Notable Faculty and Staff

 for Criteria for Inclusion

*(A) = also found at Notable Alumni


Atkinson, Mary Emma (A)

Mary Emma Atkinson

Class of 1883

Student #2026


 Longtime ASD Teacher

 Mary Emma Atkinson was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on May 22, 1866, to John E. Atkinson and Elizabeth Seymour. She became deaf from meningitis at the age of six.


She was educated in private and public schools, and then attended the American Asylum for the Deaf (ASD) “Old Hartford” in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1875, graduating in 1883. She was also a graduate of Chatauqua Institution, Chatauqua, New York.


Mary was the first sewing and dressmaking teacher at the American Asylum in 1898.  Then she started teaching second through sixth grades.  She taught for 39 years at both the Hartford and West Hartford campuses and retired in 1937.  She became the oldest teacher with the longest service at ASD along with two other teachers in 1936.  She was highly regarded as an outstanding teacher.


Mary was a member of the New England Gallaudet Association of the Deaf-mutes, American Instructors of the Deaf and National Association of the Deaf (NAD).  She was also a member of the League for Better Hearing for many years.


She served as a secretary of the the Centennial celebration of ASD, and she helped to give a reception for the four French delegates in July, 1917.


She was the first female vice-president (1914-1917) and president (1918-1919) of the American School for the Deaf Alumni Association (ASDAA).


Mary died in West Hartford, Connecticut, on December 25, 1952 at the age of 86.  She is buried at the Fairview Cemetery, New Britain, Connecticut.





Bailey, Peter Leroy (A)

Peter Leroy Bailey

Class of 1983

Student #5092

PSD Superintendent


Peter Leroy Bailey was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, to deaf parents, Allan LeRoy Bailey and Lorraine Lumbra. He has two deaf brothers, Jesse and Jeff, and three deaf sisters, Barbara, Carol, and Pamela. His mother, two deaf uncles, and a deaf aunt graduated from the Austine School for the Deaf. His five siblings graduated from the American School for the Deaf.


Peter graduated in 1983. He excelled in soccer, basketball, and track & field.


After graduation, Peter went to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in Rochester, New York, and then he transferred to Gallaudet College, where he studied for three years.


He returned to Holyoke, Massachusetts, and worked as a PACES Residential Advisor (1988-1991), assistant coach of boys soccer (1988), varsity basketball coach (1988-1989), and track & field (1992) at ASD. He graduated from Springfield College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services and earned a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management and Leadership.


After working at three deaf schools, Maryland School for the Deaf; Delaware School for the Deaf and Texas School for the Deaf, he decided to work in the human services field at the Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) in South Dakota, and in Texas as the state director for a couple of years.


He served as a Director of Student Life (2007-2010) and became the Associate Executive Director/Chief Operations Officer at the Learning Center for the Deaf, Framingham, Massachusetts (2010-2016).  He was head coach of the TLC Galloping Ghosts girls’ basketball team who had their best records those years.


He was a former board member for the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) from 2010 to 2016, and the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) from 2011 to 2013.


He was inducted in the 2017 National Softball Association of the Deaf (NSAD) Hall of Fame.


Peter is currently the Superintendent at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 2016.


Peter said that ASD had made a significant impact on his personal and professional life.



Deaf Life magazine honored him as the Deaf Person of the Month in July 2016.

Barnard, Dr. Frederick A.

Dr. Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard 

Teacher, 1831-1832

Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts, on May 5, 1809, the son of Robert Foster Barnard and Augusta (Porter) Barnard. He lost his hearing after he graduated from Yale College in 1828. Upon graduation, he taught at the Hartford Grammar School and tutored at Yale College. Later, he was engaged as a teacher at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (Old Hartford) for a year and at the New York Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb for six years.

He was a professor of Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Alabama for eleven years and a professor of Chemistry for six years. Then he moved to Mississippi to become a professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of Mississippi, President for two years, and Chancellor for three years.

The outbreak of the Civil War (1861) caused him to leave the South and become the director of printing and lithography in the map and chart department of the United States Coast Survey.

From 1864 to 1889, he was the tenth President of Columbia College (now Columbia University). While he was president of Columbia College, he advocated for the admission of women to this college, but the Board of Trustees refused to approve. After the death of Dr. Barnard in 1889, Barnard College was formed to educate women and so named in his honor. 

Dr. Barnard wrote many addresses, articles, books, and pamphlets in mathematics, physics, economics, and education, in which he excelled as an American educator and mathematician. In 1860, he presided in the American Association for the Advancement of Science at the American Institute and the American Metrological Society.

He died in his sleep while in his chair on April 25, 1889, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, leaving his wife Margaret (McMurray) Barnard, his daughter Margaret Barnard, and his deceased son, John G. Barnard. The Barnard family was buried in a mausoleum in the Center Cemetery, Sheffield, Massachusetts, and it is still used as a chapel.

Beers, Elizabeth Victoria Clerc

Elizabeth Victoria (Clerc) Beers

Teacher, 1859-1864

Elizabeth Victoria Clerc (hearing) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on March 25, 1820, the daughter of Louis Laurent Marie Clerc and Eliza Crocker Boardman. She had two brothers, The Reverend Francis J. Clerc, D.D. and Charles Michael Clerc, and a sister, Sarah Deming.

From 1859-to 1864, she taught at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, co-founded by her distinguished father, Laurent Clerc. She was one of the first female teachers in the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. In 1864, she moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where she lived for some years.

She married Mr. George W. Beers of Litchfield, Connecticut, and they had two children; Professor Henry Augustin Beers of Yale College and Charlotte Gray Heaton of Hartford, Connecticut.

She died on May 2, 1897, at the age of 77, in Buffalo, New York.

Bird, William Libbeas (A)

William Libbeas Bird

Class of 1866

Student #1367


Teacher,  18721878

William Libbeas Bird was born in Prospect, Connecticut, on November 18, 1849, the second son and fourth of eleven children of John Lamphere Bird and Julia A. Sandford.  He lost his hearing at age six from scarlet fever.  A few months after his birth, the family moved to Naugatuck, Connecticut.


He entered the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1858 at age nine.  He attended the National Deaf-Mute College, Washington, D.C. in 1866 and graduated in 1870 with highest honors along with three other former American Asylum graduates, Louis C. Tuck, Louis A. Houghton, and Samuel T. Greene.  He was a valedictory orator in the second commencement in the First Congregational Church.  The opportunity to shake hands with the 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant was inspiring for William.


William was employed as a clerk for a few months in the Census Bureau and resigned in January 1871.  He became a high school teacher at the Virginia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Staunton, Virginia, for a year, and moved to Hartford, Connecticut, to take a position as an instructor at the American Asylum. William taught high school for five years. He was a successful teacher and poet.


He married Gertrude A. Emerson on July 7, 1875, and four years and five months later, he passed away. His wife, Gertrude of Danby, Vermont, was a graduate of the Asylum in 1873, and her deaf brother, William Emerson, also graduated from the Asylum in 1859.


He died of a fatal disease on January 11, 1879, at age twenty-nine.  He is buried at the Forestville Cemetery in Forestville, Connecticut.


Blanchard, Leverett Oxley (A)

Leverett Oxley Blanchard

Class of 1929

Student #3149


Dean of Boys

Leverett Oxley Blanchard was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on August 27,1909.He was the son of deaf parents, Louis O. and Annie E. Blanchard.


He attended the American School for the Deaf in 1915 and graduated in 1929. He attended Gallaudet College for two years.


Leverett was the dean of boys at ASD for over 45 years. He was also the circulation manager of the American Era.


He was a member of the American Council of Organizations Serving the Blind, The National Fraternal Society for the Deaf, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission for the Deaf. He was a treasurer of the Connecticut Chapter of the Alumni Association for four years.


He married Elizabeth “Betty” A. Larson in Stamford, Connecticut, on June 20, 1953.Betty was a beloved girl’s dormitory counselor for many years at ASD and was well known for her love of teddy bears and decorating for the holidays in the children’s dining room at the school.


Leverett died at the Hartford Hospital on March 15, 1971.He is buried at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Northbridge, Massachusetts.


Bonham, Guy Leslie

Guy Leslie Bonham

Instructor of Cabinet Making & Carpentry, 1922-1942

Guy Leslie Bonham was born in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, on June 15, 1874, the son of Edward Irving Bonham and Sarah Estelle (Marvin) Bonham.

He graduated from the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Mount Airy, Pennsylvania, in 1895 and was one of Alexander Graham Bell’s star pupils. He attended Central High School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1900.

Guy taught printing and was the boys’ supervisor at the Florida School for the Deaf in St. Augustine, Florida. While at the school, he was the editor of the Florida Herald, the school publication.

He worked as a printer in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, and became a carpenter for the Lackawanna Railroad Company in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He later worked as a contractor and builder for the Anthracite Building Company.

In 1903 he married Josephine Reese, and they had three children: Guy, Marvina, and Harold. The son, Guy I. Bonham, was a radio engineer in New York City, New York.

The Matheson Auto Company of Hartford, Connecticut, opened its factories in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, in 1908 where Guy worked on car bodies. Owing to a reduction in business, he was called to Hartford in 1911 to work in the Pope Manufacturing Company, where he did woodwork on the Matheson cars. During that time, wood was used extensively to construct car bodies. Several years later, the Garvan Paper and Stock, Inc. bought out the Matheson Auto building, and he was appointed superintendent of buildings.

In 1922, he became an instructor of Cabinet making and carpentry at ASD in West Hartford, Connecticut, for over twenty years. He served under ASD superintendents Frank R. Wheeler and Edmund B. Boatner. He had a fierce pride in doing the job right, and the boys who received training under him benefitted greatly from his guidance and thorough knowledge of the trade.

He was an inventor and held many patents for safety and electric razors, a train-pipe coupling device, a car remover device used on railroads, and the Ta-Bowl Game.

He was a member of the Trinity Lodge, IOOF, the Silent Mission Guild of St. James (Episcopal) Church of West Hartford, Connecticut, and the Benevolent Society for the Deaf of America (BSDA), and the National Fraternal Society for the Deaf. He also held offices in other organizations and performed his duties well and conscientiously. At the time of his death, he was the president of BSDA.

He died at Hartford Hospital on May 30, 1942, and was buried in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford, Connecticut. The passing of a great teacher and friend was a significant loss to ASD.


Bouchard, Joseph William (A)

Joseph William Bouchard

Class of 1915

Student #2794


Teacher & Athletic Director

Joseph William Bouchard was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 31, 1896.  He was the son of James W. and Alphonsine E. Bouchard.


He enrolled at the American School for the Deaf (Old Hartford) in October 1902.  He graduated in 1915 as the class valedictorian.  As legend had it, he always respected Walter C. Rockwell’s athletic abilities and excelled in football and basketball at ASD.


He attended Gallaudet College, and during his years there, he played football, basketball and participated in track & field.  He was the captain of both the football and basketball teams.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree on June 7, 1921.


He married Eunice Webster, and both he and his wife worked as teachers at ASD.  He was coach of the boys’ basketball team, and his team won the first championship in the second annual Eastern Schools for the Deaf Tournament in 1929.  Joseph was also instrumental in building ASD’s first match-sized gym.


Joseph and his wife, Eunice, were members of the American Instructors of the Deaf, and Joseph was appointed as a member of the Necrology Committee in 1937.  He remained a member of the organization for the rest of his life.


He was the athletic director, coach and science teacher at ASD from 1921 to 1965. His wife Eunice taught at ASD for over 40 years.  ASD named a new recreation room, Bouchard Hall, in honor of Joseph W. Bouchard.


They resided in West Hartford, Connecticut, into the 1960s, and he died in Simsbury, Connecticut, on Oct. 19, 1966.  His wife, Eunice Bouchard, died in Palm Beach, Florida, on October 7, 1986.


He was inducted to the ASDAA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.

Washington, D.C., 1920. “Gallaudet football — Bouchard.” Joseph W. Bouchard. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. SHORPY Historical Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints (Copyright)

Brown, Thomas (A)

Thomas Brown

Class of 1827

Student #102


Founder of the first Deaf Organization in America

Thomas Brown was born deaf in Henniker, New Hampshire, on February 25, 1804.  He was the son of a deaf father, Nahum Brown, and a hearing mother, Abiah (Eastman) Brown.  His father never learned how to read or write, but his mother used sign language (possibly Martha Vineyard Sign Language) to communicate with her husband.  He also had a deaf sister, Persis Brown1, and numerous deaf relatives.


His father decided to send him to the American Asylum.  He was educated under Laurent Clerc, Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet, and Harvey Peet at the school from 1822 to 1827.


Thomas was a carpentry instructor at the American Asylum from 1827 to 1829.  He turned to farming when he returned home and worked with his father.  He was also a skilled horseman.


After gathering at his father’s house, Thomas and his friends from the school formed the first Deaf organization in America called the New England Gallaudet Association of Deaf-Mutes (NEGAD), now known as the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).  He was the chairperson of the first Deaf convention (NEGAD) in Montpelier, Vermont, in 1853. He encouraged deaf people to seek positions as officers of NEGAD at the conference.  Since many of the members and officers were graduates from the American Asylum, he urged them to consider raising funds to erect a monument in honor of Thomas H. Gallaudet.


Laurent Clerc was in charge of the Gallaudet Monument project.  Thomas was widely regarded as a great leader and orator in the Deaf Community.  He served as President of the New England Gallaudet Association of the Deaf for twelve years.


He met Mary Smith of Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard (Cape Cod)  at the American Asylum, and married her in Chilmark, Massachusetts, on April 1, 1832.  They had two children, a deaf son, Thomas Lewis Brown, and a hearing daughter who died young.  His deaf son, Thomas L. Brown, was a teacher at the Michigan Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Flint, Michigan.


After Thomas’ wife, Mary, died, he remarried a hearing woman, Sophia Curtis, in Leeds, Maine, in 1864.  She had four deaf brothers.


He was regarded as the first great American Deaf leader.  He died in 1886 and is buried in Old Cemetery in Henniker, Merrimack County, New Hampshire.


1Persis Brown was born in Henniker, New Hampshire, in 1800. She married a hearing man, Bela Swett. They had two deaf sons, Thomas B. (Nahum) Swett and William Benjamin Swett, and a hearing son, Nahum George Swett.


Bull, Reverend John Catlin

Reverend John Catlin Bull

Teacher , 1852-1867 & 1877-1880

Instructor of the High Classes, 1867-1877

John Catlin Bull (hearing) was born in South Britain, Connecticut, on October 12, 1824, the elder son of Dr. Norman Bull and Lucy (Catlin) Bull (. In 1823, his father, Dr. Norman Bull, established his practice as a physician in the parish of Southbury, Connecticut.   

He entered the Yale Divinity School, graduating in 1849 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1857 he received his Master of Arts degree at Yale College.

On May 18, 1858, he married Miss Julia Parker Sergeant from Massachusetts. They had three daughters: Lucy Catlin, Margaret, Rachel, and a son Willie. On her mother’s side, Julia was a direct descendant of John Carver, who came on the Mayflower ship and was the first Governor of Plymouth Colony.

At the end of his second year in the Seminary, he was offered a teaching position in the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut. He remained there for the rest of his life. In January 1867, he took charge of the American Asylum’s High Classes curriculum, and he continued until 1877, when he resumed his regular teaching in the Institution.

He wrote a biographical sketch of William Libbeas Bird in the “American Annals of the Deaf” in 1879.  

After an illness of about six weeks, he died in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 12, 1880, and was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut.

Byrtus, Alojzy Maciej Eugeniusz

Alojzy Maciej Eugeniusz Byrtus

Science Teacher, 1957-1970

Alojzy Maciej Eugeniusz Byrtus (hearing) was born in the Silesia part of Poland on February 23, 1902. He taught in the public school system for two years before enrolling in the Institute for Special Pedagogy in Warsaw, Poland, where he majored in the education of the deaf. Upon graduation, he was assigned as an assistant headmaster to a new school for the deaf in Silesia, Poland.

However, he was drafted into the military during World War II and was captured by the Russians. He was imprisoned at a prison camp in Russia and eventually released. He went to the Middle East for retraining and regrouping under British command. At the time, he enrolled in the Officers’ Candidate School, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. He was called to fight against the Allied Forces in Italy during the war.

Eventually, Alojzy was able to reach his family in Poland, but he was stunned to learn that he had been declared legally dead. His wife had remarried an American. Alojzy had a daughter he had not seen since she was a baby. She lived with her mother and American stepfather in New York City. In later years, father and daughter eventually reunited.

After the war, Alojzy lived in England, where he taught at schools for the deaf. Since he wanted to see his daughter, he decided to move to America and sailed on the “Queen Mary” ship arriving in 1951 at the port of New York City, New York, from Southampton, England.

