Thursday, October 22, 2009

FREMONT: SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF WILL CELEBRATE 150TH ANNIVERSARY

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The California School for the Deaf, Fremont is holding a series of events from today through Sunday to commemorate its 150th anniversary.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell congratulated the school, which began in San Francisco on May 1, 1960, for what he described as 150 years of educational excellence, guidance, and encouragement that have helped shape the lives and careers of seven generations of students.

In a statement, O'Connell said, "One hundred and fifty years ago, the California School for the Deaf started with three students in a rented house in San Francisco."

He said, "Since then, it has expanded to meet the needs, abilities, and interests of thousands of deaf and hard of hearing students who have benefited greatly from its enduring support. This is a remarkable anniversary for a remarkable school."

Henry Klopping, who has been the school's superintendent since 1975, said its mission is to "ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students receive the best possible education, enabling them to reach their full potential while preparing them to function effectively and to become contributing members of society."

Alumni, current students and their families, staff members and community members are all invited to join the commemoration activities.

The first event will be a reception at 7 p.m. today at the facility's high school cafeteria, which is located at 39350 Gallaudet Drive in Fremont.

On Friday, former San Francisco 49er football player Ronnie Lott will participate in a school-wide pep rally and O'Connell will speak at an Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner.

Homecoming Day on Saturday will features a parade and several games, including a football game between the California School for the Deaf, Fremont against the California School for the Deaf, Riverside. The teams have had a friendly rivalry dating back to 1974.

On Sunday, alumni reunions will take place in the high school cafeteria with a group photo taken at the school amphitheatre.