Signing In with Mrs. Hollander


American Sign Language (ASL for short) is probably one of the most useful languages to learn when you’re living in America, ranking as the third most commonly used language in the United States, after English and Spanish, according to Story Learning, “Approximately 250,000 – 500,000 people of all ages throughout the US and Canada use this language to communicate as their native language.” With the demand for ASL increasing, as stated by Uncle Goose, it’s important that more and more people, especially the younger generation, take up this language, rich with its own culture and history. As cited from StartASL, we can find that ASL originated in the 19th century in West Hartford, Connecticut at at school called the American School for the Deaf by Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, who started the school due to his neighbor having a deaf daughter of his own. After he died, his son, Edward Miner Gallaudet established a deaf college in 1864 in what is now known as Washington D.C., renamed Gallaudet University, and become the first and only deaf university in the world. From those roots, the language has flourished into an asset for not only the deaf, but for hearing individuals as well, as they can find new ways to communicate and express themselves beyond the English language.

Many of my friends often subconsciously sign while they speak to me as a way to use gestures. But, how does any of this relate to ACP High School? Well, my dear readers, this year, we have another wonderful addition to our Knight family, Mrs. Hollander, who is, as you can tell, our new ASL teacher! As we interview her, you’ll learn more about her experience in the field of education, and what she likes to do when she’s not in the classroom.

When it comes to the ASL world, Mrs. Hollander has plenty of experience and outside knowledge to share with her students and fellow staff members at our school. She has taught ASL for two years at Casteel High School and before that, she was a Sign Language interpreter. She currently teaches ASL I-IV to all the grades at our school, but mainly the freshmen and sophomores in ASL I and ASL II. She currently has a few projects with her students in the next semester, and in her spare time, she loves to read. “I have read over 75 books so far in 2022! I also love crafts and I sew and crochet little figures when I have time.”

Fortunately, Mrs. Hollander has had a great time at our school, and she feels so welcomed here, and adores her World Language department colleagues. “This year I have learned a lot about time management from my students since there are so many students interested in ASL, and I am so excited to have more students join the program!”. Mrs. Hollander was inspired to join the education field because she wanted to become a Sign Language Interpreter, taking ASL during her time in high school and eventually majoring in Deaf Studies at the University of Arizona. “I loved working as an interpreter, but when a friend urged me to get my teaching certificate and apply in Chandler, I fell in love with teaching high school,” she explains. “I love being with the students and helping them learn more about this great language. I hope to show students they can start out just like I did learning sign language in high school and eventually build an amazing career with the Deaf community!”

We’re absolutely thrilled to have Mrs. Hollander at our school, and for her to continue adding more to the enriching culture of ASL here within our Knight family. As always, remember to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary, Knights!

Photo credits:

All pictures were given by Mrs. Hollander