He moved to New Britain, Connecticut, and worked in a factory for six years. In 1960, the patent for his invention of the “Walking Mechanisms” for disabled people was approved by the Patent Office. During that time, he studied English to become an English-speaking teacher.

In September 1957, he was hired as a junior high school science teacher at the American School for the Deaf. ASD students through the years never forgot that they had to copy everything from the blackboard related to science. He wanted to make sure that the students could understand what he was teaching. He constantly repeated everything to clarify scientific concepts and loved to show different ways of experimenting.

During the years at ASD, the students and staff did not realize how “Al” survived through his hardships. He would not be forgotten for his devotion to the school.

Upon his retirement in June 1970, he returned to Poland to be near his relatives. He died on April 1, 1984, at the age of 82.



Camp, Reverend Henry Bates Camp

Reverend Henry Bates Camp


Henry Bates Camp was born in Durham, Connecticut, on December 10, 1809, the son of Dennis Camp and Anna (Bates) Camp. After graduating from Yale College in 1831, he studied theology at the Yale Divinity School and later attended Princeton Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1834. On July 18, 1835, he was ordained pastor of the Congregational Church at Branford, Connecticut. There, he served as minister for two years but resigned in August 1836 because of ill-health.  

On May 21, 1835, he married Lydia Cornelia Baldwin, daughter of Benjamin Baldwin and Betsey (Chittenden) Baldwin. They had five children: Cornelia, Henry Ward, Catherine, Charles and Elizabeth.

In 1837, he became an instructor at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut, where he taught until 1864. The rest of his life was spent in retirement in Hartford, where he died on February 16, 1880. He was interred at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.


Cassetti, Edmond Dante

Edmond Dante Cassetti

First Deaf Technical Director of the Vocational Rehabilitation Center, 1968-1973

Teacher, 1974-1979

Edmond Dante Cassetti was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 27, 1914, the son of Raffaele A. Cassetti, an Italian immigrant, and Maria Louisa (Isola) Cassetti.

He attended Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) for three years, from 1939 to 1942, and eventually received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from the University of Massachusetts.

During the late 1940s, Cassetti taught at the Idaho School for the Blind and Deaf in Gooding, Idaho. He also worked as a Master tool and diemaker at Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies Company, in East Hartford, Connecticut, and a toolmaker at Terry Steam Turbine Company in Hartford, Connecticut. 

He married Bertha P. Shaw, and they had two children: Edmond, Jr., and Maria Cassetti. His wife, Bertha, graduated from Gallaudet College in 1941 with a bachelor’s degree. 

At ASD, he became the first deaf technical director of the new vocational rehabilitation center in the school’s history from 1968 to 1973. He was also a teacher of Consumer Education from 1974 to 1979. He retired in 1979, having served at ASD for eleven years.  

He enjoyed being a pilot and was also a member of the Hartford Club for the Deaf. 

He died in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, on December 18, 1998, at the age of 84. His wife Bertha died in 2008, at the age of 93. 

Clark, Abel Stanton

Abel Stanton Clark

Teacher, 1867-1915

Abel Stanton Clark (hearing) was born in Staffordshire, England on November 18, 1840, the son of Jonathan Clark and Lucy Stanton. He attended a college preparatory school, the General Russell’s School, in New Haven, Connecticut. He enrolled at Yale College and graduated in 1867. Then he went on to the Theological Institute of Connecticut, graduating in 1870. He was licensed to preach but had never sought ordination.

For 48 years (1867-1915), he was a faithful instructor at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. The most notable event during his tenure at the asylum was working with Dr. Alexander Graham Bell in 1872 as a “Visible Speech” teacher in the classroom for two months. Clark and Julia Sweet were the articulative instructors in the program.

He married Henrietta “Nettie” Augusta Platt in New Haven, Connecticut and they had four children: Lucy Marietta, Mabel Esther, Sarah Elizabeth and Morris Byng. Their oldest hearing daughter, Lucy Marietta Clark taught at the New York Institution for the Deaf in Washington Heights, New York, for one year and at the American School for the Deaf for two years. 

Abel S. Clark died at Hartford, Connecticut, on March 14, 1918. He and his wife are buried at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut. 

Clarke, Gordon Wilmer

Gordon Wilmer Clarke

Teacher, 1936-1973

Gordon Wilmer Clark was born in Groton, South Dakota, on November 15, 1911, the son of Enoch and Adeline (Fifield) Clarke. He was educated at the North Dakota School for the Deaf and graduated as the valedictorian of his class. In 1935 he graduated from Gallaudet University in Washington, District of Columbia, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.

After graduation, he became the New York School for the Deaf (Fanwood) librarian in New York. The following year in 1936, Clarke joined the staff at the American School for the Deaf as a teacher and librarian. He retired in 1973 after serving for 37 years.

On June 18, 1935, he married an ASD graduate, Ruth Fish, and they had a son, Gordon Clarke, Jr. 

He was a member of St. Paul’s Mission for the Deaf in West Hartford, serving as its lay reader for 50 years, a founder of the Connecticut Association of the Deaf established in 1939, and a life member of the National Association for the Deaf. He was also a charter member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, a board member of the Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf, and a member of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association. He served as alumni editor of the “American Era,” the ASD’s newspaper, for 24 years. Among the many people he served as an interpreter was former Governor Thomas Meskill of Connecticut.

After retiring from the American School for the Deaf, the Clarkes moved to Columbus, Ohio, where they lived at Columbus Center for the Deaf. To be closer to their son, they moved to Danvers, Massachusetts, and lived at the New England Home for the Deaf. The Clarkes shared 66 years of marriage when he passed away on January 19, 2002, at 90 at Danvers, Massachusetts. His wife, Ruth, passed away on November 22, 2003, also at Danvers, at 96.


Clarke, Ruth Jeanette Fish (A)

Ruth Jeanette Fish (m. Clarke)

See  Fish, Ruth Jeanette (m. Clarke)


Cooke, Oliver Dudley Jr.

Oliver Dudley Cooke, Jr.

Teacher, 1845-1853

Oliver Dudley Cooke, Jr. (hearing) was born in 1822 in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Rev. Oliver Dudley Cooke, Sr., and Sarah (Belknap) Cooke. He graduated from Trinity College, Hartford, in 1844. After graduation, he became a teacher in the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (Old Hartford) from 1845 to 1853. 

After resigning from that position, he moved to Virginia, where he taught in the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, Virginia, where he became the headteacher charged with the instruction of the high class. This school opened its doors in 1839.

He took an active part in the Civil War between the North and South, holding the rank of Major Adjutant 24, North Carolina Infantry in the Confederate Army. After the war, he left the military and became a lawyer of note. His compilation of the statutes of West Virginia gave him a wide reputation, and he was appointed deputy attorney general of West Virginia, which office he held from 1878 until his death.

He was a fine, handsome man, somewhat headstrong but generous to a fault. His contemporaries called him an excellent teacher who possessed universal love and respect for his pupils. 

In teaching the deaf, he believed in the exclusive use of spelling and developed a course of instruction based on this idea. Consequently, he may be considered the father of manual spelling. 

He died of pneumonia on March 23, 1895, at 73, and was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Charleston, West Virginia.

Crane, John Emery (A)

John Emery Crane

Class of 1872

Student #1740


Teacher, 1878-1922

John Emery Crane was born in Whiting, Maine, on January 2, 1850, the son of Samuel and Caroline Crane.  He became deaf from scarlet fever at the age of ten.  His father, Samuel, was a descendant of Colonel John Crane, who was a soldier in the American Revolutionary movement.  Colonel Crane was active in the Sons of Liberty, an organization that played a significant role in colonies battling the Stamp Act in 1765,  and also participated in the Boston Tea Party in Boston Harbor in 1773.


At age eighteen, he entered the American Asylum in 1868 and graduated in 1872.  He enrolled at Gallaudet College in 1872, and graduated in 1877, as the valedictorian of his senior class.  He received his Master of Arts degree in 1899.


John worked as a clerk in the publishing house of E. C. Allen & Company in Augusta, Maine, for two years.  In 1879, ASD Principal Dr. Job Williams hired him to teach at the American Asylum.  John taught at the asylum for 44 years.


He married Lizzie Waters Torrey of Deer Island, Maine, on May 11, 1875.  His wife graduated from the American Asylum in 1879.  They had four children, Arthur J. Crane, Herbert W. Crane, Flora Ellan Crane, and Grace E. Crane.


In 1890, John compiled “Bits of History,” a book of stories gathered from American history and written in a language adapted for young deaf children.  It was 332 pages long and published by the American Asylum.  He also served as president of the New England Gallaudet Association of the Deaf-Mutes for eight years.


It was largely through his influence that the obnoxious word “Asylum” was dropped from the corporate title of the Hartford School. There  is one of the principal cities in Hartford bearing the name of “Asylum.” He twice wrote the Board of Street Commissioners, asking them to change the name of Asylum Street to that of Gallaudet Avenue, in honor of the Father of Deaf-Mute Education in the United States.  But the Board, while commending his setting forth the points for the necessary change did not wish to make it, because “Asylum Street” is well known all over the world, as it exists in only one city – Hartford, Mr. Crane should deserve our thanks for his energetic action in both matters.


John was active in alumni events, serving as chairperson of the 75th Celebration of the American School for the Deaf in 1892, the second vice president of the American School for the Deaf Alumni Association from 1915 to 1916 and as chairperson of the Conventions for the Centennial Celebration of the American School for the Deaf in 1917.


He died on July 16, 1924, at the age of seventy-four and is buried at the beautiful heights of the Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford, Connecticut.


John E. Crane teaching mathematics at the American Asylum


Cronlund, Philip Emil

Philip Emil Cronlund

Assistant Executive Director & Director of Student Life, 1968-1975

Photograph of Philip Cronlund, 1971

Philip Emil Cronlund (hearing) was born in Washington, District of Columbia, on November 2, 1938, the son of Philip R. Cronlund and Elizabeth (Meisel) Cronlund.

He was a 1965 graduate of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois, with a bachelor’s degree in Special Education of the Deaf. He earned a master’s degree in Education, Administration, and Supervision of Programs for the Deaf at California State University at Northridge. He also obtained the Completed Certificate of Advanced Study Program in Special Education Administration. 

Through the summers of 1958-1968, he was the Boys’ Director of the Pennsylvania Society of Crippled Children and Adults, Inc. of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. From September 1965 to June 1966, he was an instructor and teacher at the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was the Child Care supervisor at this same school from September 1966 to September 1968.

Then, in September of 1968, he became Dean of Students at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, Connecticut, a position Phil maintained until October 1972. After that, he was the Director of Student Life and became the Assistant Executive and Headmaster from 1972 to 1975, when he succeeded Gary A. Curtis.

After leaving ASD, he became the sixth superintendent of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in West Trenton, New Jersey, from July 1975 to June 1981. He then became the superintendent of the New York State for the Deaf in Rome, New York, from June 1981 to July 1999. After retiring as superintendent of the New York school, he and his family moved to Mesa, Arizona, where he enjoyed working at Arizona State University as Student Support Coordinator and Interpreting Service in Tempe, Arizona, for three years (1999-2002). 

He was a guest speaker at the Graduation Day for the Class of 1976.

Phil was married to Judith Ann Stein, a 1962 graduate of ASD and 1967 graduate of Gallaudet College. They had three children: Eric, Sean, and Julie. 

Phil passed away in Mesa, Arizona, on June 20, 2002, at the age of 63.

Photograph of Judie and Phil in front of Gallaudet’s statue at ASD in 1970.             

Crossett, Salmon

Salmon Crossett

Assistant Steward, 1858-1883

Salmon Crossett was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on November 20, 1823, the son of Chester Crossett and Anna (Keyes) Crossett. His parents were poor and had little education, and they strove to develop Christian values in their thirteen children. When he was about seven years of age, he became deaf from scarlet fever.

The first home of the Crossett family was in Williamstown, Mass, but after a few years, they moved to Dalton, Massachusetts, and later to Hinsdale, Massachusetts. In 1846, the family again moved to nearby Conway, Massachusetts.

His father taught him the trade of cabinetmaking, and he started to work as a carpenter when he was 18 years old. When his employer left the business, he became engaged in toolmaking and remained in that business for three years. He had an accident to his hand, which disabled him for some time, and left a shortened thumb, from which his name sign was taken.

He had never attended school but had been carefully taught by his mother. She took great pains to educate him until her death, when Salmon was nineteen years old, in 1843. He was a strong Christian all his life. When he moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, he attended Amherst College, where he continued his education and studied the ministry.

By 1850, he came to Hartford, Connecticut, where he transferred his church membership to the First Congregational Church in Hartford and later was a member of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, which he held until his death in 1883.

Salmon learned the American Sign Language for seven years and became the Assistant Steward of the school, a position he held for 25 years from 1858 to 1883.

He married Jane Campbell, a native of New Hampshire and 1848 graduate of the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. She was employed at the school as a servant. Her deaf sister, Sophia Campbell, and a deaf cousin, Seth Campbell, also attended the school. 

Mr. Crossett died of pneumonia in Hartford, Connecticut, on December 25, 1883, at the age of 60. He wanted to be buried among the deaf pupils in the gravestone tower called “Asylum” in the Old North Cemetery, Hartford, as he loved the children and had given his life to them. His wish was granted.


Darby, Albert William (A)

Albert William Darby

Class of 1955

Student #3858


Teacher & Administrator

Albert William Darby was born in Norwalk, Connecticut, on June 16, 1936.  He was the son of deaf parents who graduated from the Mystic Oral School for the Deaf.  Al graduated from the American School for the Deaf in 1955, and from Gallaudet College in 1960, with a B.S. degree.  He also earned a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from California State University, Northridge.


After graduating, Al, as he was commonly known as, returned to ASD to pursue a career as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, and principal of the H.S. Upper School.  He also taught driver’s education and coached the basketball and football teams.  For two years, from 1974 – 1976, he directed the Camp Isola Bella summer program.


As a teacher and administrator over the years, Al inspired love and respect from both students and peers alike.  Not content to rest on his laurels upon retirement, he taught courses in ASL/Deaf Culture at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Northern Mariana Community College in Saipan, MP, and the AARP Driver Safety Program.


He served a leadership role in several organizations, including the president of the Connecticut Association of the Deaf from 1997 – 1998.  He was honored with the ASD Community Service Award in 2002 and inducted in the ASDAA Hall of Fame in 2005. 


Al was elected to the ASD Board of Corporators in 2002 and the Board of Directors in 2006. 


He and his wife, Katherine (Miller), also an ASD alumnus, had two sons and seven grandchildren.  For years they kept warm in a second home in Florida.  Al passed away at the Tidewell Hospice in Palmetto, Florida, on January 13, 2017. 



Darby, Katherine "Kathy" Louise Miller (A)

Katherine “Kathy” Louise Miller (m. Darby)

See  Miller, Katherine “Kathy” Louise (m. Darby)

David, John Oliver (A)

John Oliver David

Class of 1831

Student #124

Teacher, 18381841

John Oliver David was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 13, 1813, the son of John David, Sr., and Lucy Hollis. He became deaf from a fever at age one and a half.

When he was six years old, he moved to Amherst, New Hampshire, and was raised on a farm. In 1824, John entered the American Asylum at the age of 12, where he remained for several years. He was known as an intelligent scholar and a favorite of Rev. Gallaudet. He graduated with honors in 1831.

After graduation, John worked in the shoe business in Amherst, New Hampshire, for seven years. He taught at the American Asylum for eight years. He married Philena Emerson of Croyden, New Hampshire, an 1840 American Asylum graduate, on November 12, 1840. They had four children, Ann Sharp David (who died at age eighteen), Lucy Emma (David) Clark, John Gallaudet David, and Ida Frances David (who died at age one).

The Deaf community was shocked by the death of John on February 26, 1887, when he was knocked down by an express horse and wagon, fracturing his skull and the bones of his ankles. He was seventy-three years old and had been prominent in the affairs of the deaf, both in Boston and elsewhere. He was an agent of the Boston Deaf-Mute Society for many years and a member and state manager (NH, 1854-1862) of the New England Gallaudet Association of the Deaf-Mutes. He was regarded as an excellent Christian man who took much interest in the religious welfare of the deaf and often preached to them in Boston.

He is buried at the Meadow View Cemetery in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Desmarais, Rev. Camille Lionel (A)

Reverand Camille Lionel Desmarais

Class of 1948 

Student #3950


Ordained Reverend

Camille Lionel Desmarais was born on August 28, 1931, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont to Onile and Yvonne Desmarais, French Canadians who settled in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. He was the fourth child of seven in his French-speaking family. Cam, as he was commonly known, became deaf at age eleven from spinal meningitis. 


He attended the American School for the Deaf in 1941 and graduated in 1948. He entered Gallaudet College, and as a Gallaudet student, he was a standout wrestler on the team during the “Golden Wrestling Era of the Fifties.” He was named the Outstanding Wrestler at a District of Columbia AAU wrestling tournament.


