Missouri Record

Volume 140, No. 3, First Semester 2019-2020

Published Since 1879 by Missouri School for the Deaf

Local News

Fulton City Council Approves New Rec Center

A recreation center has been a facility many Fulton residents have been wanting for the City to build for a long time. Now, following years of planning and a vote by the City Council, it is closer than ever to becoming a reality.

At the September 17th Fulton City Council meeting, the council voted 5-2 to authorize Mayor Lowe Cannell to sign the contract for the recreation center's construction. River City Construction, who recently completed the rebuilding of the Fulton State Hospital, has been awarded the contract with a winning bid of nearly $8.9 million.

In April 2016, Fulton residents passed a half-cent sales tax for parks and storm water improvements as 62 percent voted in favor of the proposal. Since the tax has been collected, the Parks and Recreation Department has received more that $1 million in revenue. Approximately $300,000 has already been spent on design and consulting services for the recreation center. Additional city funds will be needed to finance the project.

The 44,000 square foot complex has been designed by SFS Architecture. Some of the major features include a gymnasium with basketball courts, a turf area with batting cages, an activity room for wrestling and a banquet room that can be used for wedding receptions. In addition, there will be a fitness center with cardio equipment, a weight room, classrooms, offices and even a balcony overlooking the field house.

Such a large facility will allow the Parks and Recreation Department to greatly expand its sports and class offerings, as well as host a wide variety of events. Construction is expected to begin this fall and will take approximately one year to complete.

-City of Fulton Newsletter

Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act

Deaf-Blind Families for the Cogswell-Macy Act

Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act, H.R. 4822, S. 2681 (116th Congress)

On October 23, 2019, this bill was introduced on a bipartisan, bicameral basis.

This bill amends the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to require a state to identify, evaluate, and provide special education and related services to children who have visual or hearing disabilities (or both) and also are, or may be, classified in another disability category. A state must ensure that it has enough qualified personnel to serve children who have such disabilities and that a full continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of disabled children for special education and related services.

The Cogswell-Macy Act would:

  • Ensure specialized instruction specifically for students who are visually impaired, deaf blind, deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Increase the availability of services and resources by ensuring all students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deaf blind are accounted for.
  • Enhance accountability at the state and federal levels.
  • Increase research into best practices for teaching and evaluating students with visual or hearing impairments by establishing the Anne Sullivan Macy Center on Visual Disability and Educational Excellence- a collaborative consortium of nonprofits, higher education institution, and other agencies to provide technical support, research assistance, and professional development.

Big picture
Big picture

Deaf Education

Happy Birthday Virginia School for the Deaf

VSDB established in 1839, celebrated its 180th birthday on Friday, November 15th. Students, staff, alumni, and community members joined together for the 180th Birthday Bash! As part of the event, VSDB celebrated the restoration of two iconic fountains located in front of historic Main Hall.

The fountains were erected in 1877 but had not been operational for the past 15 or more years. It was stated that the restoration and rededication of the fountains was "....our birthday present to VSDB...". VSDB is the oldest school in the nation to serve both students who are deaf and/or blind and the second oldest school in the nation to serve students who are deaf. Happy Birthday VSDB! May you continue to serve for many years to come!

ASL Emergency Signs for the Delavan Police and Fire Departments

The National Honor Society’s (NHS) Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD) Chapter was very pleased to host a community service project sponsored by the school’s chapter members, the Delavan Police Department, and the Delavan Fire Department. The focus for this activity was to provide a language learning experience for the officers and firefighters, which will equip them with some knowledge and skill when working with the Deaf community at large. Read more.

Parent Advocacy App

Families of deaf and hard of hearing children attend meetings—Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, 504 meetings, and other types of meetings. What are these meetings about? How can you be the best advocate for your child? The Parent Advocacy app helps you to understand your child’s rights and to prepare you to work with the school in the best interest of your child.

MSD News

Superintendent’s Presentation to the United Daughters’ of the Confederacy (UDC)

Superintendent Stailey was invited to a conference for the UDC the last weekend of September in Boonville, MO. The President of the UDC had contacted the school in late July, early August as the organization was interested in learning more about Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing children and students, the role of MSD in the State of Missouri, and the Deaf Community and its culture.

Superintendent Stailey was asked to sign his presentation as the members wanted to see how American Sign Language (ASL) can be used for full access of language. Ms. Peggy Belt, MSD Communication Coordinator attended the conference presentation as the interpreter for the superintendent. Superintendent Stailey discussed and shared information about the following topics:

  • Is sign language universal? Is it the same in every country in the world?

