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School for the Deaf in Devils Lake gets new leader

Connie Hovendick has been hired as the new superintendent of the North Dakota School for the Deaf in Devils Lake, according to a news release from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction.

Hovendick, who started her new job earlier this week, worked for 14 years as director of the Lake Region special education unit, which provides services to 12 school districts in Benson, Cavalier, Nelson, Ramsey and Towner counties.

She had worked as the Lake Region unit’s program coordinator and assistant director before she was hired as its director in August 2000. She taught students with emotional disturbances in the Devils Lake public schools from 1979 to 1988.

She replaces Carmen Grove Suminski, who retired in August 2013. Lilia Bakken, the school’s communications director, has served as interim superintendent for the past year.

The School for the deaf serves hearing-impaired residents all over North Dakota. It operates a 26-acre campus in Devils Lake, with about 22 resident students, plus outreach offices in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Rolla and Devils Lake that serve infants, adults and students in other public schools.