Cam married his college sweetheart, Marjorie Crosby, in 1950, and they moved to her hometown in Mobile, Alabama. They had three children, Marianne, David, and Cathy, all who attended St. Mark’s Deaf Church led by the Rev. Dr. Robert Fletcher (father of Oscar-winning actress, Louise Fletcher). During that time, Cam felt the call to the ministry and returned to Gallaudet College to complete his degree and enter the Virginia Theological Seminary.


He became the 40th Deaf person ordained to the priesthood in 1966.  During that year, Cam returned to Connecticut with his family to begin his ministry following the work of the Rev. Stanley Light. Cam was one of the prime movers in establishing the Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf (C.C.O.S.D.). He started teaching at his alma mater in 1969, joining his wife, Marjorie, who had been teaching Junior High reading. He was also the head coach of the ASD wrestling team (1969 – 1970) which had a winning record of 5 wins and 2 losses.


In 1972, Cam and his family moved to Alabama, and he became the Archdeacon for Deaf Work in the Diocese of Alabama, following the long ministry of the Rev. Fletcher.  There Cam was instrumental in building a new church building designed for the Deaf.  He was also active in developing Mental Health services for the Deaf. He worked to gain the release of many Deaf persons from state hospitals and institutions, forcing the state to provide appropriate treatment and housing to those Deaf persons needing such support.


During Cam’s time in Connecticut and Alabama, he was a leader in the Episcopal Conference of the Deaf serving several terms as president and as a mentor and friend to many new priests entering the work of Deaf ministry in the Episcopal Church across the country. He was passionate about the ministry in the Deaf community, and he believed that it includes all aspects of our life situations.


Cam retired from St. John’s in 1994 and moved to Mobile, where he served as a priest in charge of St. Mark’s Deaf Church and led the construction of a new home for St. Mark’s. His service in the Deaf ministry spanned forty-five years.


Cam’s wife, Marjorie, passed away in 1979, and he remarried Julia Boland. His oldest daughter, Marianne, followed him into the ministry, becoming ordained as the Rev. Marianne Stuart.


Cam passed away on April 13, 2011, in Mobile, Alabama, following surgery. He is buried at the Forest Crest Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama, next to his first wife, Marjorie.

Teaching at ASD, 1971 Rev. Camille Desmarais with his daughter, Rev. Marianne D. Stuart


Desrosier, Thomas "Tom" Russell (A)

Thomas “Tom” Russell Desrosier

Class of 1951

Student #4071 


Thomas Russell Desrosier was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts, on November 10, 1930, Leo G. and Gladys K. Desrosier’s son. He has a deaf sister, Doreen A. Desrosier.

Tom attended elementary school at the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1935 and graduated in 1949. He entered the American School for the Deaf in 1949 and graduated in 1951 as the class salutatorian. Tom participated in football, basketball, and baseball and was chosen a National All-American football player in 1949.

He entered Gallaudet College in 1951 and graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Upon graduation, he married Beatrice Smith, an ASD 1951 graduate, and they had four children. In 1956 he started his career at the American School for the Deaf, where he taught in the woodworking shop, machine shop, and print shop for 26 years. He retired in 1983. On November 25, 1967, he married Shirley Szpakowski, a 1962 ASD graduated, and they had two children.

Tom was a man of many interests and volunteered as a boys’ counselor and assistant coach in football, basketball, and baseball. He also served as a bus driver, assistant photographer, and scouting assistant.

However, his real love was football, and he was a Junior Varsity and Pony football coach. He developed a powerhouse team where his team won eight straight winning games in the ’60s. During the summer, Tom worked as a carpenter and cabinet maker. He was the only Deaf employee working part-time repairing and restoring the school buildings.

While he worked on many projects in his life, Tom was especially proud of four projects.

In 1972, he taught his ASD students how to build a press box with floor joists, wall studs, headers, roof rafters, door, window frames, wall sheeting, and roofing after the Southern New England Telephone donated old telephone poles.

Second, in 1977, Tom helped the Class of 1977 students build a tall wood Paris Eiffel tower for the “Evening in Paris” Junior Prom.

Third, in 1986, he was one of the volunteer workers, including ASD staff members, parents, and alumni members and the local Jaycees chapter who constructed the Gionfriddo playscape playground to honor a teacher’s memory, Kim Marie Gionfriddo, who was tragically killed in a car accident.

Fourth, in 1983 after his retirement, the Pastor for the United Pentecostal Church pastor selected him to be the head contractor to construct a new addition. He supervised ten carpenters, and the project took 1½ years.

He was a member of the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf. He spent a lot of time for the New England Athletic Association of the Deaf (NEAAD) as a softball and basketball player. He was a delegate for several years. He was president for 11 years (1965-1968 and 1978- 1986 and vice president of NEAAD for two terms (1964-1965 & 1978-1979). He was the emeritus leader in the Hall of Fame in 1988.

Well known for his big heart and humorous storytelling, Tom retired after a long and varied career at ASD in June 1983. He and Shirley lived for many years in Granby, Connecticut, and recently moved to Bolton, Massachusetts, to be with their daughter and son-in-law.


Dillingham, Nancy (A)

Nancy Dillingham

Left Asylum in 1825

Student #64


Assistant Matron, 1841-1874

Photo of Faculty, 1869: Mary Mann, Mrs. Cierc, Mrs. White, Nancy Dillingham, Margaret Greenlaw. Second row: Mabel Bartlett, Mrs. Cady, Clara Seavrus, Sarah Storrs, Mary Haskell


Nancy Dillingham was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on April 26, 1802, the daughter of Major Nathan Dillingham and Rebecca Fessenden.  She had a deaf sister, Abigail Dillingham, and a hearing brother, Charles, who learned sign language at the American Asylum under Laurent Clerc.


She attended the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1819 and left in 1825.


Nancy served as an assistant matron at the American Asylum for 33 years.  She died on May 27, 1874, of pneumonia, after a brief illness, at the age of seventy-two.  Upon her death, the following obituary resolution was adopted:  “Her uniform, cheerful, assiduous, faithful and diligent discharge of her duties, together with her agreeable, social, Christian character had gained for her the abundant respect and affectionate, grateful remembrance of her associates.” 


She is buried at the Pittsfield Cemetery in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Durian, Walter Goreth

Walter Goreth Durian

Printing Teacher, 1914-1955

“He was a man, take him for all in all. We shall not look upon his like again.”

Walter Goreth Durian was born in New Market, New Jersey, on May 23, 1889, the son of William Frank Durian and Fannie (Goreth) Durian, who were also deaf. His family fled the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 and headed east. He attended the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from 1895 to 1907. He prepped for a year at printing at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf before graduating from Gallaudet College in 1914 with a B. A. degree. In 1915 he married Elsie E. Farnkopf of Cuyahoga, Ohio, a graduate of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) in 1901. The Durians had three children, but only two survived: Burton D. and Constance “Connie”(Durian) DiCosimo. A son, Vincent, died in 1923 at the age of 5. All three children were deaf and attended the American School for the Deaf. After 1921, the Durians built a home at 154 North Main Street, across from the new school.

He was a member of the National Association of the Deaf, the New England Gallaudet Association, and the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf. He was the coordinator of these conventions and a devoted member for many years. He was the NAD. Imposter Chief for a long time.

Mr. Durian was the first printing instructor at the American Asylum when located at Asylum Hill in 1914. Under his direction, a small shop was equipped and became the birthplace of the “The New Era,” which was renamed “The American Era” in 1937. He remained as the printing instructor at the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford for 41 years, retiring in 1955. He was honored with a retirement dinner at the school by the faculty and staff, with more than 100 attended. At the dinner party, it was announced that a new vocational building was in the planning and would be named the Walter G. Durian Building. In addition, he was presented a gold watch by the Board of Directors, represented by trustees Guy B. Holt and Paul Butterworth. The watch was engraved with a respectful tribute for his service.

“The photo above shows the ASD print shop about 1915, when the school was still located on Asylum Street in Hartford. Below is the Typesetting shop shortly after the move to West Hartford in 1921.”

Initially, he was a hand-setter of the old school but adapted himself to new machinery and processes. The print shop he led was then reputed to be one of the best trade schools in the area. He coached the older boys’ basketball team during his early years at the Asylum.

He also was involved in other extracurricular activities, such as Scouting and the Literary Society. 

In 1920-1921, the new American School for the Deaf moved to the new West Hartford site. Many historical letters, books, and records were discarded during the confusion of relocating. Mr. Durian managed to save many of these for the new school and later was an unofficial guardian and curator of these relicts and documents.   

Mr. Durian died on February 13, 1959, in West Hartford at the age of 68. His widow Elsie died in 1981, and both were buried in Fairview Cemetery, West Harford, with sons Vincent Durian and Burton D. Durian. 


Farquhar, Hugh David (A)

Hugh David Farquhar

Class of 1960

Student #4271


Hugh D. Farquhar was born in Montreal, Canada.  His parents sent him to the Mackey School for the Deaf in Montreal, Quebec, where he was the ice hockey goalie.

He attended the American School for the Deaf in 1955 and graduated in 1960. He participated in football, wrestling, basketball, and baseball. The football team’s record was 6-1-1 in 1959, and the basketball team won the championship at the Eastern States Deaf School Basketball tournament in 1960.

Hugh attended Gallaudet College for a short time and went back to Connecticut to work at ASD as a Machine Shop Instructor for many years and a Media Specialist.

He became the first certified deaf archery instructor and taught archery at Camp Isola Bella for many years. 

He also coached wrestling for 9 years, football for 9 years and girls’ softball in 1979. The girls’ softball team won all 8 games that year.

Hugh was also the Isola Bella bus driver and Camp Director from 1983 to 1985.  He served as a mentor, training many Isola Bella staff members and campers over the years.

He served as an official referee for volleyball tournaments at deaf schools.

He is married to Anita Pasek, who also taught at ASD. They have two daughters, Amie and Katrina. He also has a son, Scott, from a previous marriage and a grandson, Oynx.

Hugh is known and beloved by many students at ASD for his big heart.  He is always quick to assist and frequently volunteers for the deaf community utilizing his expertise in different areas, including media and archery.  During his free time, he enjoys golfing.  Hugh is a true gentleman with a warm and caring personality.

The ASD Executive Director, Jeff Bravin, presented the NAD Handwave Award to Hugh Farquhar in 2014.  

Fay, Dr. Gilbert Otis Jr.

Dr. Gilbert Otis Fay, Jr.

Teacher, 1880-1910

Dr. Gilbert Otis Fay, Jr. (hearing) was born in Wadsworth, Ohio, on November 8, 1834, the son of Rev. Gilbert Fay, Sr., and Clarissa “Clara” (Walker) Fay. After the early death of his father in 1835, his mother, with her son, returned to her hometown, Andover, Massachusetts.

He was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, graduating as Valedictorian in 1854. A year later, he was admitted to Yale College, where he was the Class President in his junior and senior years. He graduated from Yale College in 1859, and in 1862, he graduated from the Andover Theological Seminary.

For four years, he was a teacher at the Ohio Institution for Deaf-Mutes in Columbus, Ohio, and became the fifth superintendent of the same school for fourteen years.

He married Adelia Caroline Allen of Leominster, Massachusetts, who died in 1867. He remarried Mary J. Jarvis of Massillon, Ohio, a year later, on April 14, 1868.

In 1880, he received a Ph.D. degree in Philosophy from Adelbert College of Western Reserve University.

He was a professor at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut, for 30 years (1880-1910). He was a member of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, of which he had been a deacon.

Dr. Fay died at his home on Atwood Street in Hartford, Connecticut, on Friday, February 18, 1910, following a surgical operation and was buried at the Oakland Cemetery in Medway, Massachusetts.

Fish, Ruth Jeannette (m. Clarke) (A)

Ruth Jeannette Fish (m. Clarke)

Class of 1928

Student #3311



Ruth Jeannettee Fish was born in New York City, NY on November 3, 1907. She lost her hearing in infancy.  She attended the Lexington School for the Deaf and at age 14, her family moved to Connecticut.  She enrolled at the American School for the Deaf, graduating in 1928.


She attended Gallaudet College and graduated in 1933.  While pursuing post graduate work at Gallaudet, she taught sewing at the Kendall School for the Deaf (now Model Secondary School for the Deaf).  She returned to Connecticut and taught typing and business methods.  She also served as a Girl Scout leader and an advisor/director of plays for the Girls Athletic Association.


She was the first deaf woman to earn a driver’s license in Connecticut but because of her petite stature, her license specified that she could not drive a Dodge or any other heavy cars.


Ruth married her college sweetheart, Gordon Clarke of North Dakota in 1935, and they had a son, Gordon Clarke, Jr.  After a year in New York, they moved to Connecticut and Ruth devoted the next ten years to her family.  She returned to teaching sewing at ASD from 1943 to 1972.  She was also the first deaf librarian in ASD history.  Ruth was known for being innovative in her teaching, introducing the first sewing class for boys and typing.


Ruth was involved in numerous organizations and served a term as president of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association, Connecticut Chapter.  She was an active member of the St. Paul’s Episcopal Mission for the Deaf of Greater Hartford for many years.  She was a life member of the ASD Alumni Association (ASDAA) and a treasurer at one time.  She was also a life member of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the Golden Emblem Club of the National Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf, and the Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf. 


One unique experience Ruth had during her lifetime was attending a girls’ camp in New Hampshire where she excelled in swimming and diving in competition with hearing girls.  While at camp she met Helen Keller who gave her an autographed photo.  Another unique experience was spotting a flicker of flame under the big top at a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and quickly walking out with her son.  The Hartford Circus Fire turned out to be one of the worst fire tragedies in U.S. History which killed over 160 people and injured more than 700. 


Ruth was always a gracious host and loved entertaining friends from all over the country at her home.  Among her many guests was Dr. Elizabeth Peet, beloved dean of women at Gallaudet College.  She and Gordon had been married for 66 years when he passed away at home on January 19, 2002.  Ruth died at the New England Home for the Deaf in Danvers, MA on November 22, 2003.


Class of 1926: Mary Levine, Margaret, Houlihan, Ruth Fish, Susanna Salick,  Back Row: Max Friedman, Frank Gulluzzo





Friedman, Max (A)

Max Friedman

Class of 1926

Student #3212


A Life of Service

Max Friedman was born in Ovritch, Russia, on December 4, 1908.  He attended the American School for the Deaf and graduated in 1926 at age seventeen as the valedictorian.  He graduated from Gallaudet College in 1931 with a Bachelor of Science degree. 


Returning to his alma mater, he worked first as a dormitory supervisor and then a physical education teacher at the American School for the Deaf from 1931 to 1938.  He was also an assistant coach for one of ASD’s best football teams in 1937.


Max moved to New York and taught general science at the New York School for the Deaf (Fanwood) in White Plains, New York, from 1938 to 1948.  He taught Bernard Bragg, a renowned mime and co-founder of the National Theatre of the Deaf, who later in his career acknowledged Max as one of those teachers who helped to develop his skills.


During his ten years at Fanwood, he coached football and basketball and was named the “Coach of the Year” by Art Kruger for leading the 1940 football to a perfect winning record.


Max joined the printing staff of the New York Times and remained there until his retirement.  He served as a mark-up supervisor in the advertising department.


He married Frances D. Macon on December 16, 1939, in Bronx, New York City.  They had two children, one of whom worked at Fanwood as a library assistant.


Max was the co-editor of the Alumni Bulletin for the Gallaudet College Alumni Association and served also as a vice president.  He served as the Tour Director of the Ninth International Games for the Deaf in Helsinki, Finland in 1964.


He was the chairman of the National Congress of Jewish Deaf convention held in New York City in August 1964 and was one of the founders of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.  He was also on the Board of Directors for the Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf and served on several committees with the National Association of the Deaf.


Max was the editor of the Empire State News and edited the book, “The Law and the Deaf” written by Lowell Myers and wrote numerous articles for the American Annals of the Deaf and in various deaf publications.


He also participated in several conferences that preceded the establishment of the Captioned Films for the Deaf.


Max was appointed to serve on the Advisory Council of the New York State Psychiatric Institute to Literate Deaf and the State Temporary Commission to Study the Problems of the Deaf.  He was honored for distinguished and unselfish efforts for the welfare of the deaf, by the Civic Association of the Deaf of New York City in 1966.


He was well known as a sports writer and leader of the American Athletic Association of the Deaf (AAAD).  He served as the secretary and treasurer of the AAAD for four years and president for two terms.  He was inducted in the AAAD Hall of Fame in 1967, and also received the 1981 Eastern Athletic Association of the Deaf, Inc. (EAAD) Hall of Fame honor as a sportswriter and leader. 


Max died on January 23, 1991.