  • Are there regional signs in the United States? Signs that are different depending on the location?

  • Are all Schools for the Deaf and other school that provide services for Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing students the same?

  • A brief history of MSD was provided to the UDC members.

  • A discussion about the departments on campus was provided:

    • Education

    • Student Life

    • Outreach

    • Business Office

    • Communications

Additional information was provided about students/children served throughout the State of Missouri, the MSD External Newsletter, MO Record, work programs, transition programs, Families First, and serving students from 5 to 21 years of age.

The UDC members were very grateful for the information and have pledged to donate $3,000 to the Student Activity Fund in September, 2020. The experience for both organizations was beneficial and memorable.

-George Stailey

MSD Superintendent

MSD Outreach Department Attends Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education Conference

MSD staff from the Resource Center attended the Missouri Council of Administrators of Special Education (MO-CASE) conference in Osage Beach, Missouri. MSD exhibited an informational booth as part of the MSD outreach services. The booth provides educators with information about Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD), how to best support students who have hearing loss, and descriptions of the services MSD Outreach Department is authorized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to provide to public schools and families throughout the state. The services MSD provides are free of charge and include early intervention through Families First (birth-age 8), audiological testing (birth-age 21), equipment leasing to public schools, educational consultations, and evaluations (psycho-educational, language, and speech).

A number of booths from educational resource companies and child resource organizations were set up in the exhibitor’s hall. Many people attending the conference came to the MSD booth to gather information and ask questions. When attendees went to workshops booth staff networked with each other to learn about services. MSD staff were able to gain important information from a variety of sources that would benefit several individuals that MSD serves.

-Nancy Wood

School Support Associate

Missouri School for the Deaf Alumni Association's 35th Triennial Reunion

Missouri School for the Deaf Alumni Association's (MSDAA) 35th Triennial Reunion occurred on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th. A banquet was held on Friday evening, then a variety of activities Saturday during the day.

The banquet was held at the Fulton Event Center which was nicely decorated by our reunion committee and had over 100 attendees. Delicious food was catered by Bush’s Catering from Columbia, MO. There were several attendees from as far away as California and Washington, D.C.

Emcees were Nina Biondo and Paul Blicharz. Both did a good job of keeping our audience attentive with introducing different guests, trivia and history of MSD, and an auctioning for a canvas picture by Sheri (Levingston) Plummer. The evening also had door prizes.

MSD Superintendent George Stailey gave a short introduction as well as some of his visions for MSD. He also presented the Distinguished Alumnus Awards to Nina Biondo, Norma Vickers, and Robert Colopy.

Michelle Plummer (daughter of Sherri Plummer) entertained everyone with her comedy skits between presentations.

This year’s guest speaker was Mr. Tom Bastean. Throughout his speech he shared many of his past experiences as a reunion chair, as well as the history of both past and present reunions.

I am grateful to have had such a great committee to make this happen. I also wanted to thank the MSD Volleyball team for being our servers at the banquet on Friday night.

Most of all thank you to all of you that attended! I was glad you had a good time.

Julie Eaker, chairperson

***For pictures of the reunion, please go to the MSDAA Facebook page.

Celebrating Years of Service to Missouri School for the Deaf

Twenty-five Years of Service

Thirty Years of Service

Service Projects

MSD Football Team Cleans Up the YMCA

MSD Football team ended the season with a few bye weeks. The athletes and coaches took this opportunity to take time off from practice and give back to the community. On October 3rd the football team went to the local YMCA and cleaned up the grounds around the building as well as the outdoor track. MSD believes that athletics is just an extension of the classroom and that in order to help our student-athletes become successful in life it is important to teach character, life skills and the value of giving back to others.

-Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

MSD Volleyball/Cheerleading Community Service Project

Friday, September 27th the MSD Volleyball team and Cheerleading squad gathered in Coach Dunn's classroom to assist with the buddy pack program. The buddy pack program is designed to get nutritious food to children who rely on free or reduced-price lunches during the school year. At elementary schools, Buddy Packs are bags that contain two ready-to-eat entrees, a fruit cup, cereal with shelf-stable milk and a nutritional bar. Peanut butter is provided monthly. The athletes had many food grocery bags that needed to be doubled bagged so the buddy pack group could pack food in it. Later in the season the teams plan to travel to the Central Pantry to help pack the buddy pack bags.


-Heather Dunn

Head Volleyball Coach

Football Team Cleans our Local Park

MSD's football team took a day off of practice to go to one of Fulton's local park. The athletes and coaches worked on picking up trash around the park as well as cleaning Stinson Creek which runs next to the park.

Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

MSD Athletics

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Student Life

Student Explore Rock Bridge Memorial State Park

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is located in Columbia, just a 30 minute drive from the MSD campus. The park offers a multitude of outdoor activities and is one of our student’s favorite spots. With warm balmy weather still in the air, exploring the park’s creeks and caves is an ideal evening.

The group ventured down into the double sink hole which houses the entrance to the park’s main attraction, Devil’s Ice Box cave. At the bottom of the double sinkhole is also the entrance to Connor’s Cave. This cave is easy to explore and the children roamed about looking for bats, finding walls full of crinoid fossils and enjoying the cool air and water which runs through the cave.

Outside the cave, the students relished in some quality ‘creek-time’ and even found a ‘painted rock’ left by a local hobbyist.

-Ron Danuser

Residential Life Administrator

Students Spend an Evening Exploring Fischer Farms

A long running fall tradition for MSD students is MSD's annual trip to Fischer Farms. Located in the Missouri River valley, Fischer Farms feels like a Norman Rockwell painting. Nestled between the state capital building to the south and the towering bluffs with their brilliantly colored fall foliage to the north, the farm offers a fun and relaxing chance to experience a multitude of traditional farm experiences. Students enjoyed a hayride, corn maze, petting zoo, giant corn pit, and a traditional bonfire complete with hot dogs and S’mores. The students look forward to this trip every year and their smiles and laughter show their eagerness to return.

-Ron Danuser

Residential Life Administrator

Annual MSD Zombie Dash

Each year, as the leaves fall to autumn, the Zombie Dash returns to MSD campus. Based loosely on the popular game Humans vs Zombies played at college campuses. The Zombie Dash pits small groups of high school Humans against an initially small, but ever growing number of ‘Zombies’. The Humans receive missions from a central Headquarters. The missions take them across campus collecting valuable information. Once each member has the information they return as a group to the HQ for their next mission. However, Zombies roam the campus and often guard their mission checkpoints. If a Zombie is able to pull a Human player’s flags (flag football flags) that Human returns to the HQ and becomes a Zombie. The challenge grows as the Zombie numbers increase.

In the end, no Human completed all four missions and the Zombies were proclaimed victorious! Two teams did split the prize pack because they had the last two survivors and each completed 3 missions. An annual favorite, the students are planning another Zombie dash in February. Stay tuned to see if the Humans come out victorious!
-Ron Danuser

Residential Life Administrator

Stark Elementary

Stark Elementary Visits the Pumpkin Patch

This fall Stark Elementary took a day trip to Fischer Farms located in Jefferson City. While there, students and staff enjoyed the 250 bushel corn box, horses, pigs, goats, chickens, and a young calf. They also enjoyed playing on three new slides, large rolling tubes, a hayride and of course picking their own pumpkins. The day was filled with much laughter and new memories to look back on.

-Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

Stark Pumpkins

Stark Art Class created pumpkin masterpieces. The younger classes were given three primary colors to start with and a blank canvas (pumpkin). As the students mixed their colors a variety of new colors appeared to their delight. They then were able to create faces, rainbows, symbols and a variety of other things on their pumpkins. The older students used bits of crayons to decorate their pumpkins. After picking their colors they fitted and glued them to the pumpkin. Once all the students had completed this step the class took a trip outdoors to use a heat gun to melt the crayons. As the crayons started to melt the students erupted with laughter and shouts for joy!

-Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

Stark Class Chicks

Jessica Weggenmann's 5th Grade class acquired three baby chicks, a Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, and a Silver Wyandotte. The class has started tracking their development by weighing and measuring them weekly. The students are excited to name their new classroom friends and can't wait to see how they change as they develop.


-Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

Wheeler Middle/High School

Middle School Optimist Speech Contest

Middle School Optimist Speech Contest


The 42nd annual Optimist Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CCDHH) was held on October 23rd in Ingle Auditorium on the campus of the Missouri School for the Deaf. Two separate contests were held, Kids Speak Out was for the 6th graders, while the 7th and 8th graders were involved in the actual CCDHH contest. The topic of this year’s contest was Just iMagine a World Without Boundaries. Students presented a wide variety of ideas for their speeches. For some students this was the first experience writing and then presenting a speech in front of an audience. Regardless, all students overcame their nervousness and presented their speeches with pride and poise. MSD is proud of the middle school students!


