zoo. Everyone worked up quite an appetite with the day in the sun, so it was off to Pepi’s Pizza for a nice family-style dinner.

On another outing, we traveled to the North Star Orchards for some blueberry picking. This activity turned our students into “top chefs” making blueberry muffins, blueberry pizzas (sugar cookie dough, cream cheese and fresh blueberries), blueberry smoothies and blueberry bread.

Believe it or not, we were able to fit in an open captioned movie at the Rome Cinema, a round of miniature golf, a night out in Rome for the annual “National Night Out” sponsored by the city of Rome that included the Rome Police Dept., the Rome Fire Dept., the US Army, a live band, a rock climbing wall and inflatable activities for the students. What would a summer school be without a couple of trips to Rome’s famous Nicky Doodles for an ice cream treat?

The summer would not be complete without our two much anticipated trips. First to the Boonville Fair and McDonald’s for dinner; then our year-end trip to the Enchanted Forest Water Safari in Old Forge, NY. These two activities are the highlight of our summer program. This year each student made and received a “keepsake” to take home as a reminder of this past summer school. The students worked with our Yearbook Advisor, Colleen Price. Colleen taught our students how to make a picture collage on the computer. These pictures were various photos taken over the summer of each student participating in all the varied activities. The students selected the photos, developed the background, arranged the photographs, printed them and laminated their keepsake.

I saved the best news of summer for last! The most exciting part of summer school 2009 was the move into the new dormitories. It was fantastic to begin the summer in our “new digs.” The students and staff were excited to be able to utilize our newly renovated dormitories. The students enjoyed having air conditioning and the updated computer labs. The staff enjoyed the open floor plan, individual bathrooms and beautifully equipped kitchens. The early consensus is that the dormitories are a great hit and a huge success.

Seniors Get First Hand Experience Of How Government Works

Submitted by Stephanie Tooke

Learning through experience is the best way that people learn. The seniors at the New York State School for the Deaf had a first-hand opportunity to learn about our government.
During the week of October 19th, the seniors hosted visits from State Senator Joseph Griffo, Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, and Rome City Judge, the Honorable Judge Wilson. The students visited with these dignitaries during their government class and hosted a small lunch in their honor.

The purpose of these visits was a link to a project the students are doing for government class. The students are researching government or public service based careers that are available to young people upon graduating from high school or college. They were to research the educational background of their chosen career, while also linking it to the arena of government or public service. The students were able to learn from Senator Griffo, DA McNamara, and Judge Wilson, information on their career and individual backgrounds in government. They also explained to the students how they, as individuals, impact government and public service on a daily basis.

In addition to the project’s goals, the students were also able to learn how the government can impact their lives, as young adults, and how they can impact the government. The seniors at NYSSD would like to extend a warm “Thank You” to Senator Griffo, DA McNamara, and Judge Wilson for their support in our school and our program!

Camp Mark Seven Is The Place To Be

Submitted by Jeremy Lloyd - Class of 2009

I couldn’t believe that I had reached Camp Mark Seven on July 6, 2009. One day, while I’m still young, I wish to be a camper here, however. I’m glad to work with the other CM7 staff in the kitchen. Old Forge is a beautiful place where deaf and KODA counselors plus campers can meet each other and socialize with new friends. They can spend time together doing activities such as swim, canoe, ride in the boat, water tubing, bonfire and even more adventures! As food prep, I never knew that this place was so great!

According to the Camp Mark Seven’s website, Camp Mark Seven (CM7), is a lakefront camp situated in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY, offers an array of recreational, educational, leadership and spiritual programs for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing individuals of all ages. If you wish to register for your children’s summer camp program in 2010, please go to visit www.campmark7.org. For more information, please contact campdir@campmark7.org.

In six weeks, I learned how to prepare lots of delicious food. I learned a lot of things, like how to cook for vegetarians, and I learned a great deal about customer service, as far as making sure the campers and counselors were satisfied by their meals. Additionally, I learned how to bake Henry O’Bran, Magic Bars, Fernie Picnic Cake and more. Everybody loves to see what I will make for dessert every night.

I doubt that there is a better place to work that would provide the community opportunity that has deaf employers, co-workers and hearing students who come to study sign language. Enjoying all of those things about the camp myself, I would have to say that Camp Mark Seven is the place to be. I will be looking forward to work at CM7 next year, whether it is as a counselor for the deaf programs or as food prep. Thank you to Harry Baran and Kathy Young who gave me the opportunity to share about my summer experience with the NYSSD community.

My First Year In Yearbook Club

Submitted by Kyle Sova

It is my first year of yearbook. I like it so far. Now I am working on putting together the boys soccer team page. I am using Photoshop program. I learn how to make photos small and put it in layers. We need more pictures of some kids that were not there and we need pictures of all of fun activities doing in dorm. Please contact someone and sign out a camera and take pictures of all fun events. School staff can call Andrea Potter x 8445 or Colleen Price x 6671. Dorm staff can call Marty Gorski x 8656.