Class of 1926: Mary Levine, Margaret, Houlihan, Ruth Fish, Susanna Salick,  Back Row: Max Friedman, Frank Gulluzzo




Gallaudet, Dr. Edward Miner

Dr. Edward Miner Gallaudet

Teacher, 1856-1857

ASD Board of  Director, 1910-1917


Edward Miner Gallaudet (hearing) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on February 5, 1837, the eighth son of Rev. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Sophia Fowler. He graduated from the Hartford Public High School in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1856, he became the youngest assistant teacher at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, a position he held for one year.  During this tenure, he was a student at Trinity College.


Amos Kendall, a Postmaster General, hired him, at twenty years old, as superintendent of a new school, Columbia Institution for Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind (now Model Secondary School for the Deaf) from the autumn of 1857 to 1864.


In 1859, he married his first wife, Jane Melissa Fessenden (1837-1866), and had three children: Grace W., Katherine F., and Edward L. After the death of Jane in 1866, he remarried to Susan Denison (1847-1903), of Royalton, Vermont, in 1868. They had five children: Denison, Edson F., Herbert D., Eliza, and Marion W.    


He became the first President of the National Deaf-Mute College in Washington, D.C., in 1864, a position he held until his retirement in 1910. After that, he returned to Hartford, Connecticut, where he served as Board of Directors at ASD from 1910 to 1917.


Through the years of his fruitful life, he received three honorary degrees from Trinity College (M.A.) in 1859, the Columbian University (LL.D.), and later, George Washington University (Ph.D.) in 1869 and Yale University(LL.D.) in 1895.


Dr. Gallaudet died in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 26, 1917, and was interred in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford. Three months before his death, he attended the Centennial Celebration of the ASD (1817-1917), American Instructors Convention, New Gallaudet Association for Deaf-Mutes meeting, and National Association of the Deaf (NAD), in June and July 1917. 



Dr. Edward M. Gallaudet with his sons: Denison, Herbert, and Edson

Giett, Ethel "Ethie" Mason (Adelia)

Ethel “Ethie Mason (Adelia) Giett

Teacher, 1954-1973

Ethie was born in Washington State on February 15, 1904. She was a child to want to become a teacher in the future.

Ethie attended the Gallaudet College in 1927 but left there in 1929 before graduation to accept a teaching position at the Overlea School for the Deaf in Maryland. She married Frank Giett on August, 1929 when marriage cut short her teaching career as she and her husband, Frank moved to Missouri.

She moved to California and worked in a plant during the war years; as a receptionist in a hearing aid office, and as a speech correction teacher of war veterans.

She was a teacher in special class in the American School for the Deaf (ASD), West Hartford, CT for twenty-one years. She taught in Maryland for four years; in Alabama for four years and in West Virginia for one year. She ended thirty years teaching career and she retired in ASD in 1973.

She was known as quite an authority on the sign language. She interpreted on the stage in the Ward gym with a commencement speaker, Julie Nixon Eisenhower for ASD graduation ceremonies on June 14, 1973 before her retirement.

She died in Wayne, Michigan on October 25, 1996 at the age of 92.

Dr. Edward M. Gallaudet with his sons: Denison, Herbert, and Edson

Giordano, Joseph Peter

Joseph Peter Giordano

Teacher, 1971-1986


Joseph Peter Giordano was born in Queens, New York City, on December 14, 1940. In 1946, he attended the New York School for the Deaf, White Plains, New York, known as Fanwood or NYSD, and graduated from that school in 1959. He was called “Joe” by those who knew him. In 1966, he graduated from Gallaudet College, Washington, D.C., earning a Bachelor’s degree. After that, he attended the University of Nebraska, where he received his Master’s Special Education degree in 1971.  


He was a reading teacher in the Junior high school for a year and elementary physical education for four years at the Nebraska School for the Deaf (NSD). He was also a varsity football coach for one year, and varsity basketball coach for five years.  


In 1971, he moved to Connecticut and became a high school teacher in reading/literature at the ASD for fifteen years (1971-1986). Also, he was a master teacher and head coach of the varsity basketball team. He was involved in physical education and activities and sponsored the Jr.NAD, Key Club, and Orange & Black Club. 


On July 28, 1973, he married a deaf woman, Rita A. Destefano, in Meriden, Connecticut. She was a graduate of the Class of 1973 at ASD. They had two sons: Tyrone and Adrian. Rita’s deaf brother, Umberto Destefano, also graduated in 1972 from ASD. 


During his free time, he enjoyed wood carving and created a beautiful wood seal with a sign symbol “ILY” for ASD. He passed away on January 18, 1986, at the age of 45. Most of the students at ASD loved Joe’s teaching and coaching during his tenure from 1971 to 1986. In all, the staff, students, and alumni sorely missed him. 


In 1986, Eastern States Deaf Athletic Association (ESDAA) established the “Joe Giordano Sportsmanship Award”  in his honor after his death when ASD hosted the 54th Annual ESDAA Basketball and Cheerleading tournament at ASD on February 20-22, 1986.



Golladay, Dr. Loy Edgar

Dr. Loy Edgar Golladay

English and Literature Teacher, 1943-1969


Loy Edgar Golladay was born in St. David Church, Virginia on February 27, 1914, the son of James Edgar Golladay and Dollie Lee (Wright) Golladay. At the age of eight, he became deaf from spinal meningitis, and was enrolled at the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind, Romney, West Virginia, from which he graduated in 1929.


He enrolled at Gallaudet College, Washington, D.C. at the age of 15 years. While as a student, he won several poetry and essay contests. In 1934, he graduated with a B.A. degree at the age of 20. Later, he earned a M.A. degree from Gallaudet College in 1942. 


On June 7, 1936, he married Gladys Annabelle Walford in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Willis and Regina Walford of Sterling, North Dakota. They had a hearing daughter, June (Golladay) Discola. 


He was a teacher and supervisor at the West Virginia School for the Deaf from 1934 to 1941. After that, he moved to North Dakota, where he became publisher and editor of the “Cass County Tribune” in West Fargo, North Dakota, a position he held for one year, (1941-1942).


In 1943, he moved to Connecticut with his family, where he became an English and Literature teacher at the American School for the Deaf (ASD), West Hartford, Connecticut. He was the first deaf editor of ASD’s publication, “The American Era”, for over 25 years. Also, he worked for “The Hartford Times” newspaper. He was the Language Consultant (reviewed and edited) of the “A Dictionary Of Idioms for the Deaf” book under the Project Director of Maxine Tull Boatner in 1969, which was published by ASD. For 27 years, he served ASD, retiring in 1969.  


He earned a second M.S. degree in Education from the University of Hartford in 1957.


In 1981, Gallaudet University conferred upon him a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. 


NTID named him, its the first deaf Professor Emeritus at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York in 1980 after he joined the faculty in 1969. He was named the RIT Outstanding Staff Member and Staff Humanitarian, and was honored with RIT’s Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1976 given by the faculty and students. Upon his retirement in 1984, RIT conferred upon him the rank of First Professor Emeritus.


His colleague and friend, Robert Panara, NTID Professor Emeritus and RIT’s first deaf educator, helped to recruit Loy Golladay to RIT from the American School for the Deaf, when Mr. Panara set up NTID’s first English department. He was one of the best teachers of English, deaf or hearing. Dr. Golladay was also involved as faculty advisor in the drama club program. Not only that, he also helped students translate poetry into sign language, and really helped the drama club get off to a great start. Mr. Panara always considered Dr. Loy Golladay to be one of the best deaf poets that he knew of.


He was the President of the Connecticut Association for the Deaf, and was active in many state and national organizations as well as the Episcopal Church. As an accomplished author, historian and poet, he has several books still in print, including “A Is For Alice” a book of  poetry, written with his delightful sense of humor and sensitivity which “gives wings to words.”


His career in education spanned over 45 years, and was the first deaf American poet.


He passed away at his home in Manchester, Connecticut on Wednesday, August 18, 1999 at the age of 85 years, after a lengthy illness. He is buried at the Clem-Golladay Cemetery, Fort Valley, Virginia with his wife Gladys (Walford) Golladay (1909-1993) beside him.                              


Greenlaw, Margaret C.

Margaret C. Greenlaw

Tailoring Teacher, 1852-1870

Matron, 1870-1900


Faculty, 1869: Mary Mann, Mrs. Cierc, Mrs. White, Nancy Dillingham, Margaret Greenlaw. Second row: Mabel Bartlett, Mrs. Cady, Clara Seavrus, Sarah Storrs, Mary Haskell


Margaret C. Greenlaw (hearing) was born in Deer Isle, Hancock County, Maine, on November 23, 1828, the daughter of a sea captain, Walter Greenlaw (1800-1859), and Rebecca (Staples) Greenlaw (1800-1888). Her father’s many relatives were seafaring folk. She had a deaf sister, Rebecca Greenlaw (1836-1916), who attended the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb for six years and was dismissed in 1860. She briefly worked as a seamstress at the Asylum during the 1870s.


From 1852 to 1870, Margaret was a mistress of the Tailor’s Shop at the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb for eighteen years. She replaced Phebe White’s job as matron, a position she held for twenty-nine years. During the years as matron, Margaret gave the school a faithful and most efficient service. In times of illness among the students, she was the physician’s most reliable aide, and her long experience made her a skillful nurse. She was a mother to all the students, having served forty-seven years at the Asylum. 


She was one of the first members of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut.   


Upon retirement, she moved to Dorchester, a suburb outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her sister Rebecca, where she died on May 3, 1902, aged 73 years, of heart disease. She was buried in the family plot in Mount Adams Cemetery, Deer Isle, Maine, beside her sister, Rebecca, who died in 1916s.  


Halberg, David Hilliard (A)

David Hilliard Halberg

Class of 1948

Student #3643


Teacher & Historian, 1953-2003

David Hilliard Halberg, known as Dave, was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on June 9, 1929, the son of Sven and Thelma Halberg, both of Swedish ancestry. He attended the American School for the Deaf (ASD), from 1934 to 1948 and graduated with honors. He excelled in academics and sports at ASD, and his fellow students described his most outstanding characteristic as “his cheerful willingness to help a friend.”


In 1948, he entered Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University), where he was a three-letter athlete. He was co-captain of the football team in his senior year for the Homecoming Day in 1952. In 1953, he graduated from Gallaudet College with a Bachelor of Arts degree and was elected to the National Honor Roll as an outstanding college student.


Later, he earned a Masters of Education degree from the University of Hartford.  His wife, Caroline, was also a graduate of the University of Hartford. She was a fellow teacher at ASD, and they were married on November 27, 1964, in Hartford, Connecticut. 


For 30 years, he was a math teacher and his school activities involved as an ASD Alumnus, leader, wrestling coach, counselor, scoutmaster, school photographer, and historian for over 50 years. He founded ASD’s first wrestling team in 1953 with his assistant coach, Paul Peterson, who was also a fellow teacher. His wrestling team won two national titles.


He did invaluable volunteer work in the Gallaudet-Clerc Historical Room in Gallaudet Hall, where he was the leading Historian/Archivist, as well as preserve the artifacts in the museum. He researched the history of “Amistad and ASD.”


He was co-author of “The Chain of Love” with co-author Annabelle Young in 1997.


For many years, he was a member of the American School for the Deaf Alumni Association (ASDAA), where he served as President (1962-1963, 1964-1966, and 1974-1975). Also, he served as 1st Vice President (1956-1958) and Executive Secretary (1986-1994). He received two awards of the ASDAA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Excellence Hall of Fame in 2010.


(Left photo) David received the highest Scouter’s Award, the Silver Beaver, in 1982. (Right photo) David H. Halberg by Spencer Champlin, Chairman of District Scouters’ training committee, for his distinguished service with the youth.


He was awarded the Scoutmaster’s Key in 1959 and received the Nutmeg District Service to Scouting Award in 1961 and 1967. Also, he was a member-at-large of the Long Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America. For over 30 years, he was involved with the scouting program at ASD and a scouter for 41 years.


Mr. Halberg was so highly regarded at ASD that October 8 in 1983 was proclaimed by the ASDAA as “David H. Halberg Day,” In 2018, he received the Golden Rose Award of National Association of the Deaf (NAD) for his distinguished service to the deaf community.


He passed away at his home on April 20, 2019, in his 90th year. He is buried at the Mount Saint Benedict Cemetery, Bloomfield, Connecticut. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Caroline Trasko Halberg, a sister Holly in Maine, and a deaf foster son, Robert Dube.


The perfect title for him would be “ASD Icon,” as he was an amazing man of many talents who was very involved in various organizations, activities, and projects. He was always cheerfully willing to help a friend or student, and always encouraging to all. The following quotation, which defines him well, by Robert Smith, is so accurate: “If there be any truer measure of a man by what he does, it must be by what he gives.”






Jayne, Alma I. Chadwick

Alma I. (Chadwick) Jayne

Art Teacher, 1918-1968

Alma I. Chadwick (hearing) was born in Webster, Massachusetts, on December 19, 1895, the only child of Ernest W. Chadwick and Margaret (Pitts) Chadwick. Her mother died of “galloping” consumption at the age of 21 in Quincy, Massachusetts. Being unable to take care of his daughter, the father gave her up for adoption to Joseph D. and Marie Michaud of Fall River, Massachusetts. 

Alma was employed as a spooler in a cotton mill. Then she enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated in 1918. In 1918 she joined the staff as an art teacher of the American School for the Deaf (Old Hartford) Hartford and West Harford, Connecticutwhere she taught for 50 years, retiring in 1968. She was known for her intelligence, patience, and good humor. She was also a warm, compassionate person with a deep interest in and love for all children she worked with. She encouraged artistic traits in children, which helped them achieve and become skillful artists themselves.

It was evident in the many top prize winners Alma’s charges had taken at scholastic art contests and in the many positions her students obtained after graduation as advertising and fashion illustrators for well-known department stores and newspapers.

In 1921 she married Charles Van Wyck Jayne, Jr. in Fall River, Massachusetts, and they had a son David E. Jayne. The Jayne family eventually settled at 506 Fern Street, West Hartford, Connecticut, in a white Cape Cod-style house where they lived for many years. 

Besides teaching, she found time to use her artistic talents by painting murals for the club and kindergarten rooms at ASD; pictures for the Veterans Home and Hospital at Rocky Hill, Connecticut, since her husband was a patient there. Also, along with many others, a painting of her church, the Universalist Church in West Hartford, as it was in the early days of the Old Hartford, is now hanging in the church hall.

She died at a local convalescent hospital on December 5, 1983, aged 88 years, and was buried in the Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford, Connecticut, next to her husband.

It was evident in the many top prize winners Alma’s charges had taken at scholastic art contests and in the many positions her students obtained after graduation as advertising and fashion illustrators for well-known department stores and newspapers.

The 1920 Census of Hartford, Connecticut, Alma Chadwick was listed as a “roomer” on Collins Street, aged 25, single and a teacher at the school for the deaf & dumb. In 1921 she married a hearing man, Charles Van Wyck Jayne, Jr. (1897-1981) in Fall River, Massachusetts. Their son David E. Jayne, was born in 1923. The Jayne family eventually settled at 506 Fern Street, West Hartford, Connecticut, in a white Cape Cod style house where they lived for many years. 

Besides teaching, she found time to use her own artistic talents by painting murals for the Club rooms and kindergarten rooms at ASD; pictures for the Veterans Home and Hospital at Rocky Hill, Connecticut, since her husband was a patient there. Also, along with many others, a picture of her church, the Universalist Church in West Hartford, as it was in the early days of the Old Hartford, the painting is now hanging in the church hall.

She died at a local convalescent hospital on December 5, 1983, aged 88 years and was interred in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford, Connecticut, next to her husband.


ASD seal designed by Alma Jayne in 1936.
Christmas card of the Jayne’s home designed and drawn by Alma C. Jayne, 1970. 


Jenkins, Reverend William Gurney

Reverand William Gurney Jenkins

Teacher, 1885-1896


Reverend William Gurney Jenkins (hearing) was born in Dowlais, a village in Wales, on August 20, 1848. In 1869 he entered the Western Reserve College in Hudson, Ohio, and graduated in 1874 with his salutatory address.


After graduating from the Western Reserve College, he enrolled in the Lane Theological Seminary which was a Presbyterian theology college in Walnut Hills, a section of Cincinnati, Ohio. There he studied to become a minister in the Presbyterian church, but was not ordained according to the college records.


After he left the seminary in 1876, he became a teacher at the Arkansas School for the Deaf in Little Rock, Arkansas, and later was a principal for 2 years (1876-1878). In 1878 he was a student at the A.M.W.R. College. It is not known if he did graduate from there. He  later went to Philadelphia to become a teacher at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf where he taught for five years (1878-1883).


From 1885 to 1896, Rev. Jenkins was a teacher of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut, for eleven years. He died of bronchial pneumonia on March 3, 1896, and was interred in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, Connecticut. 

