Kentucky School for the Deaf’s annual Pancake and Sausage Day

It was published on Central Kentucky News on January 31st, 2012.  Excerpt from that link below:

Kentucky School for the Deaf to hold annual Pancake and Sausage Day

Silent and live auctions will be held during event

January 31, 2012

Girls in Tech Ed class at Kentucky School for the Deaf repaired and refinished this Victorian oak bench that was once used in Kerr Hall Chapel at KSD. The bench is one of several items available at a live auction during KSD's annual Pancake and Sausage Day Friday.

**Hover that photo will appear a description of it**

Kentucky School for the Deaf’s annual Pancake and Sausage Day begins 6:30 a.m. Friday.

The event, which kicks off KSD’s Winter Homecoming festivities, will last until 1:30 p.m. Meals cost $5 each.

Thirty-two years ago a Kentucky School for the Deaf parent Sue Gill organized the first KSD Pancake and Sausage Day as a school fundraiser. Gill continued organizing the major fundraising event until 1998, when it was dropped.

Six years later, in 2004, KSD staff member Rhonda Bodner took charge and the tradition resumed. A KSD staff committee is in charge this year.

The Pancake and Sausage Day will include a silent auction featuring theme baskets and donated items by KSD supporters, including Centre College, Sorenson Communications, GoGo Gorillas, Dr. Clay Warren, Lowrey Jackson and others.

Two baskets for UK and U-of-L supporters include basketball tickets. Other themes include new baby, movies and munchies, Valentine’s sweethearts, and rest and relaxation. Silent auction bids can be placed until 1:30 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., Betsy Wilson and Tony Wilson of CENTURY 21/Wilson Realty and Auction Co. in Danville will conduct a live auction. Items to be auctioned include a limited-edition framed print donated by Keeneland; two Kentucky State Park golf packages; a weekend at the Marriott Griffin Gate in Lexington including two rounds of golf and breakfast; artwork from Pat Hays, a Lucky Dog BBQ party for 30, prepared and delivered; an Indianapolis Colts collection signed by Jacob Tamme; and a landscape design by Tim Barringer.

Carpentry and woodworking students under Jay Cloud’s direction created ornamental, unusual handcrafted live auction items. They include a storage bench made from materials salvaged from old Lee Hall (razed in 2010); a multipaned mirror created from an old Lee window; and an antique ornamental oak bench with wrought iron legs from Kerr Hall (razed in the 1970s).

Raffle tickets can be purchased ahead of time or at the door on Friday for $1 each. Hourly drawings will be held for prizes such as $100, an HD TV or a Kindle Fire.  Ticket holders do not have to be present to win raffle prizes. This year, for the first time, pancake and sausage meals will be available for carryout. Each order is $5 and includes food and drink. For carryout, call (859)  239-7017, ext. 2711 at least 30 minutes before you plan to pick up meals.


Power of visual art fuels deaf student’s dreams

It was posted in on May 21, 2009. The link is

Associated Press

DANVILLE — Kellie Martin always believed in the power of visual art, and it has started to take her places she has only dreamed about.

The Kentucky School for the Deaf senior already has been accepted and will study art at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the oldest and most prestigious university for the deaf in the United States.

For much of the past semester, she has also been part of a unique partnership with Centre College. Martin is getting a head start on college life as a student in Professor Sheldon Tapley’s Painting and Drawing 1 class.

AP - Kellie Martin, a senior at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, has been accepted at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where she will study art. 

AP - Kellie Martin, a senior at the Kentucky School for the Deaf, has been accepted at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., where she will study art.  Another photo is here.

The connection with Centre began when KSD science teacher LisaAnn Hampton saw a chance for Martin to use her talent as an artist to teach herself and others about evolution.

Instead of doing a written senior project about the origins and development of life on earth, Hampton asked Martin to work on a mural in her classroom to tell the story visually.

“The original project was just some depictions of the solar system and a few significant organisms, but she came up with doing the changing Earth from the very beginning of life,” Hampton said.

Martin contacted Centre about the possibility of letting one of her most gifted students try her hand at a college level studio art class. Tapley soon agreed to let Martin audit his course.

