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Education Leader Leaves a Legacy of Progress

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April 30, 2015

ROMNEY, W.Va. - The West Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (WVSDB) will say farewell to its leader. Dr. Lynn Boyer announced her retirement earlier this month during a WVSDB Board of Advisors meeting. Boyer joined the WVSDB in 2011.

"This brings to closure four years at the Schools, an opportunity that allowed me to watch our most precious children grow and learn," said Boyer. "When these years have faded, it is the faces of the children that will be in my memories for the rest of my life."

During her tenure at the WVSDB, Boyer was the catalyst behind many improvements and positive changes to the schools. These accomplishments include:

  • Campus-wide upgrades in technology
  • National AdvancED accreditation
  • Implementation of the Communication Policy that requires all WVSDB staff to demonstrate skill levels in American Sign Language or braille appropriate to their job requirements
  • Development of the WVSDB first Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP)
  • Reorganization of the statewide outreach program that now provides services by Masters level teachers to over 250 infants, young children and their families throughout West Virginia
  • Implementation of the innovative Short Course program for West Virginia public school students to attend one week of classes and services per month on campus
  • Creation of the post graduate program for deaf or blind adults
  • Transition in the School for the Deaf to a research-based instructional model of American Sign Language/English Innovative summer enrichment experiences for deaf or blind students from public schools statewide as well as those enrolled at WVSDB
  • Reclassification of Child Care Workers to Residential Care Specialists
  • Establishment of stable and transparent fiscal infrastructure

"We are so proud of Dr. Boyer and all of her accomplishments," said Gayle Manchin, president of the West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE). "The accomplishments she has made during her four short years at the WVSDB will impact students positively for years to come."

Prior to coming to WVSDB, Boyer served as the director of special education for the WVDE, director of the National Clearinghouse for Professions in Special Education at the Council for Exceptional Children, and director of special education for Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia.

"I am most proud that as a campus staff we now have a better idea of what it means to be a School for the Deaf and a School for the Blind," added Boyer. "We have placed an unwavering emphasis on meeting the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing through a commitment to teaching and communicating with them in their natural language of American Sign Language while giving them the tools for literacy. Likewise, we have committed to students who are blind or low vision the technology they need to access instruction and the larger world while providing braille as a constant foundation for the joys of reading and orientation and mobility services to find their way in that world."

The Board of Advisors is a group of 13 local, state and national leaders appointed by the WVBE, who represent alumni, parents, educators, the business community and the WVBE. Their role is to provide an external perspective to assist the WVSDB superintendent and the WVBE in shaping priorities, guiding decision making and implementing new programs. For more information contact Liza Cordeiro at the WVDE Communication Office at 304-558-2699 or Mary Jean Sanspree, Board of Advisors member at sanspreemj@gmail.com.

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