Working In PhotoShop

Submitted by Shelby Miles

This fall I worked in the yearbook room using Photoshop. The project was updating The Elementary Express. I added the pictures of the new students who came to NYSSD this year. Students were first photographed on the green screen then removed from the background and placed on the mountain scene. Be sure to stop by the elementary cafeteria and see the updated train.

EAP Committee

Submitted by Paulette Lemieux

On October 30, 2009, the EAP (Employee Assistance Program) Committee sponsored a Health Fair for the staff at NYSSD. Also invited were members of eight local state agencies.

Advertising for this event included a list of twenty vendors and an invitation to “learn how to be physically, emotionally, and financially fit for 2009-2010.” The gymnasium was filled with vendors from 12:00PM to 4:00PM. Students were invited to attend with their teachers to learn about what a Health Fair offers visitors. One of the vendors commented how impressed she was with the students when they came through. Attending the fair were representatives from banking institutions, financial investment organizations, consumer
counseling, Rome Memorial Hospital offered information regarding substance abuse and cancer prevention, nutritionists, health benefits organizations, and exercise establishments. Organizations that offer volunteer options were also represented. The massage therapist was the last to leave that afternoon, giving back massages as the fair was being dismantled!

For lucky people, (and wanna be lucky people) door prizes were awarded every half hour, and there were 50/50 and basket raffles.

The guest vendors seemed sincerely pleased to have been invited and asked to be included in the future. The committee felt the fair was a success and well worth the effort put forth to make it happen. Thank you to the staff for your continued support.

Junior & Senior Boys Dormitory

Submitted by Darlene Quinton

There are strange and spooky things happening here in the Junior and Senior High boys dormitory! How else can we explain that on October 29, what started out as Shari Reed's Thursday Morning Muffin baking treat mysteriously turned into a haunting, eerie, delightful Halloween breakfast! The boys woke to find the morning witching staff stirring cauldrons of bubbling, steaming concoctions! Fearful they would be turned into toads, they quickly jumped in to help prepare a bewitching breakfast of Ghostly Orange Pancakes, freshly dug up Mummy Sausages, Creepy Eggy Eyes and Graveyard Biscut Bones, Squirmy Wormy Yogurt, and Wriggly Sewer Juice among a few other ghoulish treats! All the food vanished in no time and thankfully all the boys safely made it to school without tails, wings, or other spells cast on them! A great big Thank Boo to all the morning staff for the donations and preparations!

Deaf Awareness Week

Submitted by Sarah Davis

On September 24th, we had a rehearsal for our upcoming performance honoring “Deaf Awareness Week”. After practice, we packed up all our instruments so we could go on the bus driven by Ms. Christine Fuller. Some of the students were already in their black and white performance attire; but, some of the students were not ready. Luckily, Vicky got a lot of new clothes so we could look nice for our performance in the Griffiss Business Park.

Once we arrived at the Federal Defense Building, we all received special security passes. A gentleman in charge led us to a special conference room where we set up for our performance. We warmed-up and started playing the handbells together. We all sounded so nice in the room.

After the welcome, a lawyer named Mr. Schwartz told us about how he became a lawyer. He explained that some jobs would not accept him just because he was deaf. He then talked about studying and working very hard to show that deaf people can do anything in this world.

After his talk, we played some more music. I myself played alto saxophone together with Ashley and her bass clarinet and the handbell choir. Following the presentation of certificates to Mr. Schwartz and the NYSSD Handbell Choir, we all had cake and cookies; it was good. Also, thanks to Ms. Ray and Ms. Amy who were there helping and supporting us. Thank you to Vicky for the clothes we needed to borrow and a special cake for Amanda and Apryl’s birthdays. (You really didn’t have to do that for us!) Thank you!

Deaf Awareness Week

Submitted by Ashley Nemier

There was a performance at DFAS a.k.a Defense Financial Accounting Service. It was Deaf Awareness week and the NYSSD Handbell Choir and Band were invited to perform at the DFAS Center in the Griffiss Business Park. We all had to dress up in our black slacks and white shirts!There, a deaf lawyer named Mr. Schwartz talked about deafness and how he achieved success in becoming a lawyer.

We all performed; I performed my solo on my bass clarinet for “Ode to Joy” with the bells. (This song was written by Ludwig van Beethoven. Did you know that Beethoven had become deaf before he wrote “Ode to Joy”?) Sarah and I played a duet, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, with the bells, also.

I think people were amazed! This is Vicky accepting a certificate on behalf of our NYSSD musicians from the director, whom I saw crying after we played “When the Saints Go Marching In”.

I want to perform for the rest of my life, because the person who inspires me is Vicky for making the love of music go on in my life.

Students Visit The Khoros Art Festival

Submitted by Nancy Quance

On August 13th, the students at the New York State School for the Deaf were privileged to take part in the Khoros Art Festival in beautiful Old Forge, New York. The festival, directed by the talented Pat Rickard, was a fun-filled day of art activities, storytelling, music and games. Some of the children from the School for the Deaf participated in the event by reciting or signing a variety of nursery rhymes.

