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Carolyn Perkins born

July 24, 1868


Carolyn Perkins was born in Rochester, NY to the Gilman H. Perkins family and became deaf at age 2.

Mary Hart Nodine

1873


As Carolyn Perkins became school age, Mrs. Perkins visited the Maryland School for the Deaf. There she met Mary Hart Nodine, a teacher at the school, and enticed her to move to Rochester to become a tutor for Carolyn. Nodine is engaged to fellow teacher Zenas Freeman Westervelt.

The "Combined Method"

1876 - 1878

The "Combined Method" of instruction (the use of signs and speech) was used at the school for teaching and communicating with the children.

RSD established

2/3/1876

On Feb. 3, 1876 a meeting was held with the mayor of Rochester to establish a school for the deaf and a Board of Trustees. The school was named the Western New York Institute for Deaf Mutes.

RSD placed under NYS Education Dept.

5/15/1876

On May 15, 1876 RSD was put under the control of the NYS Dept. of Educ. and under the supervision of the NYS Board of Charities.

School opens

Oct. 4, 1876

The school officially opens on this date with 23 students.

The Rochester Method

1878 - 1985

The method of instruction was changed from signs and speech to fingerspelling and speech. (Signs or gestures were no longer permitted) This method became internationally known as the "Rochester Method" of communication.

Kindergarten established

1879

A Kindergarten program was established at the school. It was the first of its kind in the country for deaf children.

Daily Paper for our Little People

1881

The "Daily Paper for our Little People" was started. It was used as a daily journal of events taking place at the school.

"Silent Workers"

1883

The "Silent Workers" organization was established at RSD to financially support the Chefoo School for the Deaf in China. Student organized activities to earn money to send to China in support of the school there.

Lambda Phi Phi

1885

A literary and debating society was organized at the school and called the Lambda Phi Phi.

Lyon Phonetic Alphabet

1890


Dr. Westervelt meets with Mr. Lyon about a phonetic alphabet that Mr. Lyon has been working on. Mr Lyon develops the alphabet using hand positions to portray phonetic sounds. It is used at the school in the teaching of speech to the students.

Football Team established

1900

The first RSD Football team is established.

Alumni Association

1904

The RSD Alumni Association is established. Former student and teacher Clayton McLaughlin is its first president.

Stromberg-Carlson

1906

Stromberg-Carlson, a prominent Rochester company, develops an auditory stimulator. It is the first electronic hearing aid and was tested and used by students at the school.

Dr. Westervelt dies

Feb. 17, 1918

Dr. Westervelt dies on Feb. 17, 1918

School renamed

1920

The Western New York Institute for Deaf Mutes is officially renamed the Rochester School for the Deaf.

Baseball Team established

1920


The RSD baseball team was established. Elmer Kuder was captain of the 1st team and Robert Heacock was the captain of the 2nd team.

Boy Scout Troop established

1923


Boy Scout Troop #23 is established at the school.

Girl Scout Troop established

1928


Girl Scout Troop #51 is formed at RSD.

Soccer Team established

1933


The first RSD Soccer team is established at the school by its first coach, Mr. Leenhouts (a teacher at the school).

Preschool established

1937

The first preschool aged children were enrolled at the school.

Dr. Forrester retires

1943

Dr. Forrester retires and moves to Canada.

NYSAED established

October 26, 1955

Dr. Galloway is the driving force behind the establishment of the NYSAED (the New York State Association of Educators of the Deaf).

Dr. Galloway retires

1966

Dr. Galloway retires and Dr. Hoag takes over.

NTID

1968

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf is established at the Rochester Institute of Technology campus as one of its colleges

RSD Yearbook (The Lantern) published

1973

The first RSD student yearbook "The Lantern" was published.

Dr. Hoag moves to Arizona

1974

Dr. Hoag moves to become the Superintendent of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind. Mr. Zwick takes over.

National Captioned Films

1974

The National Captioned Films for the Deaf Selection program is housed on the RSD campus.

Summer School program established

1976

The first Summer School program was established at RSD with Mr. Fred Koch as its director.

Jr. NAD chapter established

October 14, 1982

RSD students form a chapter of the Jr. National Association of the Deaf.

