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North Dakota School for the Deaf names new superintendent

While she is not deaf, Sorenson is fluent in sign language

Donna Sorensen2 Supt School for Deaf Sept 2022.jpeg
Donna Sorensen
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DEVILS LAKE — Donna Sorenson has been hired as the new superintendent of the North Dakota School for the Deaf, state superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Monday, Sept. 12.

The Devils Lake-based school provides a comprehensive academic program for deaf or hard of hearing students from preschool through grade 8. Students in grades 9-12 then transition to Devils Lake High School, with support from interpreters and teachers for the deaf.

A native of Alabama, Sorenson has extensive experience working with the audibly impaired, both as an educator and administrator. Prior to accepting this position, Sorenson served as outreach director and superintendent for the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind in Great Falls, from 2012 to 2020.

While she is not deaf, Sorenson is fluent in sign language

Additionally, Sorensen has been director of the Birmingham regional center for the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, superintendent of the Mississippi Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Jackson and assistant principal and distance learning coordinator for the Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver.

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Baesler was effusive in her praise of Sorenson.

“We are delighted, and fortunate, to have a person of Donna’s background and expertise as the new superintendent of the School and Resource Center for the deaf,” Baesler said in a news release. “She brings a fresh perspective and outlook to providing services for North Dakotans who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Sorensen said she is looking forward to joining “the amazing team here.”

“I am impressed with the work that’s happening at the North Dakota School for the Deaf/Resource Center, and I look forward to being a small part of it,” she said in a statement.

Sorenson holds a bachelor’s degree in deaf education from the University of

Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama, and earned a master’s degree at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a private school that serves the deaf and hard of hearing.

Sorensen succeeds Dr. Connie Hovendick as superintendent, who served in the role for nearly eight years before retiring in June 2022.

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