Winners for Kids Speak Out (6th graders)

1st place—Alexus Ashley

2nd place—Ja’Kaida Smith


Winners for the CCDHH contest (7th/8th graders)

1st place—Isabella Davis

2nd place—Kari Mertens

3rd place—Rebecca Hull


-Dr. Peneston

Wheeler School Supervisor

Moon Phases

Ms. Santoriello's class worked on the different phases of the moon. During one of their activities they used a flashlight placed high above a students head. The flashlight would represent the Sun, the students head the Earth, and the Styrofoam™ ball the Moon. The students observed the changes in Moon phase as the Moon ball “orbits” their head, the Earth. The students are eager to continue their journey into our solar system.

-Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

A few high school students attended William Woods University for the presentation of "Twas the Night Before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." But wait! A mouse was stirring- because Santa missed his house last year. And just like that we were off on a wild adventure with a mouse, an elf, and a spunky little girl who wouldn't take no for an answer. The play was full of laughter, chases, elves, and a special appearance by the big man himself. By the end of the night there were smiles all around and we were all ready for the winter holiday.

-Jamie Danuser

Community Relations Facilitator

Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 Visit MO State Penitentiary

On Wednesday October 2, 2019, the Jr. and Sr. Class of Missouri School for the Deaf went to prison. No, this isn’t one of those “Scared Straight” situations that you may have seen on television. The Jr. and Sr. classes at MSD are now taking a day field trip every quarter this school year, visiting different locations, and having a blast doing it! Our first field trip of the school year started out with our students and sponsors taking a leisurely stroll on the Pedestrian/Bicyclist path on the Jefferson City Bridge. The students particularly enjoyed seeing all of the “love locks” on the chain link fence on the walkway, as well as a spider or two. Our morning walk was followed by a two hour tour of the Missouri State Penitentiary, where students learned the history of the nearly 200 year old and supposedly haunted prison, which was quite fitting for the month of October. Though none of the students reported seeing any ghosts. After the tour we went out to lunch at a local favorite burger/pizza joint. As the afternoon sun was beating down, we decided to do a scavenger hunt indoors at the Runge Nature Center. Of Course, a trip to Jefferson City wouldn’t be complete without stopping by and grabbing a frozen treat at one of Jefferson City’s finest institutions and oldest Ice Cream Shoppe, Central Dairy. The ride back to MSD wasn’t without a student or two catching some Z’s after an exhausting day.

-Dan Isaac

2020-2021 Class Sponsor

Superintendent's Office

From the Office of the Superintendent

The 2019-2020 school year began on August 12 for employees and August 19 for students. Over the summer, MSD was too quiet and all the 12 month employees were excited and thrilled when the school term employees and students returned. The first month has been very positive for MSD.


The school year started with a decrease in student population as seven students withdrew from MSD. MSD has been fortunate to have four new students enroll and the total population for students, as of today, is 55. There are 22 students in the Elementary Department, 11 students in the Middle School Department, and 22 students in the High School Department. Of the 55 students currently enrolled at MSD, 35 are residential students and 20 are day students.


As a follow up to the capital improvement projects, the carpeting in Stark, the elementary school, was completed. The Painting in Wheeler Hall, middle and high school, was completed and the new middle and high school lockers were installed. Upcoming projects are being considered and meetings are being held to finalize and approve the projects. One project will be to replace the windows in the Administration Building and in Wheeler Hall. Other possible projects will be replacing the ramps at the back of Tate and Kerr Halls, widening the drive off of Vine Street as vehicles enter campus, and refurbishing the Ingle Auditorium and the Eagle’s Nest.


There were several employee vacancies over the summer. Some employees resigned from MSD to begin new positions and other employees retired. MSD worked very hard this past summer to post the positions, interview candidates, and fill the vacant positions. As of now, MSD has a few position still posted. If you are interested, please go to MSD’s website for a full listing of vacant positions.


MSD continues to improve its website, newsletters, Facebook page, You Tube page, and Missouri Record (MO Record). The views on most of these avenues for communication has increased immensely over the last year. If you have not signed up for the external newsletter or the MO Record, please contact Jamie Danuser, Athletic Director, at Jamie.Danuser@msd.dese.mo.gov. Mrs. Danuser will add your email address to the recipients list.


If you are interesting in donating money to the school, you are welcome to make the donation to the MSD Student Activities Fund. Donations should be directed to the MSD Business Office at 505 East Fifth Street Fulton, MO 65251.


Best wishes to all of you for a safe and happy school year!!

Visit the News and Publications page for the latest school new


-Superintendent Stailey

Big picture
Big picture