Program for Deaf/Emotionally Disturbed children established

September 1984

A collaborative program with the Hillside Children's Center is opened for Deaf/Emotionally disturbed children. It is the only one of its kind in NYS to serve that population of students. The children live on the Hillside campus and come to RSD on a daily basis for their educational program.

American Sign Language

1985 - Present

The Rochester Method gradually disappeared and American Sign Language was used as the instructional mode of communication.

Horizons program established

1987

RSD begins a program called "Horizons". It is a transitioning program for 18 - 21 year old deaf individuals into community life and work situations.

Apple-a-Daycare Center opens

September 1988

Apple-A-Day daycare center opens on the RSD campus for children of RSD staff and local community members. The first known daycare program in the nation to care for both hearng and deaf children mixed together with the staff using speech and sign language for all of the children.

Mr. Zwick retires

1990

Mr. Zwick retires and Dr. Harold Mowl takes over.

Adventures In Education program established

1993

The first Adventures in Education program is held. It is an annual fund raiser for the school in which prominent adventurers come to the school for 2 or 3 days to work with the students and gives talks about their field of endeavors.

RSD Outreach Center established

2000

The Rochester School for the Deaf Outreach Center was established. It serves as a clearing house for information on deafness for public schools and as a resource to the community supporting programs for children and adults to learn more about deafness, sign language and enhancement of academic programs.

Superintendents

Dr. Zenas Freeman Westervelt

Feb. 3, 1876 - Feb. 17, 1918


Dr. Zenas Freeman Westervelt was named as the first Superintendent of the Rochester School for the Deaf. He served in that capacity until his death on Feb. 17, 1918.

Dr. Thomas Carlaw Forrester

1918 - 1943


Dr. Thomas Carlaw Forrester, a teacher at the school, was named as the second RSD Superintendent serving until his retirement in 1943.

Dr. James H. Galloway

1943 - 1966


Dr. James H. Galloway, an RSD teacher, becomes the third Superintendent of the Rochester School for the Deaf and serves until his retirement in 1966.

Dr. Ralph L. Hoag

1966 - 1974


Dr. Ralph L. Hoag comes to RSD from the U.S. Department of Education as the fourth Superintendent of the school. He serves until June, 1974 at which time he moves to become the Superintendent of the Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind.

Leonard G. Zwick

1974 - 1990


Mr. Leonard G. Zwick is named the fifth Superintendent of RSD. Zwick had been a teacher, guidance counselor, the school's first audiologist and the school's principal for 17 years before becoming Superintendent.

Dr. Harold M. Mowl Jr.

1990 - Present


Dr. Harold Mowl becomes the sixth and first deaf Superintendent of RSD. He comes to RSD from the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Pittsburgh, PA where he was a former student and school administrator.

RSD Campus

First school building

1876 - 1878

The first school building used by the Western New York Institute for Deaf Mutes was located at #70 S. St. Paul Street at the corner of Court Street. The building was rented from the city of Rochester.

The "Truant Home"

1877 - 1878


The boys were moved to the "Truant Home" on N. St. Paul Street (the current Perkins Hall) and the building was rented from the city of Rochester for the sum of $1 per year.

St. Paul Campus

1878 - Present

All of the students (both boys and girls) were moved to the new campus at #263 N. St. Paul Street.
This is the school's current location.

Fire of 1882

July 31, 1882

A fire destroys the shops behind the main building as well as some damage to the main building itself.

Rebuilding

Sept. 1882

Three new buildings were built to replace the burned out buildings. These were the new KG building, the academic building, and the attachment to the boiler house building.

Farm purchased

1888


The school also purchased the farm at the corner of Norton Street and Jewel Street bordered by Ceach Street and the R.W. and D. railroad line. (the Rome/Watertown and ? Railroad)

School Campus purchased

1888

The campus property that the school was renting was purchased from the city of Rochester for the sum of $20,000.00

Steamship House

1931


The old "Steamship House" (once an inn on the stage and rail line and later moved to from the Ridge to the St. Paul Street location and used by the school as a laundry) is torn down to make room for the new Lyon Hall girls dorm being built on that spot.

Lyon Hall is built

1931


Carolyn Hamilton Talcott Lyon donates money to build Lyon Hall (a girl's dormitory) in memory of her husband Dr. Edmund Lyon and her Aunt, Harriet Hamilton.