“I knew that Kellie has talent and potential and that she could handle working in a college environment,” Hampton said. “It is good for her to view the level of work that is expected, and I think it has already made her more comfortable with that.”

The arrangement suited Martin, who said the urge to create has been strong her entire life.

“I have loved to sketch things since I was very young, and it has been my dream to be an artist,” Martin said. “I have always been passionate about drawing and painting. Somehow art is just in my blood.”

Martin said she constantly looks for ways to make art from her surroundings. “I like to take things that are in my world and portray them the way that I see them,” she said.

Martin was born in Tennessee but spent much of her childhood after the age of 5 as a KSD student.

She eventually moved with her family back to Tennessee. After her junior year in high school, she decided to come back to Kentucky on her own so that she could finish high school at KSD.

“I feel like KSD is my home,” Martin said.

Making herself at home in an intermediate level college art class midyear was slightly more difficult.

Tapley acknowledged that it is a significant step.

“The level of a college course is so much higher than the average high school class,” he said. “She has been brave to take this on. She had to absorb a great deal of new terminology and concepts very quickly. Right now it is about giving her the experience in a college setting and hopefully a leg up next year.”

Martin said that she has begun to feel more comfortable in the class and has learned a great deal about her art and herself.

“It was kind of hard for me starting in the middle of the semester, but I have gotten more comfortable. (Tapley) and everyone there has been so patient. It has helped me know that art is what I want to do.”

Tapley said he has been impressed with Martin’s determination as much as her sketches.

“When high school students have self-identified as artists, as Kellie has, at such an early age, they are going to be fine,” he said.

Martin credits Tapley, among others, with helping her mature as an artist.

“I have met some artists in Danville, such as David Farmer, as well as Professor Tapley, who have really caused me to become more serious about art. I have learned so much in that last year.”

Hampton also requested that one of Tapley’s students act as a mentor for Martin. Anna Mitchell, a junior studio art major at Centre, has been working with Martin at KSD several days a week to assist her with the mural.

With Mitchell’s help, Martin has begun transferring sketches for what will be an artistic timeline encircling Hampton’s Kerr Hall classroom at KSD.

The mural, which Martin is now sketching in pencil, begins with bacteria and life in the seas and will continue through the dawn of humans.

KSD graduates celebrate, honor school

We want to congratulate the 2009 Graduates. We wish them the best luck with their future endeavors.

You can view the pictures of KSD Graduates  here.

Graduate Dustin Tipton of Wallins hugs a friend after Kentucky School for the Deafs 2009 commencement. (Ben Kleppinger photo)

Graduate Dustin Tipton of Wallins hugs a friend after Kentucky School for the Deaf's 2009 commencement. (Ben Kleppinger photo)


Friday May 29, 2009


On Thursday, Kentucky School for the Deaf honored its 12 newest graduates and looked back fondly on some favorite memories.

KSD’s Class of 2009 commencement included speeches of three of the graduating seniors, a main address from the provost of Gallaudet University and several commemorative videos, one of which was put together by the students.

Salutatorian Kellie Martin, of Lancaster, and Valedictorian Travis Zornoza, of Lawrenceburg, both signed to the audience of teachers, staff, friends and family gathered in Thomas Hall about remaining strong in good and bad times.

Martin told his fellow graduates there always will be challenges along the way in life, but it’s important to push through them, because in the end, each person’s challenges will be what define him or her. She also emphasized the importance of sticking by faithful friends and recognizing the value of love and support.

Zornoza followed Martin on the stage, telling the audience that personal character is the most important trait.

Being happy and friendly to those around you and maintaining personal integrity are the best ways to behave, he signed. He also thanked KSD’s teachers for all the hard work they had put in.

Sandra Frank, a 2009 Kentucky School for the Deaf graduate and a junior president for the National Association of the Deaf, gives her speech, titled Deaf Pride, at the schools 2009 commencement. (Ben Kleppinger photo)

Sandra Frank, a 2009 Kentucky School for the Deaf graduate and a junior president for the National Association of the Deaf, gives her speech, titled "Deaf Pride," at the school's 2009 commencement. (Ben Kleppinger photo)

The third graduate to address the audience was Sandra Frank, the junior president of the National Association of the Deaf at KSD. Frank explained how it took a lot of work for deaf people to have the rights they have today. Many people worked hard to make the world a better place for deaf people, she signed, and now it’s time for the KSD graduates to go out and follow in that tradition by making it an even better place for future deaf generations.