Johnson, Marion A. Peterson

Marion A. (Peterson) Johnson

Reading Teacher, 1955-1972

Marion A. Peterson (hearing) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on August 22, 1910, the daughter of Theodore G. and Amelia R. (Carlson) Peterson. This family was of Swedish descent. She graduated from the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing and worked in some hospitals in Exeter, New Hampshire, for a few years before returning to Connecticut.

She married Dr. Paul R. Johnson, a surgeon at Hartford Hospital in Westport, Connecticut. She changed her mind about her nursing career and decided to become a teacher of the deaf instead. Her greatest love was teaching deaf children to read and appreciate good books.

In June of 1956, Mrs. Johnson felt strongly about the need for the American School for the Deaf to own its museum. She discussed her idea with Miss Livingston Patton, the Director of the Intermediate Department. With both their encouragement and influence, the museum was born. Dr. Edmund B. Boatner, the school Superintendent, gave a small room on the second floor of Gallaudet Hall to be used as the new museum. The faculty felt that the museum would help correlate their lessons with the actual objects, giving “visual aids” for the children.

Mrs. Johnson started work on the museum project, and the results were impressive as she was a human “ball of fire” whenever she started something. At 89 Van Buren Avenue, West Hartford, her home had a wonderful collection of objects of great and varied interest.  

The museum slowly grew through the years, and eventually, it was relocated to the old Principal’s brick house on the school grounds. It became the “Cogswell Heritage House” (CHH).  

In 1972, after many years of teaching at ASD, Marion P. Johnson retired to take care of her elderly mother, who passed away in 1979. Unfortunately, she did not live long enough to enjoy her retirement as she died on June 10, 1981, of cancer, at Hartford Hospital. She was buried in the family plot at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford.  




Keep, Reverend John Robinson

Reverend John Robinson Keep

Teacher, 1854-1880

Rev. John Robinson Keep was born in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, on May 22, 1810, the son of Samuel Keep and Anne (Bliss) Keep. He was a descendant of John Keep, one of the first settlers of Longmeadow.

Before attending Yale College, he was prepped at Amherst Academy in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 1834, he graduated from Yale College and taught at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in New York City for a year. He worked as an associate with the principal, Dr. Harvey Prindle Peet, and a teacher, Dr. Frederick A. P. Barnard.

He studied theology at the Yale Theological Seminary. He was expecting to sail as a missionary to China when he was prostrated by an attack of acute inflammation of the eyes, which interrupted all studies for three years. He preached for two years in Unionville, Connecticut, and settled as pastor of the Congregational Church in Franklin, New York, for two years.

In 1842, Rev. Keep married Miss Rebecca Ann Porter of Farmington, Connecticut, daughter of Rev. Noah Porter, Sr., pastor of the Farmington 1st Congregational Church. His brother-in-law, Dr. Noah Porter, Jr., was the 11th President of Yale College, and his sister-in-law, Sarah Porter, was the founder of Miss Porter’s School. His brother-in-law, Samuel Porter, was a deaf teacher at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and a professor at the National Deaf-Mutes College (now Gallaudet University). Rev. Keep and his wife had four children: Robert Porter, William Andrews, Mary, and Elizabeth. During the early part of Mr. Keep’s residence in Hartford, he was an active and valued member of the Center Church.

In 1844, he became pastor of the church in Warren, Connecticut, for nine years. He remained there until 1851, when an attack of varioloid left him with severe bronchial and lung trouble, which compelled him to abandon his work as a minister. His ill health forced him to retire, and he was obliged to give up preaching.

He became an assistant teacher at the Ohio Institution for the Deaf (OID) in Columbus, Ohio, in the autumn of 1852, when the OID Principal, Collins Stone, invited him to join the staff. A year later, he became a teacher at the New York Institution for the second time.

Upon the death of Mr. Luzerne Rae, a teacher at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, in the autumn of 1854, Rev. Keep accepted the invitation to fill in the vacancy of Mr. Rae’s position. He remained in this position until his resignation in 1880, after more than twenty-five years of service. He published “First Lessons for the Deaf and Dumb” and “School Studies.”

Ever since Rev. Keep’s attack of pneumonia ten years previously, he was subject to repeated episodes of illness. He died on Sunday, June 15, 1884, at 74. He was buried at the Longmeadow Cemetery in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.


1868 ASD Faculty and Staff Front row – Third from Left is Rev. John R. Keep


Kennedy, Colonel Henry

Colonel Henry Kennedy

Steward, 1865-1881

Henry Kennedy (hearing) was born in the Burnside district of East Hartford, Connecticut, on April 5, 1819, the son of Samuel Kennedy and Sarah (Osborne) Kennedy.

Colonel Kennedy’s education began in the schools of East Hartford, and among his schoolmates was Governor R. D. Hubbard. For some years, he served as a supernumerary jailor on the Hartford police force and was one of Hartford’s best-known businessmen.

On February 17, 1844, he married Sarah Jane White in Hartford, Connecticut. After the death of his wife, Sarah, in 1875, he married Rebecca Ann Cady, who was assistant matron at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, with Margaret Greenlaw as matron. Both he and Rebecca adopted a daughter, Nellie Jane Kennedy. 

In 1865, he was appointed as a steward at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (ASD), which position he held for sixteen years. While at the Asylum, he was appointed conservator for Leonard Church, who left him his homestead.

After leaving the American Asylum in 1881, he lived for a time on Winthrop Street, Hartford, and moved to the Leonard Church homestead, where he died on March 15, 1899.

He was buried in the Spring Grove Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut, with his two wives beside him.


LeBlond, John "Jack" Arthur

John “Jack” Arthur LeBlond

Teacher, 1968-1974


John  Arthur LeBlond was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. He graduated from Worcester Junior College with an A. A. degree and earned his Bachelor of Science and  Master in Ed. degrees from the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut. 


During his tenure at the American School for the Deaf (ASD), he was a Consumer Education teacher from 1968 to 1974. He also coached in football, basketball, and track & field during the same years, including having served on ASD’s Vocational Advisory Committee and actively participated in the ASD Benefit Golf Tournament.   


On August 28, 1971, he married Susan M. Becker in New Britain, Connecticut. 


His accomplishments included the organizing of the Interpreter Training and Career Education Programs for the Deaf at Northwestern Community College (NWCC) in Winsted, Connecticut. Also, the Total Immersion American Sign Language Program at Camp Hemlock; the expansion of rehabilitation services for deaf adults in the Graham Anthony Rehabilitation Center at ASD, and inter-agency cooperation among numerous service providers like the Board of Education Services for the Blind, the division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Health Services for Handicapped children, to name a few. 


He was nominated as one of the outstanding men in America and named Man of the Year by the U.S. Jaycees. 


He is currently a teacher of Sign Language I in the Department of Education and Human Services at the University of Hartford. 


Loring, George Henry (A)

George Henry Loring

Class of 1825

Student #2


Teacher, 1825-1834

George Henry Loring was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 19, 1808, the son of Elijah Loring And Abigail Rand. He became deaf and blind in one eye from an illness at the age of two and a half. His father, Elijah, was a wealthy Boston merchant banker who worked at Long Wharf in Boston Harbor for many years.


He was the second student enrolled at the newly formed Connecticut Asylum for the Education of Deaf and Dumb Persons in 1817 (later, the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb). At age nine, he was the youngest student in the same class as notable students, Alice Cogswell and John Brewster, Jr.


Thomas H. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc were George’s first teachers, and he was a brilliant scholar. He learned French from Clerc in his spare time and impressed him with his ability to master the language in nine months.


He became the second American-born Deaf teacher at the American Asylum for Deaf and Dumb and taught there for eight years (1825-1834). After his teaching stint, he entered the family business with his father in Boston and lived next door to the former 6th President of the United States, John Quincy Adams. George enjoyed a good friendship with the former President. His third brother, Elijah James Loring, was a Harvard College student who tragically died at sea during a passage to Italy in 1832 at the age of twenty-seven.


On September 13, 1849, he married an Asylum student, Ann Sharp, the daughter of Rev. David Sharp (clergyman) and Ann Cauldwell. Rev. Daniel Sharp was one of the Newton Theological Institutions (Andover Theological Seminary), where Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet graduated in 1814. Rev. Sharp was the first pastor of the Baptist Church on Charles Street in Boston, Massachusetts, for 41 years (1812 to 1853).


In 1838, George taught Lydia Drew, a teacher at the Perkins School for the Blind in South Boston, sign language, and she, in turn, began to use it with her student, Laura Bridgman.  Laura was the first DeafBlind American child to receive a significant education fifty years before Helen Keller. George’s mother, Abigail Rand, and his sister, Abigail Matilda, who died within months of each other, bequeathed $2000 to establish the Loring Fund to provide financial support for Laura Bridgman.


On September 26, 1850, over four hundred American Asylum graduates gathered at the Center Congregational Church in Hartford, Connecticut, to express their admiration and gratitude for their teachers, Thomas H. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc. George gave the address and presented them each with a custom engraved coin silver pitcher and salver.


George served as the “acknowledged” head of the Boston Deaf community and was also active in the Episcopal Church. He died unexpectedly from an illness on March 26, 1852, at the age of forty-four. George is buried in the famed Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.



MacKinnon, George Bazel

George Bazel MacKinnon

Printing Teacher, Coach & Athletic Director, 1965-1984

George Bazel MacKinnon (hearing) was born in Torrington, Connecticut, on December 12, 1928, the son of Austin B. and Gladys (Nelson) MacKinnon. He was a graduate of New York University and Springfield College.

He served during the Korean War in the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1953.

He was a printing instructor, coach, and Athletic Director at ASD for nineteen years. He played golf at the Johnson Air Base course at the Kasumigaseki Country Club during the war, near Tokyo, Japan. He coached Mineo Hoshina and others at ASD. In 1966 golf as a sport began in ASD, which is thought to be the first among deaf schools in the United States. In addition to teaching golf, he was also the basketball head coach for over ten years. He tried a new lacrosse program in 1975, but it was unsuccessful. He started a new girls’ soccer program and was the school’s first girls’ varsity soccer coach from 1977-to 1978. 

He was a member of the Emanuel Lutheran Church, Hartford, Connecticut. He was also a member of the National Trainer’s Association of America.

He married Marjorie Anderson on September 18, 1954, in Hartford, and they had two daughters, Lynn M. Raymer and Nancy J. Whitney.

He died at Hartford Hospital on April 22, 1984, and was buried at Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford, Connecticut.

Marino, Marie Constance (m. Szopa) (A)

Marie Constance Marino (m. Szopa)

Class of 1919 

Student #2905



Marie Constance Marino was born in Middletown, Connecticut, on January 5, 1902, the daughter of Antonio Marino and Giuseppina Bartolotta. Her parents sailed to America from Italy a month after their wedding in 1898. She had eight siblings, two of them who were Deaf, a brother, Joe Marino, and a sister, Anna Marie Fronczek.


Marie, along with her brother and sister enrolled at the American School for the Deaf, and she graduated in 1919. She graduated from the Gallaudet College (now, Gallaudet University) in June 1926 with a Bachelor of Science degree.


She married Edward Joseph Szopa of New Hampshire, who also graduated from ASD (1922) and Gallaudet College (1927) in 1935. Edward taught printing at the Alabama School for the Deaf for several years before moving back to Connecticut, and did linotype work for the Hartford Times before retiring.


Marie taught third through sixth grades, including students with learning disabilities and math at ASD for forty-four years, retiring in 1971. She was known for her enormous patience, and would refer to former students as “her kids,” taking pride in their successes. Marie considered herself a lifelong learner and believed that deaf children should always keep on reading and learning.


She was the 2nd Vice President of the American School for the Deaf Alumni Association (ASDAA) for two years (1950-1952) and the 1st Vice President for a year (1953-1954).


She and her husband, Edward, served the ASDAA and other organizations of the Deaf faithfully for many years. They received a plaque from the ASDAA honoring their long and active service to the Deaf in 1981.


After Edward passed away in 1987, Marie moved to Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1991. She died in Beaufort on December 22, 1995, and is buried at the Rose Hill Memorial Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, next to her husband.

Class of 1919: Marie Marino Szopa second from left next to her sister, Anna


Honored with a plaque from ASDAA for their years of service



Martone, Mary Ellen (A)

Mary Ellen Marto

Class of 1969

Student #4386 



Mary Ellen Martone was born on November 4, 1953, in Waterbury, Connecticut, the daughter of Charles Martone and Anne Lynch. She lost her hearing at the age of two due to an undiagnosed illness.


She graduated from the American School for the Deaf in 1969, along with two other notable graduates, Marie Jean Philip and Dr. Susan (Mozzer) Mather.


Mary earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Psychology from Gallaudet University in 1973. She worked for the Federal Government for four years before returning to Gallaudet University to work toward a Master’s degree in Deaf Education with a specialization in Secondary English.


She taught high school English teacher at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) for nine years and was also the Summer Program Coordinator of the Gallaudet Honors Program.


She was a principal at the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf, Portland, Maine, since July 2001. At the time of her death, she was the high school principal at the New York School for the Deaf (Fanwood), White Plains, New York.


Mary was highly regarded in her profession and remembered fondly by her former students, teachers, and staff members as a hardworking teacher who was dedicated to her students. 


She adopted a daughter from India.


Mary died from SARS on March 23, 2010.


McMahon, June Ellen Rothenberg

June Ellen (Rothenberg) McMahon

Teacher & Assistant Principal,  1965-1984; 1974-1977 & 1982-2003

June Ellen Rothenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1952, to deaf parents, Lilly Rattner Shirey and Bernard Rothenberg. She attended Public School 47 from 1955 to 1963. It was an oral school, and in 1963, June started going to public schools. She attended Gallaudet University and graduated in 1974. June has a master’s degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College. She also has certification in Educational Leadership from the Central Connecticut State College.

After graduation, she worked at Camp Isola Bella and in the Boatner Building dormitory for three years. She worked in the Bridgeport public schools for five years, teaching elementary, middle, and High School. In 1982 she returned to the American School for the Deaf and became one of the first staff members working in the PACES program.

After teaching in the PACES program, June started working as an assistant principal in the Upper School from 1990 to 2003. During that time, June met her husband Robert, and when he retired, they moved to Boynton Beach, Florida. June taught in public schools there and retired in 2008.

June enjoyed being an advisor to the Junior National Association of the Deaf and bringing students to conferences. She was also a class advisor.

June was active in the Deaf community and was secretary of the Greater Hartford Club of the Deaf. She also was president of the Connecticut Association of the Deaf.

June was married to Bob for 35 years, and they traveled and enjoyed their retirement in Florida. Bob passed away in October 2020.

June is involved in different organizations in Florida: the Florida Association of the Deaf, Palm Beach County Association of the Deaf, and Broward County Association of the Deaf. She served on the Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) national board and is the president of the Florida chapter of the GUAA.

She enjoyed working at the American School for the Deaf.

Miller, Katherine "Kathy" Louise (m. Darby) (A)

Katherine “Kathy” Louise Miller (m. Darby) Class of 1963

Student #3993



Kathy Louise Miller was born on June 6, 1944, in a naval base hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, the daughter of William Curtis Miller, Jr. and Jean Larson. The family moved to East Hartford, next to the Greater Hartford Club of the Deaf.


She enrolled at the American School for the Deaf when she was two and a half years old and graduated in 1963.  Her deaf brother, Wesley Miller, graduated from ASD in 1970.  


A supervising teacher at ASD strongly advised Kathy’s mother not to let her attend Gallaudet College, so to qualify for Willimantic State College (WSC), she had to take a year of high school courses at South Windsor High School before enrolling at WSC. After a year and a half, the Dean of Students at WSC had the foresight to convince Kathy’s mother to let her transfer to Gallaudet.  Kathy lost no time in getting to Gallaudet and graduated in 1968. She received her Master’s in Deaf Education at Western Maryland College. 


She taught junior and high school students for over thirty years and was a work experience coordinator at ASD for about 12 years until her retirement. After her retirement, she taught deaf children in Saipan, CNMI, for two years. 


For several years, Kathy and her husband, Al Darby, taught Driver’s Safety classes in Connecticut and other states for AARP.  She also helped to teach Deaf consumers how to use their mobile phones for Sprint Relay.


Kathy received a Special Recognition Award for her excellent standard of performance and training of ASD students who participated in the Work Experience Program. Her award recipient was selected by the State Leadership Council, a statewide group of professionals who worked in CWE/DO areas and met regularly to provide direction to the state association.


Her hobbies include bowling, crafts, reading, crocheting, sewing, hiking, kayaking, and traveling.  Kathy also served as an officer in the following organizations, the New England Deaf Women Bowling Association, the National Deaf Women Bowling Association, and the Greater Hartford Club of the Deaf as secretary and treasurer.


She was married to Al Darby, an ASD alumnus who passed away in 2017, and has two sons and seven grandchildren


Kathy spends many hours volunteering at the Cogswell Heritage House and working on the ASD Pioneers website. She was elected an ASD corporate member in 2014, and has been on the Board of Directors since 2016.


