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    Richard Vespucci
    Jon Zlock


For Release: June 19, 2003

Newly-appointed Superintendent of Katzenbach School for the Deaf to Start in July

Dennis RussellDennis Russell, appointed by the State Board of Education as the Superintendent of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf on June 4, will begin working at the state-operated school effective July 1. His first day at the school is July 21.

Russell, who was appointed unanimously and recommended by Commissioner of Education William L. Librera, is a former Department of Education (DOE) employee who spent the last 14 years working with the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

"We are so very pleased that Dennis Russell has been named the Superintendent at Katzenbach and we have the utmost respect for his work in Arizona and the work he will do in New Jersey," Commissioner Librera said. "His record and dedication to the deaf community are nothing short of exemplary."

State Board President Maud Dahme echoed the Commissioner’s sentiments. "The State Board is equally impressed with Mr. Russell’s credentials," she said. "We expect the school to continue great success under Mr. Russell’s leadership."

Russell was selected as the most appropriate candidate for the superintendent position by a committee comprised of Katzenbach constituents, which included educators, teachers and leaders in the deaf community. The College of New Jersey helped facilitate the process.

Russell, who replaces retired Superintendent Ronald Goodwin, is the 11th person to hold the position since the school’s inception in 1832. For the last year, he worked at Phoenix College as an adjunct instructor and taught an "Introduction to Deafness" class.

Prior to his work at Phoenix College, Russell held the position of Regional Superintendent for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. In that capacity, Russell oversaw all programs for the state’s northern region, including operations in Phoenix.

In his time as regional director, Russell established the first regional cooperative partnership program in two neighboring counties and established two additional cooperative agreements in other areas of Arizona.

Russell spent six years with the DOE as the coordinator for Deaf Education in the Bureau of Policy and Planning. Among the myriad responsibilities Russell had were evaluating the state’s responses to the educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing, as well as coordinating statewide planning activities and monitoring state special education programs.

Russell began his career in education in 1967. He is proficient in sign language and is certified as a superintendent in both New Jersey and Arizona, and as a teacher for the hearing impaired in New Jersey, Arizona, New York, Florida and for the Council on Education for the Deaf.

Russell is a member of the following professional organizations: the Council for Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf; Convention of American Instructors for the Deaf; the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the Council for Exceptional Children.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.