“Keep your deaf pride,” she signed. “Keep it strong, always.”

‘Take what you’ve learned with you wherever you go’

Dr. Steven Weiner, Gallaudet University provost, gave the commencement address. Weiner gave students his perspective on the advancement of technology and how it has changed the world. He explained how technology will continue to change, and how learning must be a lifelong process.

Weiner ended his speech by challenging the graduates to go out into the world and take on the obstacles and rapid changes. If the graduates have the right attitude and serve those around them, they have a great future ahead of them, he signed.

“Do the best you can,” he signed. “Take what you’ve learned with you wherever you go.”

Following the speeches there were two video presentations put together by KSD for the students. The first, featuring the song “Remember Me” by Mark Schultz, was a collection of photo and video memories from the time the seniors had spent at KSD.

The second video showed photos of the graduates, beginning with very young photos and progressing chronologically to a current graduation photo of each. When the final photo was shown for each graduate, the room burst into a combination of applause and the sign language motion for applause.

Later in the commencement, the seniors got to return the favor, showing a video featuring all of them signing to “A Graduation Song,” by Dave Matthews.

After KSD Principal Rodney Buis handed out the diplomas, the students gathered on the lawn outside Thomas Hall and hugged and celebrated with their friends and family.

The KSD class of 2009: Bradley Lee Dotson of Pikeville; Angela Maria Finnission, of Hazard; Sandra Mae Frank, of Louisville; Adrian Danielle Harris of Gravel Switch; Christopher Allen Helton of Middlesburg; Kellie Diane Martin of Lancaster; Jodi Beth Paige of Betsy Layne; Courtney Dawn Parker of Harrodsburg; Dennie Ray Smallwood Jr. of Danville; Dustin Robert Tipton of Wallins; Amanda Dawn Wyatt of Jenkins; and Travis Eugino Zornoza of Lawrenceburg.  [link]

Copyright: The Advocate-Messenger 2009

McDowell to dedicate new wing Sunday

FYI:  There will be an interpreter provided for the time 2 to 4 p.m. The hospital encourages the Deaf to be at the Open house before 2 p.m. because the interpreter will be there from 2 to 4 p.m.  for the tour.

Tuesday January 6, 2009

McDowell to dedicate new wing Sunday


The new south wing of Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center will be dedicated during an open house Sunday afternoon.

The open house will be 2-4 p.m., and the brief dedication will be shortly after 2 p.m., said McDowell spokesman Harry Nickens.

The program will begin with greetings from Vicki Darnell, chief operating officer, Nickens said.

Darnell’s welcome will be followed by the invocation from the Rev. Dale Denton, hospital chaplain, and remarks from Dr. Bart Ramsey, chairman of the board of directors of Ephraim McDowell Health, and Dr. Jonathan Ricker, president of the medical staff.

The dedicatory blessing will be given by Dr. Tim Noel, director of pastoral care at the hospital.

Following the dedication, guided tours will be given of the entire facility.

The new wing, located at the corner of West Walnut Street and Figg Alley, comprises 74,000 square feet. It was designed by Stengel-Hill Architects of Louisville and built by Wehr Constructors of Louisville.

The first patients are scheduled to be admitted Tuesday.

The new wing is the centerpiece of a $35 million expansion and renovation project that will include upgrading about 31,000 square feet of existing space. Wehr Constructors will begin the renovation phase of the project in the near future, said Nickens.

When the total project is finished, the overall size of the medical center will be increased from 227,000 square feet to 301,000, its total patient bed capacity from 187 beds to 222, and its payroll from about 1,200 employees to nearly 1,300, he said.

Most of the 75 to 100 people that will staff the new wing are nurses and other clinical staff, Nickens said.

He said the new south wing consists of three floors:

* Ground floor: receptionist desk and lobby; gift shop; and chapel.