The Khoros Art Festival afforded our students the opportunity to experience the different types of art forms available to them while allowing them an opportunity to interact with their peers both hearing and deaf in an unstructured environment. The festival also fostered the skills of language acquisition, vocabulary development, reading and memorization. Additionally, the children were given the opportunity to present oral and signed skills to the community. As the day progressed, the children became more comfortable expressing themselves as they willingly exhibited in an informal dance session.

“Kudos” to Pat Rickard for having the foresight to help enrich the lives of all children through the Arts. Our staff and students are anxiously awaiting next year’s event.


Submitted by Joseph Gardner

On September 30th, we had a wonderful after-school music meeting during which we decided to set up a form of student body government in our Music Club; we are planning to vote for our officers in the near future. We discussed our future goals and possible uniforms for future performances. We also celebrated three September birthdays: Apryl Obenchain, Amanda Miller, and Amanda’s ‘twin’ Kerkira Stockton (our music teacher Vicky’s daughter who is studying in France for her senior high school year). Everyone joined in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to all. Our NYSSD musicians enjoyed eating cake and snacks and are looking forward to an exciting year in music at NYSSD!

Looking DOWN at NYSSD!

Submitted by Vicky Stockton Allen

There are many interesting shoes and shoelaces here at NYSSD. Do you know how to lace sneakers in these styles? Can you guess whose feet are in each of the foot coverings shown here?

NYSSD and MVCC To Be Working Collaboratively In The Future

From A to Z – MVCC is where the fun and learning happens!
Whether it’s learning the basic concepts of Advanced Solar Thermal Design or dancing your way to fitness with Zumba – you’ll find fun, activity, learning and growth at MVCC’s Center for Corporate and Community Education. Not only will you find us at both our Rome and Utica campuses, but you’ll also find us online and in the community. We’re wherever you are!

If you’re in business, our mission is to be your first choice provider for education, training, retraining and consulting services in the Mohawk Valley. Our services include customized training and credit-bearing courses for the workplace. We focus on training and retraining our 21st century workforce so that they can be more productive workers. We’ll train on campus, by distance learning, or at client locations. And we’ll deliver whatever you want for your employees – or consult with you to improve performance, production and procedures. There’s no need to go outside the community for a high priced consultant – you can hire the professionals right here at MVCC.

But the Center for Corporate and Community Education is not just serious academics – we’re also the fun side of college! We offer our students fun, professional development, lifelong learning, children’s activities and so much more. Want to try a new hobby? How about learning to cook healthy or playing the guitar? Looking to get in shape? Look no further than MVCC – we offer swimming, yoga, Turbo Kick™, T’ai Chi, dancing, and of course, the most popular new fitness craze in America - - Zumba®. Interested in expanding your career potential – then perhaps you’d like to become a Pharmacy Technician or Certified Nurse Assistant or a Real Estate Agent. Need to become familiar with a computer – well, have we got the courses for you!

And if you’re looking for something for the kids to do – either during the school year or in summer – we have activities for learning and fun – and we’ll keep them busy at camps, too. Our College for Kids and Teens offers fitness, baking, SAT/PSAT review, lifeguard training, babysitting, new languages and FUN! Summer camps are just the right length and activities include robotics, healthcare careers, swim, ecology and nature, super science, arts and crafts and so much more. If we can’t keep the kids busy, no one can!

So when you’re thinking there’s nothing to do – think of MVCC’s Center for Corporate and Community Education – where there is always something to do or something new to learn. Check us out online at www.mvcc.edu/cced or call 315.792.5300 for our most current brochure. If you don’t see what you’re looking for in the brochure – ask us to offer it. Don’t sit around bored – get up and get out! Learn something new! Meet new friends! Have some fun!

Interview with Jeff Marshall, High School Junior

Submitted by Kathleen Young, Counselor

Jeff Marshall attended the Explore Your Future summer program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT. This is a six-day program that helps 10th and 11th grade students learn about career options after high school.

When did you go to EYF?
I went for one week in July, 2009.

What did you learn about NTID/RIT?
RIT has classes in forensics that I found very interesting.

What did you learn about yourself?
I learned from assessments at EYF that I scored low on practical skills, and high on imagination!

What are your plans after high school?
I want to attend RIT and study civil or aerospace engineering or forensics.

Do you recommend other NYSSD students attend EYF in the future, and why?
Yes, I would recommend EYF to other students at NYSSD. This is a great college to consider for education after high school, and a place to make lots of new friends who are deaf,
hard-of-hearing or hearing.

Is there anything else about your EYF experience that you’d like to share?
I didn’t mind going alone especially since I saw friends I met at last year’s Academic Bowl. I keep in touch with friends I met at EYF from Massachusetts, Illinois, Kentucky, Arizona and Colorado. Oh, and I met Luke Adams from the television show, “The Amazing Race.” He graduated from RIT in 2008 and majored in criminal justice.

For more information on the Explore Your Future program for high school students in 10th or 11th grade, check out:
www.rit.edu/NTID/EYF external link icon

The New York State School for the Deaf
401 Turin Street Rome, NY 13440
315-337-8400 (V) 315-337-8489 (TTY)
nyssd@nysed.gov (email)

Last Updated: March 25, 2011