The New Jersey Board of Education today approved the appointment of Ronald C. Goodwin of Lambertville as superintendent of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf. As superintendent, Goodwin will lead the school he has served since 1969.
"Ron Goodwin has dedicated his entire career to showing the children of Katzenbach School how they can overcome their disabilities to succeed," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe. "He is loved by the students, supported by the community and skilled in his profession. I look forward to continued progress at Katzenbach with Ron at the helm."
"I intend to use my 30-plus years of experience at Katzenbach to continue to provide the very best programs and services for our students," Goodwin said. "I am fortunate to have an outstanding staff and an extremely supportive parent group and Citizen Advisory Board to enable Katzenbach to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
Commissioner Hespe appointed Goodwin to the position following a nationwide search that included an intensive screening and interview process by two interview teams that included parents and members of the schools citizen advisory board, school staff and representatives from the Department of Education. Interview team members included people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Goodwin had served as Acting Superintendent of Katzenbach for 1999-2000 after Dr. Gertrude S. Galloway retired last summer. Prior to that, he had been Assistant Superintendent of Katzenbach for five years.
Goodwin began his career at the school in 1969 as a classroom teacher at the Middle School. He was named assistant principal and then principal of the Middle School from 1972 to 1987. After that, he served as director of Support Services before he was appointed Assistant Superintendent.
Katzenbachs new superintendent is certified as a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, as a supervisor, as a principal, and as a chief school administrator. He has a bachelors degree in music education from Trenton State College and a masters degree in special education with a specialization in education of the hearing impaired, also from Trenton State College. He was one of the founding members of the New Jersey Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and served as its vice president in 1972 and president from 1973 to 1975.
The Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf, which hired its first superintendent in 1883, is the only school for the deaf and hard of hearing students in the state that provides room and board during the five-day school week. The school, situated on a campus in West Trenton, serves more than 250 students, excluding students under the age of three.
The Katzenbach School operates an early intervention program for children under age three and their parents; a nursery school; a lower school; a middle school; a high school; a program for multiply handicapped and deaf-blind students; and a program for deaf students who are seriously emotionally disturbed.
In 1996, the Katzenbach School underwent a comprehensive strategic planning process that led to the development and approval of a five-year plan. The plan outlined a new direction for the Katzenbach School and established it as the states center on deafness. Katzenbachs mission was expanded to include the provision of outreach services to New Jerseys deaf and hard of hearing persons of all ages, as well as to the provision of consultation services to the states district boards of education. The plan also provided direction to enable Katzenbach to become more self-sufficient through active engagement in entrepreneurial activities.