* First floor: critical care unit with an adjoining telemetry unit for patients who are not in need of critical care but aren’t ready to be taken to the regular patient-care floors. All of the rooms are private.

* Second floor: women’s health unit where mothers will be given the option of having family members present in their rooms during all or part of their stays. All of the rooms are private.

* Parking: two spaces designed as “stork parking” will be available for expectant mothers.

Meanwhile, the renovation phase of the project will involve upgrading the sixth floor of the existing hospital to accommodate orthopedic and spine patients and renovating the fifth floor for a yet-to-be-determined use, Nickens said.

Copyright:The Advocate-Messenger 2009

McDowell Regional Medical Center Expansion

As most of you may know, the Emphraim McDowell Regional Medical Center, the hospital in Danville, has been expanding and building additional space and a new wing.

The McDowell Medical Center new wing will have its open house on Sunday afternoon January 11, 2009 from 2 to 4 pm and they will have a short recognition program at 2:15. They will have an interpreter for the program, open house and the tour. The person responsible for the open house will put in the info about the interpreter in the paper to let the deaf people know.

New federal law closes KSD pool

Sunday December 21, 2008

New federal law closes KSD pool


A new federal regulation meant to prevent drownings caused by swimming pool drains has pulled the plug on aquatic activities at Kentucky School for the Deaf.

Bill Melton, KSD director of operations, said the school pool was closed Friday until further notice. The school could not find approved covers large enough to fit over the pool’s two 24-inch drains, as is required by the law.

“What we were told is that we need to shut down today because we are no longer in compliance,” Melton said Friday.

The pool closure not only means that KSD students will have to do without swimming until the situation is resolved, but it could also sink the season for the Danville and Boyle County swim teams, both of which use the pool for training and hosting meets.

Danville swim coach Marc Williams could not be reached for comment, but told members of his team in an e-mail Thursday, “We are OK for Thursday and Friday practices. Beyond that, I don’t know. I’ll keep you posted.”

The new law, which became effective Saturday, is called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act. It is named after the grandson of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who died in a spa at age 7 when he was pulled to the bottom by a suction drain. Another child died in similar circumstances at a Lexington pool this summer.

The KSD pool is unique among the three large indoor pools in Danville because of the size of its drains. No one is yet manufacturing approved covers large enough to fit over them, Melton said.

“You can’t just go down to the machine shop and have them made; they have to be approved by the feds,” Melton said. “If they made them, we’d have them.”

Centre College was able to order covers for the smaller drains in its pool in Boles Natatorium. The pool was drained early last week and the new covers installed on Thursday. The pool will reopen when students return from holiday break on Jan. 5, said John Cuny, Centre’s vice president of finance.

The drains at the pool at the McDowell Wellness Center were already in compliance with the law, said director Michael Matthews.

Outdoor pools have until the summer swimming season to bring their drains into compliance.

Melton said it is ironic that KSD’s pool is being closed by the new law, which is meant to make drains that operate by a suction system safer.

The KSD drain and filtering system operates by gravity, and doesn’t create much danger of pulling a swimmer down, Melton said.

The school was hoping the pool’s gravity system, plus the fact that larger drain covers are not being manufactured yet, might earn it some slack.

“We were hoping for a little bit of variance on it but it didn’t happen that way,” Melton said.

Fines can be levied for pools found out of compliance with the law, though Melton said he isn’t sure how much or who will be enforcing the law.

It might fall to the state Attorney General’s Office or local health departments, he said.

Copyright:The Advocate-Messenger 2008

Deep Breaths – KSD students learn physics through scuba diving

Jonathan Ramser, right, and other Kentucky School for the Deaf students learn how to communicate under water during a scuba-diving lesson. (Clay Jackson photo)

Diving instructor Jamie Clark, left, works with KSD student Isaias Salomon. (Clay Jackson photo)

Diving instructor Jamie Clark, left, helps Jonathan Johnson under water while KSD teacher Lisaann Hampton talks with Kellie Martin, back to camera, and interpreter Dennis Wheeler. (Clay Jackson photo)

Lisaann Hampton uses sign language to talk to student Jonathan Ramser. (Clay Jackson photo)

Sunday December 21, 2008

Deep Breaths – KSD students learn physics through scuba diving


While many local kids were hitting the snooze button because of canceled classes Tuesday morning, a group of Kentucky School for the Deaf students were strapping on scuba tanks in the balmy environs of the pool in Thomas Hall.

