On March 31, 1832 an act was approved which provided for the funding of a
state institution "...for the instruction and maintenance of Deaf mutes to
be known as the State Institution for the Deaf and Dumb." It also provided
for the establishment of a board of eleven trustees that would have control and
management of the institution. The institute was to be housed in a facility that
was originally constructed for orphans of Civil War soldiers, the New Jersey
Soldiers' Children Home, on Hamilton and
Chestnut Avenues in Trenton. (pictured below)
1832 - 2009
The state made an appropriation of $15,000
"...to defray the expenses of the necessary alterations, improvements and
repairs to the building and for procuring the necessary furniture." It was
estimated that another $20,000 would be required to purchase all the supplies
that would be needed in order to put the institution in proper condition for the
reception and care of pupils (e.g., books, appliances, materials, etc.). It was
later determined, however, that $20,000 would not be adequate, so the state sold
the Stevens Battery and allocated the proceeds ($58,793.58) to the institution.
On May 1, 1883 the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to
appoint Professor Weston Jenkins (Senior Professor of the New York Institution
for the Deaf and Dumb and former Civil War Lieutenant) the first Superintendent
of New Jersey's State Institution for the Deaf and Dumb with an annual salary of
$3,500. On October 9, 1883 the first pupils were received at the school and
preparations for educational operations were begun.
The first school population
consisted of 68 pupils (38 males and 30 females), including six from Mercer
County. In the annual report of 1890/91 it was stated, "By Chapter
XCVII of the Laws 1891 the former Board of Trustees of the New Jersey School for
Deaf Mutes is abolished and the duties and powers of such a Board are vested in
the State Board of Education." Thus, the beginning of the school's long
term association with the New Jersey State Board of Education and the State
Department of Education.
In 1899, John Pennington Walker became the second
superintendent of the school. Walker was the former principal of the industrial
department of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. In 1900, the
school's name was changed to the New Jersey School for the Deaf (NJSD). On May
30, 1900, the Biennial Convention of the New Jersey Society of the Deaf was held
at the school chapel.
Walter M. Kilpatrick, of the American School for the Deaf,
served as the third superintendent of the New Jersey School for the Deaf from
1916 to 1917. It was under his administration that one year of military
instruction was carried out at the school.
Dr. Alvin E. Pope, a former teacher at the Nebraska School
for the Deaf, was appointed the 4th superintendent of the school in 1917 and he
served until 1939.
Dr. Pope oversaw moving the school
from its Hamilton Avenue location in downtown Trenton to its present suburban
location in West Trenton. The state purchased the Scudder farm and began
construction of the new school for the Deaf. The Primary Unit of the school
opened in 1923, and the Middle and Upper Units opened in 1926. The school
officially was opened by Governor Moore.
On March 22, 1965, the school's name was
changed to the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf. Mrs. Katzenbach was
chosen for this honor because of her many years of hard work for the school and
its students while serving on the State Board of Education. She served on the
Board for 43 years during which time she was a friend and advocate of the Deaf in New
In 1940, Charles M. Jochem, principal of the
Vocational Department, was appointed the fifth superintendent of the NJSD and
served until his retirement in 1975.
served as the sixth superintendent of the
school from 1975 until 1981. During Mr. Cronlund's administration the
school officially adopted a Total Communication philosophy.
Dr. James R. LeBuffe was appointed the 7th superintendent
of the school in 1981. Under Dr. LeBuffe's administration a great emphasis was
placed upon general academic achievement; parent education; and informing the
general public, throughout New Jersey, about the affects of hearing loss on
individuals and families.
Dr. Richard G. Bozza served as the 8th Superintendent and
was appointed in 1985. Dr. Bozza was responsible for code changes regarding the
school as well as many of the policies and procedures which now govern the
school. Dr. Bozza was recruited from the Montville, N.J. school system and
returned to Montville as its superintendent in December of 1989.
Dr. Gertrude S. Galloway was appointed superintendent
effective January, 1991. Dr. Galloway was the first Deaf person to hold this
position in the history of the school. It is also important to note that she was
the first Deaf woman to be appointed superintendent of a boarding school for
the Deaf in the United States. Dr. Galloway retired in 1999.
Ronald C. Goodwin was appointed Superintendent in July 2000 after
a nationwide search. Mr. Goodwin began his career as a teacher in
1969. He became the principal of the Middle School in 1975
and remained in that position until 1987 when he was appointed
Director of Support Services. He served in that position until
1994 when he was appointed Assistant Superintendent. Mr. Goodwin
brings 31 years of experience serving New Jersey's Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing students to the position of Superintendent. Mr.
Goodwin retired in June 2003.
P. Russell was appointed Superintendent of New Jersey’s
Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in 2003. Prior to
becoming superintendent in New Jersey, Mr. Russell was a
regional superintendent for the
Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind where he
was responsible for the oversight of the state’s northern
region, including the
Phoenix Day School for the Deaf.
Russell was employed by the New Jersey Department of Education
as the state’s coordinator of deaf education and for Bergen
County Special Services School District. Mr. Russell is a
CEASD board member and has presented papers at
CAID, CEASD, ACE-D/HH and
ASCD. Mr. Russell retired in August 2009.
Dr. Angel Ramos was
appointed Superintendent on July 13, 2011.
Dr. Ramos is one of the few deaf persons of Hispanic descent to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University. He
retired on June 30, 2015.
Email: Mrs. Margaret
Telephone: 609-530-3156 -
TTY: 609-530-3156 -