Moran, John Dominick Sr. (A)

John Dominick Moran, Sr.

Class of 1907

Student #2635


Founder & Coach of First Men’s Basketball Team at ASD

John Dominick Moran, Sr. was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on August 9, 1889, the son of John D. and Mary Moran. He lost his hearing from spinal meningitis at the age of four.


He attended the American Asylum for the Deaf and as a seventeen-year-old student, organized the school’s first men’s basketball team and became its coach. The team won six games and lost three that first year.  John graduated from the Asylum in 1907.


He was first employed as a building contractor working with his father, and later he worked at Landers, Frary & Clark, a housewares company based in New Britain.


John was dedicated to basketball coaching, and he organized the first Connecticut Silent Five basketball team. He coached the ASD basketball team in 1909-1910 (10 wins and 4 losses) and 1910-1911 (17 wins and 5 losses).


He had an active hand in chartering several state chapters of the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf. He also served as president, secretary, and trustee of the Deaf-Mutes Benevolent Society of Connecticut.


John was the first president of the newly formed ASD Alumni Association in 1914. He was also president of the New England Gallaudet Association of Deaf-Mutes in 1920 and 1940.


He married Caroline E. Cox, and they had a son, John Moran, Jr. and a daughter, Marie (Moran), Snyder. They resided in Bloomfield, Connecticut, for thirty-two years.


John died in Bloomfield, Connecticut, on October 17, 1957, at the age of sixty-eight.


Morales, Milmaglyn (A)

Milmaglyn Morales

Class of 1998

Student #5698

Teacher & Principal

Milmaglyn Morales was born in Puerto Rico and came to Connecticut when she was 2½ years old and, at the age of 3, she was enrolled at ASD. Upon graduating in 1998, she entered Gallaudet College in September 1998, but, in 2000, she was transferred to Naugatuck Valley Community College, in Waterbury, CT, to obtain her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. After that, she went to the University of Hartford, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2005. In 2009, she also received her Master’s Degree at Central Connecticut State University. In addition to her extensive education, she received her 6th Year Educational Leadership Certificate in May 2021, and a Certificate Visual Communication Sign Language Evaluation, which involved interpreting and consulting.   

At ASD, she started as a Teacher Aide/PACES Residential Counselor, and later became a 1st Grade teacher in 2005. In the fall of 2008, she moved to Massachusetts, where she got a job as Preschool Teacher at Early Childhood Center at the Learning Center for the Deaf. In 2012, she returned to ASD to teach in PACES, and then, in 2021 as a Preschool Teacher. In the fall of 2022, she started teaching at the Learning Center for the Deaf at Marie Philip School’s Early Childhood Center as  in West Hartford, CT as Principal.

She currently is an evaluator for the quality assurance screening program at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where she screens interpreters. She has worked in the Education field for 26 years, and since 2011, she has been a certified Deaf interpreter involved in mentoring, teaching, and interpreting ASL. She also has served on the NAD Board as Secretary as well as the Signs and Smiles Board as a Board Member. In addition to her busy schedule, she has been involved in two different non-profit organizations: Connecticut Association of the Deaf and Council de Manos. 

She and her husband, Curt Hayward, are proud parents of three daughters and two bonus daughters: Farah, Breena, Mia, Sofia, and Baylee, who all are hearing children of Deaf Adults (CODA).  Her husband is currently the Culinary Arts teacher at ASD.   


Left to right: Milmaglyn Morales, Farah, Brenna, Mia, Sofia, Baylee and Curt Hayward. Farah is now an ASL interpreter and working for Interpak Interpreting Agency in Rochester, NY, Brenna is a student at Keene State University studying to become a teacher, Mia and Sofia are juniors in high school, and Baylee is a 3rd grader.


Noyes, Reverend Jonathan Lovejoy & Eliza Hall Wadsworth Noyes

Reverend Jonathan Lovejoy Noyes

Teacher, 1860-1866

Rev. Jonathan Lovejoy Noyes (hearing) was born in Windham, New Hampshire, on June 13, 1827, the son of James Noyes and Abigail Read (Lovejoy) Noyes. He attended the renowned Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1852, he graduated from Yale College. 

Jonathan taught at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb for six years and at the Louisiana School for the Deaf for two years. He taught at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb from 1860 to 1866. He became the second superintendent of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf, which he headed for thirty years. 

In 1887, he was a member of the No–Yes Society, which held the tradition of debate and interpretation. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Gallaudet College in 1889. 

He married Eliza Hall Wadsworth in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 21, 1862. He died at home on October 2, 1905, at the age of 78, and was buried in the Maple Lawn Cemetery, Faribault, Minnesota. 

Eliza Hall Wadsworth  Noye

Teacher, 1855-1862

His wife, Eliza, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on December 26, 1836, the daughter of Oliver Wadsworth and Roxanna (Isham) Wadsworth. Eliza’s father was a descendant of Colonel Joseph Wadsworth of the Charter Oak fame and William Wadsworth, one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut. 

She and Rev. Jonathan Noyes had two children: Hattie and Alice Wadsworth (Noyes) Smith. Hattie died in infancy. 

Mrs. Noyes taught at the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb for seven years (1855-1862), and she was the first teacher of articulation in the United States. Her daughter, Alice, taught at Minnesota School for the Deaf for ten years. 

Eliza Noyes passed away in Los Angeles, California, on October 28, 1927, at the age of 91.



Orr, Reverend Isaac

Reverend Isaac Orr

Teacher, 1818-1824

Reverend Isaac Orr (hearing) was born in Bedford, New Hampshire, on June 26, 1792, the son of Honorable John Orr and Sarah (Houston) Orr. He was a graduate of Yale College in 1818.

 He taught at two schools for the deaf, the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb at Hartford, Connecticut, 1818-1824, and the Central Asylum for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb at Canajoharie, New York. 

Isaac married Mary Morris, and they had three sons: Edward, Henry, and Morris. After the death of his wife Mary, he remarried Matilda H. Kidder and they had two sons, Samuel and a second Samuel. 

In 1836 and 1842, he was an inventor of an air-tight, sheet-iron, and wood-burning stove.

Subsequently, he entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church and became a preacher in Tyngsborough and Amherst, Massachusetts. He also served as City Missionary in Washington, D. C. He was a member of the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences.  

Orr served for some years as a secretary of the African Education Society in New York and edited a publication devoted to the advancement of that cause. He lived for a time at Medford, Massachusetts, and returned to Amherst, Massachusetts.

Reverend Orr died in Amherst, Massachusetts, on April 28, 1944, and was buried at the West Cemetery in the same town.


Isaac Orr’s Original Patent Drawing


Palka, Dennis Thomas (A)

Dennis Thomas Palka

Class of 1971

Student #4566 



Dennis Thomas Palka was born in East Hartford, Connecticut, on May 6, 1954, the son of Albina Chilvin and Joseph Louis Palka. He had a deaf sister, Ursula (Palka) Tiberio. 


Dennis attended the American School for the Deaf until his graduation in 1971. He went on to Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. for his B.A. degree and then to Western Maryland College, where he obtained his Master’s degree in Education of the Deaf.


After graduation, he returned to ASD in 1977 to begin a long and illustrious career as a teacher. He taught Mathematics to younger and older deaf students, was a well-respected athletic coach, a union federation president, and liaison for deaf international students attending the school. 


He was a chairperson for the ASD Alumni Association chapter preparing for the school’s 200th anniversary in 2017. He was very active as a leader in the local and national Deaf community, most notably as President of the Hartford Club of the Deaf. Dennis lived most of his life in East Hartford before moving to Bolton and finally to West Hartford. 


Dennis loved the American School for the Deaf, where he grew up as a student and continued to grow when he returned as a teacher, known by all for his infectious humor and smile. A proud man, Dennis expected and wanted only the best from and for his students. He was a winner of numerous awards for his leadership and athletic coaching. 


He passed away suddenly on March 25, 2016, from complications of routine heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. He is buried in the Silver Lane Cemetery in East Hartford, Connecticut. 



The ASD softball field was named the “Dennis T. Palka Softball Field” in honor of Dennis.

Peet, Dr. Harvey Prindle

Dr. Harvey Prindle Peet, L.L.D.

Instructor & Steward, 1824-1831

Dr. Harvey Prindle Peet (hearing) was born in the little town of Bethlehem, Connecticut, on November 19, 1795, the son of Richard Peet and Joanna (Prindle) Peet. Upon graduating from Yale College in 1822, he became an instructor at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut. In 1824, he became the steward of the school.

His granddaughter and the only daughter of Isaac Peet, Elizabeth Peet, held jobs as a teacher at a deaf school, professor, and dean of women at Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University). Gallaudet College renamed a dorm Elizabeth Peet Residence Hall in her honor.

In 1849, Peet received his L.L.D. Degree from the Regents of the University of the State of New York, and his Ph.D. honorary degree from the National Deaf-Mute College in 1871.

After Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet retired in 1831, Peet was appointed as the principal of the New York Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb in New York City and served for 36 years. He resigned from the principalship in 1868 but was Emeritus Principal until he died in 1873. Later, his son Isaac L. Peet became the successful principal of the same institution in 1868.

On November 27, 1823, Peet married Margaret Maria Lewis, the daughter of Rev. Isaac Lewis, and they had three sons, Isaac, Edward, Dudley, and Catherine, who died in infancy.

His wife died in 1832, and he married Sarah Ann Smith in 1835. She died in 1863 in Hartford. Dr. Peet married for the third time to Louisa Hotchkiss in 1868 in Manhattan, New York. 

His eldest son, Isaac Lewis Peet, was also a graduate of Yale College in 1845. He and his brother, Dudley Peet, were professors at the New York Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb in New York City. Isaac Peet’s wife, Mary (Toles) Peet, was deaf.

Dr. Peet died on January 1, 1873 and was buried at the Spring Grove Cemetery in Hartford, Connecticut.

Peterson, Dr. Paul C.

Dr. Paul C. Peterson

Teacher & Coach, 1955-1975

Paul C. Peterson (hearing) was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1932, the second son of Oscar A. and Margaret Peterson. He graduated from Kensington High School in Buffalo in 1950. Paul graduated from Buffalo State Teachers’ College, and in 1955, Paul graduated from Gallaudet College with an M.S. degree in education of the Deaf. He received his Ph.D. degree in Educational Technology for the Deaf at Syracuse University in 1971. He has a deaf brother, Don, who was a chemistry professor at Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University).

He joined the American School for the Deaf faculty as a Geography and Social Studies teacher and coach in the autumn of 1955. He had been the High School Principal in 1965 for three years when he left for NTID in Rochester, New York.

The 1966 “The American” yearbook was dedicated to him for his devotion to intellectual and physical improvements as a teacher, supervising teacher, wrestling coach, and driver-training instructor. He ran ASD’s Summer Correspondence School for the second year and reported much success with the program. He was also an assistant coach of the boy’s wrestling team, founded by David H. Halberg in 1953.

Mr. Peterson was a Math Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf NTID) from 1968 to 1996. He taught at NTID from 1968 to 1996. He received the NTID Recipient of the Eisenhardt Award for outstanding teaching in 1988-1989.

He is currently residing in Rochester, New York, with his wife, Maryjane. He has a son, Neil, from a previous marriage.

Porter, Samuel

Samuel Porter

Teacher, 1833-1837 & 1847-1861


Samuel Porter (hearing) was born in Farmington, Connecticut, on January 18, 1810, the son of Rev. Noah Porter, Sr., D.D., L.L.D., and Mehitable “Hetty” (Meigs) Porter. Rev. Noah Porter, Sr. was one of the first ministers of the First Church of Christ in Farmington, Connecticut, and was an abolitionist, supporting the “Amistad” ship survivors. His ancestors were Robert and Thomas Porter, who settled in Farmington in 1640. 


Samuel’s sister, Sarah Porter, was the founder of Miss Porter’s School for young women, where U.S. First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, graduated in 1947.  His brother, Dr. Noah Porter, Jr., was the 11th President of Yale University (1871-1886), and his sister, Rebecca (Porter) Keep’s husband, John R. Keep, taught at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (1854-1880). 


He graduated from Yale College in 1829, where he studied theology, and later, he became partially deaf, forcing him to give up the ministry. 


Samuel was an instructor of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb for four years (1833-1837). In 1837, he became an instructor at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb for ten years (1837-1847). In 1847 Samuel returned to the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, where he taught until 1861.


After Mr. Luzerne Rae, who was the first editor of the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb, created in October 1847, left, Samuel became the editor of the American Annals of the Deaf and Dumb for the next six years (1854-1860).


In 1866, he was a professor of Mental Science and English Philosophy of the National Deaf-Mute College, (now, Gallaudet University), and in 1884, Samuel was made Professor Emeritus of the college, a position he enjoyed that distinction until he died in 1901.


Samuel Porter was noted to be one of the most widely known teachers of the deaf.  


He died at his home on September 3, 1901, at the age of 91, of gradual decline from advanced age. He was interred in Riverside Cemetery in Farmington, Connecticut, where he lies among his Porter ancestors.

Samuel’s brother, Dr. Noah Porter, Jr,   11th President of Yale University (1871-1886)


Samuel’s sister, Sarah Porter, A founder of the Miss Porter’s School



Rae, Reverend Luzerne

Reverend Luzerne Rae

Teacher, 1831-1838 and 1839-1854

Luzerne Rae was born in New Haven, CT on December 22, 1811. He was the only son of Joel Rae and Harriet Fitch. He was baptized on March 8, 1812 with his first name was his father’s middle name was Joel Luzerne Rae. He changed the spelling of his last name from Ray to Rae.

He graduated from Yale College in 1831. After graduation, He was a teacher of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (ASD) for 22 years (1831-1838 )and (1839-1854).

During this period he also studied theology, and was licensed to preach by the Hartford South Association.

He left the ASD, he engaged to fill for one year the office of chaplain to the State Hospital for the Insane in Worcester, Massachusetts; but on the expiration of this term he returned to the Hartford Institution, and was employed for the rest of his life in advanced teaching and in editorial labor.

From January, 1843, to January, 1847, he edited a weekly newspaper, the Religious Herald

He was a first hearing editor and writer in the first article of the first issue called the “American Annals of the Deaf” from 1848 till 1854 and it was continued by him through six volumes.

He was a graceful and forcible writer as well as an enthusiastic teacher. For many years he was collecting materials for a history of New England, but did not prepare any part of his manuscript for publication.

He married Martha Corbin Whiteside, elder daughter of Thomas J. and Sophia (Moore) Whiteside, of Champlain, Clinton County, New York, who died at her brother’s house in Champlain, on August 7, 1852, at the age of 34. Their children were two sons and one daughter.

He died in Hartford very suddenly, from an epileptic attack on September 16, 1854 in his 43d year.

He is buried at the Glenwood Cemetery, Champlain, New York.



Rakow, Jules Pierre & Lillian Gourley Rakow

Jules Pierre Rakow

Vocational Supervisor, 1937-1963

Jules Pierre Rakow was born in Germany on March 11, 1903, as Julius Rakowsky, the son of Joseph and Sadie Rakowsky (later changed to Rakow), who came from Poland. At the age of fourteen, he became deaf from a nerve injury. Jules attended the P.S. (Public School) 47 School for the Deaf in New York City for one and a half years and then transferred to the Evander Childs High School, Bronx, New York. He was a graduate of New York University. He became a partner in a typewriter agency in New York City, where he gained broad business experience.

He married Lillian M. Gourley, born in Ontario, Illinois, on August 11, 1906, as Margaret Lillian Gourley, the daughter of Joseph and Emma Gourley, who both came from Ireland. Lillian graduated from the Michigan School for the Deaf and from Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) with a B.S. degree in 1928. In 1926, she won the Washington, D.C. beauty contest for redheads. She taught at the South Dakota School for the Deaf and served as a librarian at the Hispanic Museum in New York City. 

He and his wife came to the American School for the Deaf, West Hartford, Connecticut, in 1937, where he was a Vocational Supervisor and Placement Officer at the school, a position he held until his retirement in 1963. At the same time, Lillian began to work as a librarian and instructor in the typing and business classes, and she also retired in 1963.

Jules was a founder of the Connecticut Association of the Deaf (which languished during the World War II years due to transportation difficulties).

In 1951, he learned how to caption films and persuaded people in the film industry to allow captioning of their products, and eventually, he became a technical director. He visited with Emerson Romero to study Emerson’s techniques. Jules and Lillian, with the support of the Hartford Junior League, began to caption pilot films at ASD. Dr. Boatner, then superintendent at ASD, helped bring the appropriate bills before Congress for Federal funding. Consequently, Mr. Romero was recognized as a pioneer who helped to establish the Captioned Films for the Deaf programs.