Their science teacher, Lisaann Hampton, hopes they were developing both an appreciation for diving and an understanding of some principals in physics.

Hampton has long mixed her avocation with her vocation.

“I have been diving since the early ’90s,” she said. “I traveled to the Bahamas with other teachers for seven or eight years to learn ways of teaching with marine ecology. It focused a lot on bringing coral reefs into the classroom back in the states.”

Hampton said she instantly connected the physics section of her integrated science class with her passion for diving.

“As a diver, it was a no-brainer for me to get in the water to learn about buoyancy and pressure,” she said. “But I think it also opens up different pathways of thought about water, the ocean and hopefully ecology.”

Hampton, who has been with KSD since October, is grateful that her new employer is receptive to her unorthodox pedagogy.

“This school appears to be very supportive of authentic education,” she said. “That is obviously something that I try to shoot for whenever possible.”

Hampton had to get permission from the administration before she could go to the pool and put her plan into action.

KSD Principal Rodney Buis said he was immediately receptive to the idea.

“I think it works great with the unit they are doing,” he said. ” It helps with all students, but it really helps our kids so much to experience. We are fortunate in this case because most schools don’t have the facilities to do something like this.”

Many of her students, seniors at KSD, seemed to like the idea immediately as well.

Jamie Clark, who operates Jamie Clark Diving in Harrodsburg, volunteered to give the lessons Tuesday and donated all of the equipment.

He was impressed with how well most of the students took to their new found ability to breathe in the water.

“I was not sure how it would work with interpreters, but I think this went amazingly well,” he said. “This is not a sport for everybody and almost all of the kids really seemed to enjoy it.”

As Hampton points out, though, American Sign Language often gives deaf and hard-of-hearing people an advantage over their hearing counterparts when they learn scuba.

“When we as hearing people go under the water, we are leaving our world in a way because we lose our ability to hear and to speak,” she said. “When a deaf or hard-of-hearing person dives, their ability to communicate through sign really enhances the experience.”

Hampton said she also has seen how much the ability to communicate impacts the actual learning process for scuba.

“I have observed a diving class that included a hard-of-hearing person,” she said. “He dove with an interpreter, so while everybody else is waiting for instruction, they were having a conversation on the bottom, talking about how it feels and what they were experiencing.”

One of the divers for the day, Jonathan Johnson, said he enjoyed being able to have a conversation 12 feet below the water’s surface.

“I’ve never been scuba diving before and it was so much fun,” he said. “I like that we could even sign under water. It has been a great experience.”

Clark said the ability to communicate under water has even made American Sign Language a desirable skill for some scuba-diving guides.

“I have definitely known some people who have learned sign language for that purpose,” he said. “It is something I really wish that I knew how to do. It makes me think about learning.”

Hampton can already see ways that scuba can be functional for some students after they graduate.

She points to Johnson, who has indicated that he is interested in welding.

Hampton suggested the possibility of plying his trade under water, which can be a very lucrative career.

“He has really been interested in some of the cave-diving videos I show in class,” she said. “I told him that underwater welders get to work on a lot of projects, like bridges and boats. They make quite a bit of money, too.”

The 18-year-old eastern Kentucky native said he may well pursue the combination of his old job aspiration and new hobby.

“I want to take classes in welding and scuba and would like to get my certification,” he said.

Hampton also would like to see her love for diving flourish with more students.

She said that, in addition to continuing the class exercise, she wants to make scuba a more lasting pastime on KSD’s campus.

Hampton would like to start a diving club and thinks it could take advantage of abundant locations in the area that may not be associated with scuba.

“People don’t realize how many divers there are around here who go out and do freshwater dives,” she said. “We could do that maybe once a month and in the summer we could take some kind of a trip to an ocean environment.”

There is also the matter of getting financial backing for what can be an extremely expensive sport.

“I think that people in the community would really support something like this,” she said. “The kids can learn so much from the world that it opens up for them.”

Copyright:The Advocate-Messenger 2008