12.1 New Superintendent School for Deaf

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FULTON - After the previous superintendent resigned in July, Missouri School for the Deaf has been without a superintendent for several months. George M. Stailey, who previously worked for Indiana School for the Deaf, will take over the position, MO DESE announced. 

According to DESE, Stailey worked for Indiana School for the Deaf for 32 years, serving ten years as the superintendent. He also taught preschool and middle school, worked as a student development educator in the residence halls, served as dean of boys, and worked as the assistant to the superintendent. Mr. Stailey also served as an adjunct professor at Yavapai College, where he taught beginning and intermediate American Sign Language. He retired in 2008, but will come out of retirement to take the position in 2018.

"I resigned to take care of my father, who has since passed," Stailey said. "Now I am returning to my passion and I'm excited to see what the future holds."

Stailey said he does not want to take over as superintendent and immediately start making changes.

"I have a very strong feeling that I need to go in and observe," Stailey said. "I don't know a lot about the way the Missouri School for the Deaf operates. I read their website, but I can't go in to a place and make drastic changes to something I know very little about."

Stailey said he plans to take a few months to "really get to know employees, students and the community" and then start to make suggestions.

"I don't want to go in and be a dictator," Stailey said. "I want to go in, praise people for their accomplishments and be there to provide assistance wherever possible so we can improve the school."

Stailey is not deaf and does not have a personal connection with deafness. He said he first learned to sign from a high school friend who worked with a deaf woman. He said his formal sign language training did not begin until college. Since then, he has gone on to achieve several certifications and awards for his work in the field.

Stailey said he is excited to come out of retirement and return to the workforce. He will take over as superintendent in April.