Lillian Gourley Rakow

Librarian & Vocational Teacher, 1937-1963

Mrs. Rakow died in March 1965 of cancer in Hartford, Connecticut. Mr. Rakow moved to Miami, Florida, where he remarried in 1968 and again in 1971. He died on August 11, 1979, in Miami, Florida, at the age of 76, survived by an adopted daughter, Irene.       

Lillian Gourley Rakow Creative Writing Award:  Established in 1982 with a gift from the estate of Jules Pierre Rakow in memory of his wife, Lillian. The fund provides an annual award to a sophomore, junior, and senior with demonstrated creative writing ability. Winners are selected based on a portfolio submitted to the English Department and evaluated by a select committee.

Rarus, Nancy G. Bloom

Nancy G. (Bloom) Rarus

Teacher, 1962-1977

Nancy G. Bloom was born on January 29, 1943, in New Jersey, the daughter of Edgar Bloom, Jr. and Martha (Bauerle). Upon graduation from the New Jersey School for the Deaf in 1958, she attended Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) and graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. She received a Master of Arts degree in Education Administration in 1974 from California State University at Northridge (CSUN).

From 1962 to 1977, Nancy taught English at the American School for the Deaf. After her tenure there, she moved to Arizona, where she became a principal at the Arizona School for the Deaf, a position she held for 11 years (1977-1988). While in Arizona, Nancy served on a Block Grants Committee for the Tucson City Council. In 1988, she returned to Virginia and was on the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Task Force (VDDHH), where she improved the Virginia Relay Service. Nancy also served as the Secretary of the Virginia Association of the Deaf (VAD) for six years. For her tenure at VAD, she received the Distinguished Service Award in 1999.  

Before Nancy became principal of the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School in 1991, she taught in the Education Department at Gallaudet University for one year. In 1997, she became the Associate Executive Director for Programs at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and retired in October 2003. She has been a member of NAD since 1973 and served on the NAD Board and various committees from 1986 to 1990.

She had two children, Tim and Kim, with her former husband, ASD Alumni Frank A. Rarus. Tim was one of the four student leaders of the “Deaf President Now” protest at Gallaudet University in 1988 and is currently the Vice-President of Inside Sales for ZVRS/CSDVRS in Austin, Texas. He and his wife, Brandi, adopted a Deaf baby girl to add to their family of three hearing sons. Kim teaches at the Elementary Dept. at the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, Texas. She and her husband have two children, 5th generation Deaf in her family, beginning with Nancy’s Deaf grandparents in New Jersey.

Nancy was Secretary and President of the Deaf Seniors of America (DSA), positions she has held from 2003 until her retirement in 2019. She was an active member of the Fairfax Church of Christ’s Ministry and previously a member of the Lutheran and Episcopalian Churches. For some time, Nancy resided in Herndon, Virginia, with her two beloved pugs, Adam and Eve. In 2022, she moved to Texas to be nearer to her family. Since her retirement, her favorite pastimes have been reading, stained glass painting, needlepoint, traveling, and spending time with her two children and six grandchildren.


Rinaldi, Anna Maria Dorothy (A)

Anna Maria Dorothy Rinaldi

Class of 1962

Student #3958



Anna Maria Dorothy Rinaldi was born on April 13, 1943, in Waterbury, Connecticut, the daughter of Angelo and Ida (Ferri) Rinaldi.


She enrolled at the American School for the Deaf in 1946 and graduated in 1962. She was a pupil reporter of the Hartford Courant newspaper and wrote many articles about ASD. She was awarded a certificate for outstanding writing.


Anna enrolled Gallaudet College in 1962 and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She taught reading and history at the American School for the Deaf for two years. While at ASD, she implemented the annual Senior Prom. In 1973, she took on the position of Coordinator of Career Programming for the Deaf in Salem, Oregon, and also worked at the Portland Community College. Several years later, she became the Coordinator, ITP (Interpreter Training Program) at the Dekalb Community College in Clarkston, Georgia. She developed curriculum and instruction for interpreter training and presented on resources for Deaf culture. 


One significant feat Anna is proud of is that she climbed Mt. Hood in Oregon in 1985.


Moving back to her beloved Connecticut, Anna worked as an assistant professor of Deaf Studies in the Languages Department at Northwestern Connecticut Community College in Winsted, Connecticut, until her retirement in 2009.


She was the first recipient in 1985 of the prestigious Mary Stotler Award established to recognize people who have made significant contributions to the field of interpreting and interpreter education. She was the first Deaf person to be on the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Board.  Currently, Anna is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI).



Rockwell, Walter Clinton (A)

Walter Clinton Rockwell

Class of 1909

Student #2693


Teacher, Coach & Athletic Director

Walter Clinton Rockwell was born on July 18, 1892, in Hartford, Connecticut, the same year as the 75th Anniversary of the American School for the Deaf. He was the son of John Warner Rockwell and Carrie K. Jones.


He enrolled at the American School for the Deaf (Old Hartford) in 1898 and graduated in 1909. He excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. A hero outside of athletics as well, he once received a gold medal for rescuing a girl from the Potomac River in 1910.


Walter attended Gallaudet College (now Gallaudet University) and graduated in 1916 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He was one of the greatest athletes at Gallaudet College, starring in all three major sports, football, basketball, and baseball at Kendall Green. His Gallaudet football team scored a winning game 103-0 against Baltimore (Md.) City College on October 18, 1913. Connie Mack, a well-known manager of the Philadelphia Athletics of the Major League Baseball (MLB), was impressed Rockwell’s steady performance in baseball and offered him a tryout in MLB baseball.


He was the most famous athlete to come out of the “Old Hartford” School. Many believed Walter paved the way for the Deaf to compete with hearing students in any sport. He was a leader and playmaker that inspired his generation to excel in sports and was considered the greatest all-around athlete at Gallaudet College. He received an offer to play with the Philadelphia Athletics but turned it down because he preferred to play with Deaf athletes. As a coach, from 1935-1941, his teams were considered the best in Hartford County. He was inducted to the National Athletic Hall of Fame AAAD in 1955.


At ASD, Walter was the carpentry teacher, coach, and Athletic Director for 41 years. Retiring in 1957, Walter received a silver serving tray as a gift in a testimonial dinner at the Hotel Bond for his longest service of coaching. Joseph Marino, the chairperson of the event and ASD Executive Director, Dr. Edmund B. Boatner, presented him with the gift. Dr. Boatner named its gymnasium/vocational building in honor of Walter C. Rockwell.


He was the Vice President of J. H. Rockwell & Sons Company, Inc., a wood box factory in Hartford, Connecticut. His salary was $5,000 a year. His brother, John W. Rockwell, was the President/Treasurer of the company.


Walter was a member of ASDAA, Gallaudet College Alumni (Washington, D.C.), and St. Paul’s Mission for the Deaf (West Hartford).


He married Miriam Caroline Flenner, and they had a son, Walter Gordon Rockwell and two daughters, Elizabeth R. (Rockwell) Allen and Carolyn R. (Rockwell) Jones.


Walter was the first to be inducted in the ASDAA Athletic Hall of Fame in the American School for the Deaf when Steve Borsotti established the ASDAA Hall of Fame in 1989.


His wife, Miriam, died in Hartford on June 7, 1988, at the age of ninety. Walter died in West Hartford on June 9, 1992, at the age of ninety-nine, and is buried at the Mountain View Cemetery in Bloomfield, Connecticut.


Assistant Coach Henry J. Krostoski, ASD football player David Halberg and Head Coach Walter C. Rockwell


ASD dedicates its new gymnasium to him six months later. His formal portrait is presented to ASD in 1968, and is proudly displayed in the museum.



Walter C. Rockwell, ASD oldest Athlete Hall of Fame inductee in 1989


ASDAA Hall of Fame chairperson, Steven Borsotti gives a certificate to Walter C. Rockwell.



Soboleski, Luisa

Luisa Gasco-Soboleski

Teacher, 1979-2017

Luisa Gasco (m. Soboleski), a Philadelphia, PA native, grew up in the public school system as a third generation Deaf. She graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a Bachelor’s Art degree and later obtained her Master of Education degree in Deaf Education from Temple University. Then, she earned a 6th year Education Leadership degree from Central Connecticut University. She has taught at the American School for the Deaf for many years before becoming a principal. Upon her retirement in 2017, she taught a few ASL courses at the University of Connecticut.  Luisa also worked as a consultant in the Secondary Department at Marie Phillip School in Framingham, MA three days a week in the fall of 2021. 

During her years at ASD, she gave several workshops for parents and staff, starting the.  “Together We Read Program” in 1999 where she coordinated and worked with families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children with reading, teaching deaf culture and working with communication.  Also, she started the Marie Philip ASL Competition at ASD in 1999 and has been an advocate for deaf, deaf, blind, and hard of hearing children during her years at ASD.  She joined the ASD team, in which they gave a presentation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and participated in Clerc Celebration in France. During her teaching years in the high school department, she was a Jr. NAD advisor, year book advisor and class advisor.  After leaving ASD on a leave to raise her two Deaf children, she continued with Jr. NAD as advisor. 

Luisa is currently President of the Connecticut Association of the Deaf and has been involved with various task forces including FEMA 15, Diverse Community Task Force, Alliance and Legislative Advocacy Committees, working with Disability Rights of Connecticut and Connecticut Hospitals Association, serving on Advisory Board for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (Connecticut), Vice President of Connecticut Hands & Voices, Member of Connecticut Senior Citizens and New England Senior Citizens. She is also an advocate for the deaf/hard of hearing and deaf/blind. She has given many presentations to the community on various topics, and hospitals/nursing homes to help to work with deaf, deaf/blind, and hard of hearing patients.  She is also on the Disability Rights Connecticut Board as well as the Advisory Board for the Collegiate Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program.

Luisa and her husband, Richard Soboleski [ASD Class of 1962] are proud parents of two children: Stuart and Marisa, and grandparents of four (three are deaf) grandchildren and enjoy visiting them in the Southwest, traveling with her husband, “Sobo”, attending University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball games, crafting and cooking.


Stansbury, Reverand Abraham Ogier

Reverend Abraham Ogier Stansbury

First Steward, 1817-1818

Abraham Ogier Stansbury (hearing) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 18, 1776, the son of Joseph Stansbury and Sarah (Ogier). His family moved to New York City when he was four years old. 

He was a merchant, publisher, educator, letterpress inventor, and Presbyterian minister throughout his life and was the first person to make a lithograph in New York City. He was also a pastor of the Presbyterian Church for some time in New Fairfield, Connecticut. He wrote some letters to the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, from 1814-to 1816.  

He married Martha Kerwood of Bile’s Hill, Pennsylvania, on January 18, 1799.

Rev. Stansbury was the first hearing family guardian or steward at the Connecticut Asylum for the Education of Deaf and Dumb Persons. He held that position at the Old Bennett’s City Hotel for one year. Samuel Whittlesey and his wife Abigail were hired to take his place. He moved to New York, where he became the first superintendent or steward of the New York Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, remaining there until 1821. In May of 1821, he departed for Europe. 

He passed away on April 30, 1829, in his 53rd year, at South East, Putnam County, New York, and was buried in the Old Southeast Church cemetery. The epitaph on his tombstone is in Latin, which translates “to a pastor and a worker with the deaf and dumb.”      


Letterpress invented by Dr. Abraham O. Stansbury

The Descendants of John Stansbury of Leominster” by Frederick H. Wines, pub. 1895, pp. 16-17

Stone, Dr. George Frederick

Dr. George Frederick Stone

Teacher, 1880-1923

George Frederick Stone (hearing) was born on May 29, 1847, in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Rev. Collins Stone and Ellen Jane (Gill) Stone. His father was the third superintendent of the Ohio Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in Columbus, Ohio, and the fourth principal of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut.

He graduated from Hartford Public High School, Hartford, Connecticut, and attended Sheffield Scientific School in 1866, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. In 1870, he earned his Ph.D. from Yale University.

His Yale classmates included Edward C. Stone (brother), Job Williams (brother-in-law), Henry L. Williams, his nephews Arthur C. Williams, Edward C. Stone, Charles G. Williams, and Frederic C. Gleason.


Storrs, Richard Salter III

Richard Salter Storrs III

Teacher, 1866-1884

Richard Salter Storrs III (hearing) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on September 29, 1830, the  son of Eleazar Williams Storrs and Lucy Colton. He was named after his grandfather, Rev. Richard Salter Storrs. His deaf sister, Sarah, was named after her grandmother, Sarah Williams Storrs. His grandfather, Rev. Richard Salter Storrs, was a descendent of the Rev. Richard Mather, who was the father of Increase Mather, and grandfather to Rev. Cotton Mather. 

He was educated at Williston Seminary, Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he was fitted for Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1852 with the highest honors.

He was the first hearing professor at the National Deaf-Mutes College (1864-1866) under President Dr. Edward M. Gallaudet. He taught Linguistics, but in 1865, he assumed the chair of Mental Science and English Philology. While he was in college, he taught John B. Hotchkiss and Melville Ballard. He retired in 1866 due to health issues.

In 1866, he became an instructor at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (Old Hartford) and continued to teach until he died in 1884. His deaf sister, Sarah Williams Storrs, (1832-1907), was a pupil, and later, a teacher at the same school.

He died at Longmeadow, Massachusetts, on August 30, 1884, aged 53 years. His sister, Sarah W. Storrs, died on October 13, 1907.Both of them were interred in the family plot in Longmeadow Cemetery. Sarah W. Storrs left all her real estate and money to be used to establish a library to be named the Richard Salters Storrs Library in honor of her brother. The Longmeadow Historical Society was founded and housed in the Storrs homestead, built-in 1786, which Sarah had bequeathed to the society in her will. It is still active as a museum. 

Dr. Stone married Miss Mary Horsford Tryon (1856-1940) in Rochester, New York, on July 1, 1885. They had the following children: Janet T. (1889-1950), Rachel Norton (1891-1948),  Mary Tryon (1892-1951), and a son Tryon who died young.

He died of angina pectoris in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 21, 1927, at the age of 80 years, and was interred in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford, CT.

Storrs, Sarah Williams (A)

Sarah Williams Storrs

Class of 1852

Student #776

Teacher, 1854-1871

Sarah Williams Storrs was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on September 5, 1832, and became deaf from whooping cough at the age of one. She was the daughter of Eleazer Williams and Lucy (Cotton) Storrs and the descendant of a family of distinguished merchants and pastors. Her mother, Lucy, was a descendant of the American Asylum’s first Board President, John Cotton Smith.

She enrolled at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1844 and graduated in 1854 with excellence in her classes.

Sarah taught at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb for seventeen years. She had a hearing brother, Richard Salter Storrs III, an Amherst College graduate who taught at the Asylum for thirty-one years. He was also the first professor at the National Deaf-Mute College (now Gallaudet University), teaching for two years before returning to Connecticut. 

Sarah and her family lived at the Storrs Homestead, a handsome white clapboard structure of Georgian colonial design, in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, built in 1786 by her grandfather, Rev. Richard Salter Storrs. She bequeathed the historic Storrs House, land, and $5000 to the town to establish a library in Longmeadow to “perpetuate the memory of a name dear to my family for three generations.” 

She died on October 13, 1907, and is buried at the Longmeadow Cemetery in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Faculty, 1869: Mary Mann, Mrs. Cierc, Mrs. White, Nancy Dillingham, Margaret Greenlaw. Second row: Mabel Bartlett, Mrs. Cady, Clara Seavrus, Sarah Storrs, Mary Haskell

The Storrs House Museum


Sullivan, James Alvin (A)

James Alvin Sullivan

Class of 1911

Student #2733


James Alvin Sullivan was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on December 5, 1892, the son of John and Johanna Sullivan.  He lost his hearing from spinal meningitis at the age of six. 

He attended American School for the Deaf in 1899 and graduated in 1911. He went to New Haven Hillhouse High school for a year to prepare for Gallaudet College.

James graduated from Gallaudet College in 1917 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He studied law at Yale University for a year and left due to his father’s health issues. His former Yale University classmates were the U.S. House of Representative, Albert William Cretella, State of Connecticut Attorney, Albert S. Bill, Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court (1963-1965) John M. Comley and Attorney John Harbison. 

He worked briefly in the Firestone general offices in Akron, Ohio, and was the boys’ dorm supervisor at the Texas School for the Deaf for a year in 1922.

Returning to Connecticut, James taught for thirty-five years at the American School for the Deaf (1923 to 1958), replacing John Emery Crane, who taught for forty-four years. 

He was a prolific writer and wrote a historical novel about Valley Forge. He was also the ASD Alumni news editor for the American Era and wrote articles for the Silent Worker publication.

James married Bonita Edwards, a former ASD graduate, in 1939. They had two sons, Malcolm & James, Jr. and a daughter, Judith Ann.

He died at his home in Tucson, Arizona, on January 14, 1974. He is buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Milford, Connecticut.


Sutton, William H.

