Letter indicates ISD superintendent is leaving

By Gary Scott on June 11, 2015 at 8:20am

The superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf is reportedly stepping down.

In a letter published by the ISD Alumni Association website, Dr. Janice Smith-Warshaw says her resignation is effective at the end of this month, and that she’s accepted a job as an assistant professor at Fresno State University in California.

Officials told the Jacksonville Journal-Courier the resignation is not related to the implementation of “cued speech”, a controversial alternative to American Sign Language, into the ISD curriculum.

A petition on Change.org calling for Smith-Warshaw’s resignation based on the cued speech addition that was started several months ago has gotten 446 signatures.

Department of Human Services officials tell the Jacksonville newspaper the state will be searching for a new superintendent, but it’s not clear yet if there will be an interim administrator.

Smith-Warshaw became the first deaf woman to be hired as ISD’s superintendent in the school’s 176-year history when she was brought aboard in May 2013.