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Millcreek Journal

A small but mighty graduating class

Jul 22, 2021 11:45AM ● By Katy Whittingham

The Utah School for the Deaf and Blind, USDB, graduation ceremony took place on May 26th in Ogden. (Photo credit USDB)

By Katy Whittingham | [email protected] 

Seven Utah School for the Deaf and Blind students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired from Northern Utah and Salt Lake areas graduated on May 26 in Ogden with a unique ceremony that included each graduates’ personal reflections on their education. 

“This graduation was like no other,” Utah School for the Deaf Associate Superintendent, Michelle Tanner, said. “It completely focused on the students, and English, American Sign Language, and Spanish infused nicely into the ceremony”.

Utah’s deaf students are No. 1 in the nation for high school completion rates, and the Utah School for the Blind serves as a national leader in STEM and the Expanded Core Curriculum. “USDB serve more than 2,000 students statewide, with highly specialized teachers who travel to each student’s school district. Most of our students graduate from their local schools, but about 350 students attend our USDB campuses throughout the state. It was those campus seniors who graduated in Ogden,” Superintendent Joel Coleman said. 

During the ceremony, instead of having a main speaker, each graduate addressed their families and teachers. 

“It was a wonderful way to celebrate this important day in their lives. I’m always surprised and entertained as we never know what exactly the students will reveal,” Tanner said.  

“Our students inspired a lot of laughter during the graduation event,” Superintendent Coleman said. 

The students also shared the friendships they have developed with peers and some of the obstacles they have overcome. 

“These outstanding students have conquered challenges and learned additional skills to ensure their lives will be full and productive. We are so proud of them,” Utah School for the Blind Associate Superintendent Susan Patten said. 

Links to the livestream recordings of the ceremony in both English and Spanish and a gallery of images featuring a variety of photos from each graduate’s life including their senior portraits with cap and gown can be found on USDB’s Facebook page.