Willis Hall built

June 12, 1931


Willis Hall (a boy's dormitory) is opened. It is donated to the school by Robert Willis in memory of his parents.

Preschool wing added

1937

A new preschool wing was added to the primary building to accommodate the preschol children.

Academic building (Westervelt Hall)

1941


A new academic building with a shared auditorium and gymnasium in the basement was built (Westervelt Hall).

RSD expansion plan

1952

Dr. Galloway and the Board of Directors develop and approve a new expansion plan for the RSD campus.

Preschool building (Denton Hall)

1962


A new Preschool building is added to the campus. Denton Hall is donated by Mrs. Gormly, an RSD Board member, in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nehemiah Denton.

Galloway Hall

1968


Galloway Hall (a dormitory for children 5 years of age and under) is built

Dining Hall built (Forrester Hall)

1969


Forrester Hall, a dining room and infirmary are built on the campus.

Campus renovations

1999 - 2003

The RSD campus is renovated bringing it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by making building accessable with ramps, elevators, larger bathrooms and airconditioning. Other renovations are also made to the campus at the cost of approximately 14 million dollars of NYS monies

Famous Visitors to RSD

Harriet Beecher Stowe and Oliver Wendell Holmes

1890

Harriet Beecher Stowe and Oliver Wendell Holmes visit the school to see the students put on a production of Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin".

Alexander Graham Bell

1891


A. G. Bell visits the school to see the Lyon Phonetic Method in action. A. G. Bell and his father were also working on a visual phonetic system but was deemed to be not as good as the Lyon Phonetic Alphabet.

Helen Keller and A. G. Bell

1893

Both Helen Keller and A. G. Bell visit the school.

Helen Keller visits again

1926


Helen Keller visits the school again. The children present her with flowers.

Helen Keller visits

1941

Helen Keller visits the campus again for the dedication of the new academic building. (Westervelt Hall)

Ann Bancroft

1993

First Adventures in Education speaker. She crossed the Arctic and Antarctic by dogsled

Robert Ballard

1994

Discoverer of the sunken Titanic and the Bismark

Dan Buettner

1995

He bicycled across continents exploring different cultures

Fred Haise

1996

Oneof the Apollo 13 astronauts who had to abort their flight and landing on the moon

Jan Reynolds

1997

She treked across the Sahara dessert and the Himalayan mountains

Todd Skinner

1998

Internationally known free rock climber who died from a fall on a climb after visiting RSD

Alvah and Diana Simon

1999

World Class sailors who survived a winter stuck in Arctic ice with their sailboat

Arlene Burns

2000

World Class Kayaker who explored rivers of the world

Jean Michel Cousteau

2001

Ocean explorer and environmentalist who fights for the protection of underwater creatures

Libby Riddles

2002

First woman to win the Ididarod Dog Sled Race in Alaska

Hazel Barton and Nancy Aulenbach

2003

Explorers of ice caves

Dick Rutan

2004

World Class pilot and balloonist who helped develop the first private aircraft to break the Earth's atmosphere and enter outerspace

Rusty Johnson

2005

Wildlife and environmental educator

Jack Horner

2006

Renowned paleontologist who searches for and digs up dinosaur bones

George Kourounis

2007

Film maker and global adventurer

Christy Smith and Dave Justice

2008

They traveled to different countries to explore deaf culture around the world

David Gallo

2009

Director of special projects for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution shared his experiences exploring the under sea world

Florian Schultz

2010

Professional wildlife and landscape photographer from Germany

Prominent Students (Alumni)

Philip Brown

1893


Philip Brown becomes the first RSD college graduate from Gallaudet College.

Clara Noro

June 1911


In June of 1911, Clara Noro is the first RSD student to be awarded a New York State Regents diploma .

Barbara Tubbs named Miss Deaf America

1982


Barbara Tubbs, a 1978 graduate of RSD becomes "Miss Deaf America".

Prominent Staff/Faculty members

First teaching staff

1876

The first four teachers selected to work at the school included Mrs. Mary H. (Nodine) Westervelt, Miss Harriet E. Hamilton, Mr. Edward P. Hart, and Mr. Mills Whittlesey.

