FRAMINGHAM – The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) has selected Glennis Matthews as its new Superintendent. The process was led by a search committee of staff, board members, and administration co-chaired by Isidore Niyongabo, TLC Chief People Officer, and Shira Grabelsky, TLC Director of Education Initiatives.
The finalist process of the search involved a meet and greet between each finalist and MPS and Walden School students, teachers, board members, and parent representatives. The consulting firm that guided the search process was Innivee Strategies, Inc., a Deaf-owned and led organizational and leadership development company.
Matthews’ acceptance makes her the first Black Deaf woman and first HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) graduate to become a Superintendent of a Deaf School throughout the history of Deaf Education, joining the league consisting of a few Deaf BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Deaf School Superintendents in the United States.
“It is an honor to join The Learning Center,” said Matthews. “I am elated to work closely with the TLC team in continuing to lead the way in bilingual Deaf education and to carry TLC through the next 50 [years].”
Born in Philadelphia and raised in Saginaw, Michigan to a Grenadian mother and a Trinidadian father, Matthews’ educational journey took her to Georgia to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta after an Associate of Applied Science degree in Sign Language Interpreting from Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston.
She then obtained a Master of Arts degree in Middle Grade Math and Science from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta. She was most recently a professional science educator and the Science Department Chairperson at Atlanta Area School for the Deaf in Clarkston, Georgia.
Matthews returned to Clark Atlanta University as a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership. She passionately believes in the foundation of literacy and has focused her studies on early literacy intervention strategies for deaf and hard of hearing children with a career goal to advocate and implement an early literacy curriculum for deaf and hard of hearing children. Out of the lab and onto the stage, Matthews is the only Deaf member of Giwayen Mata – an award-winning soul-stirring, all-sistah, dance, percussion, and vocal ensemble based in Atlanta. As an advocate, Matthews dedicates her time as a tutor and mentor for interpreters who are working towards national certification.
“Glennis’ vision, enthusiasm, and student-centered beliefs and values inspired us all,” said Dr. Sarah Glenn-Smith, TLC CEO. “In addition to her extensive experience in foundational literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), Glennis shares our vision for a campus that embodies anti-bias, anti-racist practices and pedagogy while continuing our proud, continued legacy as the founder and leader of ASL/English bilingual education.”
The 2020 Metrowest Nonprofit Partner of the Year, 2019 Outstanding Organization of the Year MCDHH, and two-time winner as Best Audiologist in Metrowest (2019 and 2020), The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) is a nationally-recognized leader in educational, therapeutic, and community services for deaf and hard of hearing children and adults and one of the largest private employers of Deaf individuals in the Massachusetts. The organization honors and celebrates Deaf culture through bilingual-bicultural education; linguistically accessible and culturally-responsive service provision; audiology and hearing aid services; public school consultation; professional consultation and training; Deaf community events; communication access and interpreting services, and more. For more information visit www.tlcdeaf.org.