|Good evening, my name is Marcus Titus, I’m a physical education teacher here at the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. This will be my 5th year and I am looking forward to working with my students. I want to address my concern for our school. I am worried ASDB is not where it used to be when I was a student back in the 90s. When I was an elementary student, I remember a large number of students attended here. Every classroom was filled with students and a significant number of dorm students lived here. My concern is we need our school to grow, with both deaf/hard of hearing and visual impaired students. My question is, why is our school not growing? For students in these groups, it important for them to have experiences and interact with other students who are like them. It helps them learn from each other and know they have a community there to support them. That is the key for young students to develop their personality, identity, and a sense of community.
As we enter a new school year, there are a lot of changes happening. We have a new principal this year, and now we are hiring a new assistant superintendent. With these changes, are you thinking about how we can increase our awareness to the community? Do you have a plan in place to bring in more students? As our numbers continue to decrease, I am concerned more parents will want their kids to go to other schools in the area instead of our specialized program. Tucson has a large deaf/hh and visually impaired community and they need to know ASDB is a great option for their children to go to instead of opting for other public schools. As you look to hire a new assistant superintendent, I encourage you to please find someone who has experience with a specialized school like ASDB. Someone who has experience working in a school with deaf/hh and visually impaired individuals as well. Students in these communities deserve a place they can call their own and without the proper leadership, they will not continue to get this experience or have the opportunity to join this school. Thank you for your time in listening to my concerns and I look forward to a bigger and brighter future for ASDB and our students.