Michigan School for the Deaf faces hard times with search for new principal

By  | 

FLINT (WJRT) (6/18/2019) - Michigan School for the Deaf students and parents are upset by recent administrative actions.

On Tuesday night, they came together to send a strong message to the Michigan Department of Education.

Parents and students say they’re not happy with who the Michigan Department of Education hired as their interim principal while officials search for a permanent replacement.

"She doesn't sign. She doesn't sign. We need a person who can sign," student Khyiana Tate said.

The Michigan Department of Education faced a heated room of around 200 people. Most of them used an interpreter to get their point across.

The previous principal left in April and the Department of Education placed Angela Horne as Michigan School for the Deaf's interim principal this week. Horne has been with the school since 2016.

Junior Jake Zanavich says he's had plenty of interactions with her.

"When I've tried to have a conversation with her, her receptive skills are not all there. So, we actually have to kind of drop down on our signing levels and have to sign a little bit slower," Zanavich said.

Michigan Department of Education Deputy Superintendent Scott Koenigsknecht attended the meeting. He believes Horne meets the standards needed at the school.

"She has taught for about three years and brings American Sign Language skills," Koenigsknecht said.

While Horne is the interim principal, the Department of Education hopes to fill the position before the start of the school year.

"Knowing the past process I know we are going to use the same one that was inclusive and that did result in the hiring of a quality principal those proficiencies will be part of that process,” Koenigsknecht said.

The Department of Education says the search for a principal could take a year. They'll be having another meeting July 9 at the school.