Community Appreciation event shows TSD is in ‘good hands’

By Steve Williams

Tennessee School for the Deaf rolled out the red carpet and showed off its finest at its Spring Community Appreciation Luncheon Program last Monday (March 25).

Elijah Echols led the “Welcome.”

Students Rebecca and Savanna Cabbage, who are twins, and Jaqueline Mauricio led the Opening and Recognitions, as well as the closing at the end of the program.

Guest speakers included Dr. Lizzette Reynolds, the Tennessee Commissioner of Education; Dr. Josh Mason, Assistant Commissioner of State Special Schools; and Dr. Sandra Edwards, Superintendent of Tennessee Schools for the Deaf.

One of the many things Dr. Mason pointed out was the TSD campus in Knoxville is located in a “safe” Island Home community.

Dr. Edwards added that “trick or treating (on Halloween) right here in the Island Home Community” is a popular time.

“The support from the Knoxville community and the role you play, we can’t thank you enough” added Dr. Edwards.

TSD in Knoxville is the “flagship campus” and one of three deaf schools for different ages in the state, with the other locations being in Nashville and Jackson.

The program also included an ASL Performance by Meme Kerr and elementary students that was quite impressive, with descriptions and examples of sign language. It ended with the message: “To say together, I am enough.”

This reporter, who was invited to the Community Appreciation event by Luke Benson of the TSD Physical Education department, learned two words in sign language that was used a lot at the program, particularly to the cafeteria staff at the Dining Hall for the delicious meal and to the many student servers for their kind hospitality – “Thank you.”