Hon. William H. Sutton

Teacher, 1858-1861

 William H. Sutton was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, on September 11, 1835, the son of Rev. Henry Sutton and Ann (Craig). He was educated in the public schools, then spent a year at the Dickinson Grammar School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 1853, he graduated from Dickinson College after studying for two years; then, he enrolled at Wesleyan College in Middletown, Connecticut, and graduated from there in 1857.

He was engaged in teaching in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, continuing for two years and later was elected to the Union Philosophical Society, but in early 1853, there was an outbreak of smallpox at the college, so he did not return when classes resumed.   

From 1858 to 1861, he taught at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut. After that, he entered the Law School of the University in Albany, New York, but dropped out and finished his legal studies in Philadelphia under the Honorable William Meredith.

On June 25, 1872, he married Hannah C. Anderson and settled in Haverford College Station in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. They had eight children. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was a State Representative for Montgomery County in the Pennsylvania Senate. Mr. Sutton died on March 14, 1913, at the age of 77 and was interred in the West Laurel Hill cemetery in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.


Sweet, Caroline C.

Caroline C. Sweet

Speech Teacher, 1869-1898

Caroline C. Sweet was born in Woodstock, Vermont, on June 30, 1848, the daughter of William Sweet and Martha (Earl) Sweet. She was a graduate of Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Connecticut, and applied for a position as a teacher, but there was no vacancy. She was referred to the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut, under the principal, Rev. Collins Stone.

Having taught at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb for twenty-nine years, she was a successful, valued, and friendly speech teacher and was very strict in the education of the students. She was one of the best teachers in school history. 

Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, was an instructor of “visible speech” at the school with Sweet and Abel Clark, in 1872, for two months.  

Sweet was the author of the book “First Lessons in English for the Deaf.”

She died in Hartford, Connecticut, on May 3, 1901, after a lingering illness, at the age of 52 and was buried at the River Street Cemetery in Woodstock, Vermont.

Szopa, Marie Constance Marino (A)

Marie Constance Marino (m. Szopa)

See  Marino, Marie Constance (m. Szopa)



Taylor, Robert J.

Robert J. Taylor

Ground Superintendent, 1930-1971

Robert J. Taylor (hearing) was born in County Armagh, Ireland, on August 12, 1905, the son of William Taylor and Sarah (Watkins). He immigrated to Connecticut from Northern Ireland on January 15, 1929 and was sworn in as a U.S. citizen on October 28, 1932. 

He got a job as a school bus driver, chauffeur, and janitor under Superintendent Frank R. Wheeler, at the American School for the Deaf, in the autumn of 1930. He was a school staff under three different headmasters: Frank R. Wheeler, Dr. Edmund B. Boatner, and Dr. Ben Hoffmeyer. He was promoted to Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. He later was an assistant to the Headmaster of Business Administration, mainly in charge of purchasing, but his most outstanding forte was his flexible “green thumb.”

He married Margaret Gertrude Lonergan, and they lived in West Hartford, Connecticut, for many years. She died in May 1973 of cancer at the age of 69. He remarried Annela Kaczynski, a deaf person, in West Hartford, and they lived on North Main Street, across from ASD. She died on July 28, 1985, at the age of 70.

During his years at ASD, he was a gardener, maintaining the greenhouse with its wide variety of plants and colorful flowers, a source of beauty to all at the school. His generosity extended to presenting about two dozen tomato plants annually, which always bore large, delicious fruit that engulfed the vines.

Robert’s involvement extended into many spheres; he always was an ardent supporter of ASD’s athletic programs. His interest and warm friendship with the Alumni were known far and wide. Always present to assist anyone in emergencies, whether staff members, former employees, students, deaf, or hearing.

While Robert was still doing a few chores at ASD part-time, like lugging in the daily mail, his cheerful smile, Irish wit, and storytelling was sorely missed when he decided to retire in 1971.

He died at his home on May 25, 1978, at the age of 72. In his memory, ASD established flowers and trees on campus. He was buried at the Fairview Cemetery in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Triebert, Raymond Franklin

Raymond Franklin Triebert

School Audiologist, 1951-1986

Raymond Franklin Triebert (hearing) was born in Arenzville, Illinois, a small town near Jacksonville, on September 21, 1915, the son of Harold Franklin Triebert and Darthula E. (Russell) Triebert. In 1933, he graduated from Newton Bateman Memorial High School in Jacksonville.

He was a quiet and courteous man who went about his business with sincere loyalty. During WWII, he was commissioned as a spy for the U.S. government and spent time in England throughout the war. He was eventually promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

He graduated from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1938, with a bachelor’s degree and received his master’s degree in Education from Columbia University, New York.

After college, he was trained as a teacher at the Clarke School for the Deaf, Northampton, Massachusetts. In 1951, he was hired as the school audiologist at the American School for the Deaf, which he held for 35 years. He retired in 1986.

During his tenure as the audiologist, Ray lived in an apartment on the second floor of the main building at ASD. He would often volunteer to supervise Junior/High School boys in the dormitories. He was faithful to his widowed mother, Darthula Triebert, whom he shared the apartment with for many years. She lived to be 103.

For many years, Mr. Triebert was a prominent member of the West Hartford Regents. He was also well-known for his ballroom dancing at the West Hartford Senior Center with Carolyn Sola, his loving companion of 19 years.

He died at Hartford Hospital on February 21, 2005, after a short illness at the age of 88. He was buried in the family plot, with full military honors, at the Arenzville East Cemetery in Arenzville, Illinois.


Volpintesta, Lou

Lou Volpintesta

Teacher, Coach & Athletic Director, 1986-2017

Lou Volpintesta was born in Wisconsin, the son of deaf parents Louis T. Volpintesta and Shirley Agnes (Potner). Lou attended the Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD), where he excelled in football and basketball and received All-American awards in both sports. His father, Louis, also played sports at WSD from 1941 to 1943. In 2012, Lou was inducted into the WSD Sports Hall of Fame for excellence in football and basketball.

After graduation, Lou attended the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and received a B.S. in Computer Science. Then, he attended Central Connecticut State University and earned a Master’s of Arts degree in Physical Education. 

He taught at the New Mexico School for the Deaf for three years (1983-1986) and later at the American School for the Deaf (ASD), West Hartford, Connecticut, which he joined the school staff in the autumn of 1986. While at ASD, he taught many courses such as physical education, driver’s education, varsity basketball and track, and auto body shop.  

He coached the ASD boy’s basketball team for over 25 years and coached the boy’s track & field. In 1993, he received the Coach of the Year award for ASD Varsity Boy’s Track & Field.

Outside of ASD, he was a certified basketball and volleyball referee. He refereed U.S. Deaf basketball tournaments many times and was a commissioner for the New England Athletics Association of the Deaf. He was inducted into the New England Basketball Coach Hall of Fame in 2004. Also, he was active as a referee in basketball games for the ESDAA and Deaf Clubs and an extended member of the Deaf Basketball Officials.

He married a hearing woman, Kae, and they had two daughters, Lindsey and Lauren.

He became the Athletic Director at ASD when the Athletic Director, Neil Robinson, retired. On January 22, 2011, he was presented with a large plaque, the Winter Homecoming award honoring him as ASD’s teacher/coach for the last 25 years. This plaque now hangs on the wall in the Ward Gymnasium. 

“The American School for the Deaf recognizes LOU VOLPINTESTA Teacher, Coach, and Role Model. Lou has coached Varsity basketball at ASD for 25 years and has served as a role model for hundreds of ASD student-athletes. His teams are always well-prepared and display outstanding sportsmanship and spirit. In 2011, the ASD community recognized his significant contribution to our school and students by naming the Ward Gym Court the Lou Volpintesta Court.”



Weeks, Henry William

William Henry Weeks

Teacher, 1865-1913

William Henry Weeks was born in Yorktown, New York, on November 1, 1829, the son of Jeremiah Weeks and Charlotte (Pugsley). He became deaf at the age of four and a half years due to a bout with scarlet fever.

At age 11, he was enrolled at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb in 1841 and continued his education for seven years, graduating in 1848.

At his graduation, there was no college for higher education. He worked as a cabinet maker and on the family farm for a while.

In February 1850, he was appointed as a teacher at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, a position he held until 1865. He then resigned after being dissatisfied with the arrangement of the Board of Directors. So, he accepted a job as a teacher at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, Connecticut. There, he remained until 1913 after teaching for 48 years. 

He married Mary Mehitable Allen of East Windsor, Connecticut, and they had a son, Harry Allen Weeks. Mary was a graduate of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1846. Her Deaf sister, Margaret Allen, and Deaf brother, James M. Allen, also graduated from the American Asylum.

In all his years of teaching, he spent 64 years in both institutions, having spent 16 years at the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and 48 years at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. His sixty-four years were ten years longer than his classmate, Sidney G. Vail, who retired from the Indiana School for the Deaf after fifty-three years of service.

He had been a Baptist church member for forty-five years, and on occasion, he preached in Boston and other places. He served as secretary and then president of the New England Gallaudet Association for several years.

He died in Hartford, on December 27, 1917, at the age of 88. His wife, Mary Weeks, died in 1893 and was buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery with her husband in Hartford.

Weidenmann, Jacob

Jacob Weidenmann

Art Teacher, 1860-1864

Jacob Weidenmann (hearing) was born in Winterthur, Switzerland, on August 24, 1829. In Munich, Germany, he studied art, architecture, and engineering at Akadomie der Bildenden Künste München (Academy of Fine Arts, Munich). After graduation, he worked in Munich, Paris, London, Panama, and Peru before settling in the United States in 1856.

He married Anna Marguerite Schwager, and they had three daughters: Anna, Elise, and Marguerite.

In early 1860, Jacob, his wife, and his infant daughter, Anna, moved to Hartford, Connecticut, where he was named the first superintendent of parks. While in Hartford, he was selected to design and build the nation’s first publicly funded municipal park, later named Bushnell Park. Also, he created Cedar Hill cemetery, one of the most beautiful garden cemeteries in America.

Mr. Weidenmann’s Hartford designs included grounds for the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (Old Hartford), Bushnell Park, Cedar Hill Cemetery, and the Institute of Living. His Midwest designs included the Iowa State Capitol, State Fair Grounds, and Mount Hope Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. His public work included landscape designs for the United States Capitol, U.S. Quartermaster Depot, Schuylkill Arsenal, and Hot Springs Reservation.

For four years, he was an art instructor in drawing at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb (Old Hartford). In 1864, he served as Cedar Hill Cemetery’s designer and superintendent. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Cedar Hill Cemetery, which is still faithful to his open lawn plan of 268 acres. In 1874, he collaborated with Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., on projects including Mount Royal Park in Montreal, and the Washington, D.C., Capitol grounds.

He died on February 6, 1893, and is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Hartford.

White, Phebe Camp Merwin

Phebe Camp Merwin White

Matron, 1839-1817

Phebe Camp Merwin White (hearing) was born in Durham, Connecticut, on March 31, 1798, the daughter of Miles Merwin and Phebe (Camp). Later in life, she married Seymour White on October 5, 1836, who died in March 1839, at age 45. In the autumn of 1839, she was invited to accept the vacant position of Matron at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in Hartford, which she took and served well for over 30 years. She was faithful and devoted to the deaf pupils there.

The following excerpt about Phebe White came from “The American Annals of the Deaf,” Vol. XXX, No. 1, January 1885, p.45-46, written by Job Williams, M. A., Principal of the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb.

“Mrs. White was a woman of great serenity, common sense, and large charity for all, with rare poise of Christian character. Prompt, energetic, firm, kind, no slackness was tolerated in her department of the Asylum. She ruled the servants with a strong yet gentle hand. To the teachers and other officers, she was ever courteous and kind of a trusted counselor and friend. To the pupils, she was a faithful, wise, calm mother, winning the love and respect of all. It was touching to see what warm love for her lived in their hearts long years after they had left the school”.

In 1871, Mrs. White, at the age of seventy-three, resigned her position as Matron and returned to her home in Durham, Connecticut. She was a member of the Durham First Congregational Church, to which she was admitted on December 31, 1874. She died on October 8, 1884, and is buried at the Durham Cemetery in Durham, Connecticut. 

Whiton, Wilson, Jr. (A)

Wilson Whiton, Jr.

Class of 1825

Student #3

Wilson Whiton, Jr. was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, on February 1, 1805, the son of Wilson Whiton, Sr., and Chloe White. 

On April 15, 1817, Wilson became the third pupil to enroll at the newly founded Connecticut Asylum for the Education of Deaf and Dumb Persons (later called the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb at Hartford and ASD). 

After graduating from the Asylum, he became the first Deaf American-born teacher at the American Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb. He taught for 45 years and retired in 1872. He attended the first Convention of American Instructors of the Deaf.

In 1855, Wilson married Sybil Smith Richards of Newburyport, Massachusetts, who also attended the American Asylum in 1824. They did not have any children, and Sybil died in 1863. 

After 1870, Wilson moved back to Hingham, Massachusetts, where he died of heart disease on June 3, 1873. He is buried at the Hingham Center Cemetery.


Whittlesey, Reverend Samuel & Abigail Whittlesey

Reverend Samuel Whittlesey

Second Superintendent of the Asylum, 1818-1823

Rev. Samuel Whittlesey (hearing) was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on December 18, 1775, the son of Roger Newton Whittlesey and Ann (Woodruff). His father was a Revolutionary War soldier. Samuel was ordained as a minister on December 30, 1807. At a meeting of the Directors of the Connecticut Asylum for the Education & Instruction of Deaf & Dumb Persons at the Asylum on July 28, 1818, they offered the contract to Mr. Whittlesey, the superintendent (steward), and he served until 1825. 

In November 1808, he married Abigail Goodrich in Washington, Connecticut. They had five children: Samuel, Charles, Elizabeth, Henry, and Charles, 2nd. 

He died in New York City on April 15, 1842 and was interred with his wife Abigail in Maple Cemetery, Berlin, Connecticut. Even though his tombstone spells his name as “Whillelsey,” it should be “Whittlesey,” which is correct.

Abigail Goodrich Whittlesey

Matron, 1817-1818

Abigail (Goodrich) Whittlesey (hearing) was a matron and educator. She was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut, on November 29, 1788. She was educated in Berlin, Connecticut. In 1808, she married the Reverend Samuel Whittlesey, a New Preston, Connecticut pastor. He eventually became the second superintendent, 1818-1823.

Abigail was matron of the Asylum, 1817-1818, and afterward, she conducted large female seminaries in Utica and Canandaigua, New York, with her husband. In 1832, she began, while in Utica, the Implication of “Mother’s Magazine,” which she edited until about 1850. This magazine was subsequently revived under “The Magazine for Mothers and Daughters.”

She died in Colchester, Connecticut, on July 16, 1858, and was buried at the Maple Cemetery in Berlin, Connecticut, next to her husband.

Woodbridge, Reverend William Channing Jr.

Reverend William Channing Woodbridge, Jr.

Teacher, 1818-1820

William Channing Woodbridge, Jr. was born in Medford, Massachusetts, on December 28, 1794, the son of William Woodbridge, Sr., and Nancy or Ann (Channing). Later, his family moved to Middletown, Connecticut. 

He graduated from Yale College in 1811, at the age of sixteen, and later, he was the principal of the Burlington Academy in New Jersey from 1812 to 1814. In 1815, he returned to Yale College to study anatomy, chemistry, and philosophy, together with theology, under the tutelage of Yale College President Timothy Dwight IV, by whom he was so inspired. 

In 1817, upon the death of Timothy Dwight, he briefly entered Princeton Theological Seminary, when he intended to become a missionary, but his ill health from scrofula delayed his studies. So, William accepted a position as a teacher to join Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc at the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons, where he became the second hearing teacher at the Asylum. 

He pioneered teaching geography to deaf pupils at the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons in Hartford, Connecticut, from December 1818 to October 1820. He published the “American Annals of Education and Instructions, for the year 1831,” and “Deaf and Dumb Institutions” was reported by the Directors of the American Asylum. He was co-author of the “Woodbridge and Willard Geographies and Atlases” with his co-author, Mrs. Emma Willard, in 1822.

After he left Hartford in 1830, he married Lucy Ann Reed in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in 1832. They had two children, William II, and Lucy. 

Henry Barnard wrote William’s memoirs in the book “Memoirs of Teachers.” He considered his goal of music education a moral development. In 1835, he was the first music educator in the Boston public schools in America. After his European journey, he returned to Boston, Massachusetts, and died on November 9, 1845. He is buried at the Waterside Cemetery in Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Criteria for Inclusion

Notable Faculty
and Staff

  • Served as a teacher, coach or staff member for many years
  • Widely regarded and beloved by students
  • Contributed greatly to students’ development and well-being by serving as sponsors for extracurricular activities
  • Can be Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Hearing

join ASD Family

Before you go, don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list
and get Fun Facts!