Annetta Thompson

1883


RSD teacher Miss Annetta Thompson married Rev. Charles R. Mills, a missionary in China, and they establish the first School for the Deaf in China (The Chefoo School for the Deaf).

Rosa H. Halpin

1884


Rosa was the first graduate of RSD and also became the first deaf faculty member.

Lyon Wedding

June 2, 1896

Carolyn Hamilton Talcott (niece of one of the original teachers, Harriet Hamilton) marries Edmund Lyon and they have their reception at the school sharing wedding cake with all of the students and staff.

Clayton McLaughlin

1904


Clayton McLaughlin, an RSD alumnus and math teacher establishes the RSD Alumni Association and becomes its first president.

World Events

Battle of Little Big Horn

1876

General George A. Custer and his troops are killed in the Battle of Little Big Horn

Telephone Invented

1876

Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone and gets a patent for it.

Electric Lights

1879

Thomas Edison invents the electric light bulb

Brooklyn Bridge

1883

The Brooklyn Bridge is built

Statue of Liberty

1886

The Statue of Liberty is given to the U.S. from France and is built and dedicated in the NY harbor

The "Box Camera"

1888

George Eastman develops the first "Box Camera" for Kodak

The Eiffel Tower

1889

The Eiffel Tower is built in Paris, France

Olympic Games

1896

The first "modern" Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece

Spanish American War

1898

The Spanish American War begins

President William McKinley assassinated

1901

President William McKinley is assassinated in Buffalo, NY

The Wright brothers

1903

George and Orville Wright fly the first airplane at Kitty Hawk, SC

Ford Motor Co.

1903

Henry Ford starts Ford Motor Company in Detroit, MI

Boston Red Sox

1903

The Boston Red Sox win the first ever baseball World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates

San Francisco earthquake

1906

The Great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 takes place

The NAACP established

1909

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is founded

Boy Scouts of America

1910

The Boy Scouts of America is founded

Titanic sinks

1912

The Titanic, on its maiden voyage sinks after hitting an iceberg

WWI bigins

1914 - 1918

World War 1 begins

Russian Revolution

1917

The Russian Revolution begins with the killing of Czar Nicholas and his family

Babe Ruth

1927

Babe Ruth hits 60 home runs while playing for the NY Yankees

Charles Lindbergh

1927

Charles Lindbergh flies solo from NY to Paris in a plane called the "Spirit of St. Louis"

The Great Depression

1929

The Great Depression begins following the Stock Market Crash of 1929

Amelia Earhart

1937

Amelia Earhart lost on a flight over the Pacific ocean. She and her navigator were never found

WWII begins

1939 - 1945

World war II begins

Pearl Harbor attack

1941

Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese and the United States enters WWII

Atomic Bomb

1945

The US drops the first Atomic Bombs on the cities of Tokyo and Nagasaki, Japan bringing WWII to an end

Computer invented

1945

The first electronic computer is invented

Israel

1949

The country of Israel is established and recognized by the United Nations

Korean War

1950 - 1953

The Korean War begins as the North Koreans attack the South Koreans

Vietnam War begins

1960 - 1973

The Vietnam War begins

1st man in space

1961

The Russians put the 1st man in space followed by the Americans 2 months later.

President John F. Kennedy assassinated

1963

President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX

Martin Luther King assassinated

1968

Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, TN

Robert Kennedy assassinated

1968

Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinaed in Los Angeles, CA

1st men to land and walk on the moon

1969

The US lands a spacecraft on the moon and two astronauts leave the craft and walk on the moon's surface

President Nixon resigns

1974

President Nixon resigns after the "Watergate" scandal

Space Shuttle explodes

1986

The Space Shuttle "Challenger" with a teacher aboard explodes on take-off killing all the astronauts on board

9/11

2001

On September 11, 2001 terrorists fly planes into to World Trade Center Towers in NYC and into the Pentagon in Washington, DC while another plane destined for the Capital building or the White House crashes into a field in PA. More than 3000 Americans are killed in these attacks.

Tsunami hits Thailand

2004

Following an earthquake in Indonesia, a Tsunami strikes the shores of Thialand killing more than 225,000 people

Wars in Iraq and Afganistan

2004 - Present

The wars in Iraq and Afganistan begin