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Glennis Matthews
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Glennis Matthews Selected as New Superintendent of TLC

August 18, 2021

SHIRA GRABELSKY

The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) announces that it has selected Glennis Matthews as its new Superintendent of The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC). The process was led by a search committee of staff, board members, and administration which was co-chaired by Isidore Niyongabo, TLC Chief People Officer, and Shira Grabelsky, TLC Director of Education Initiatives. The finalist process of the search involved a meet and greet between each finalist and MPS and Walden School students, teachers, board members, and parent representatives. The consulting firm that guided the search process was Innivee Strategies, Inc., a Deaf-owned and led organizational and leadership development company.

Dr. Sarah Glenn-Smith, CEO of The Learning Center for the Deaf, formally offered the position to Ms. Matthews, who enthusiastically accepted the role. Glennis Matthews is expected to begin her role in late August. Ms. Matthews’ acceptance makes her the first Black Deaf woman and first HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) graduate to become a Superintendent of a Deaf School throughout the history of Deaf Education, joining the league consisting of a few Deaf BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Deaf School Superintendents in the United States.

GLENNIS MATTHEWS

It is an honor to join The Learning Center. Thank you for entrusting me to lead as the superintendent. After meeting the search committee members and students, staff, parents, and Board representatives, I am elated to work closely with the TLC team in continuing to lead the way in bilingual Deaf education and to carry TLC through the next 50 [years].

ISIDORE NIYONGABO

Born in Philadelphia and raised in Saginaw, Michigan to a Grenadian mother and a Trinidadian father, Ms. Matthews’ educational journey took her to Georgia to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta after an Associate of Applied Science degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston. She then obtained a Master of Arts degree in Middle Grade Math and Science from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. She is a professional science educator and the Science Department Chairperson at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf in Clarkston, Georgia.

Ms. Matthews has returned to Clark Atlanta University and is currently a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. She passionately believes in the foundation of literacy and has focused her studies on early literacy intervention strategies for deaf and hard of hearing children with a career goal to advocate and implement an early literacy curriculum for deaf and hard of hearing children. Out of the lab and onto the stage, Ms. Matthews is the only Deaf member of Giwayen Mata - an award-winning soul-stirring, all-sistah, dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble based in Atlanta. As an advocate, Ms. Matthews dedicates her time as a tutor and mentor for interpreters who are working towards national certification.

SARAH GLENN-SMITH

Glennis’ vision, enthusiasm, and student-centered beliefs and values inspired us all. I am ecstatic to welcome Glennis to the TLC community. In addition to her extensive experience in foundational literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), Glennis shares our vision for a campus that embodies anti-bias, anti-racist practices and pedagogy while continuing our proud, continued legacy as the founder and leader of ASL/English bilingual education. I would like to thank our dedicated search committee and community members who supported the success of this process.

I also wish to thank Innivee Strategies, Inc. for their commitment and expertise in guiding the organization in building trust among staff members, students, parents, and other stakeholders.

SHANE FELDMAN

Hello! My name is Shane Feldman and I am the CEO for Innivee Strategies. I want to thank the Learning Center for the Deaf for trusting our company to lead this search process. This process was built with integrity by incorporating support from various stakeholders, and ultimately leading to a successful outcome. I am pleased to announce that that outcome has resulted in Glennis Matthews being chosen as the new Superintendent for TLC. Congratulations Glennis.