The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders created a wax museum to honor several individuals as a part of their Black History celebration in February.

Wax Museum

The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders created a wax museum to honor several individuals as a part of their Black History celebration in February.

Article about the new hire superintendent Julee Nist

Department of Human Services Announces Illinois School for the Deaf Superintendent

Julee Nist brings vast experience as educator and leader to the school

JACKSONVILLE, IL – The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced today the selection of Julee Nist to serve as the next Superintendent for the Illinois School for the Deaf (ISD). Nist brings a wide range of experience, from interpreter and teacher to principal, which will be beneficial to the continued success of ISD students. Nist will assume her role as Superintendent in February 2017.

“Julee Nist is a well-versed educator whose strong commitment to delivering quality education will be a tremendous asset to the entire Illinois School for the Deaf community,” Illinois Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis said. “I look forward to Julee Nist leading the school as Illinois strives to provide the highest level of education and support for the students that attend ISD and their families.”

“We are pleased to welcome Julee Nist as the next Superintendent of the Illinois School for the Deaf,” said IDHS Secretary James Dimas. “Julee Nist is a success-driven leader whose vast experience makes her uniquely qualified to lead ISD. Her desire to motivate students to embrace a pursuit of continuous learning, as well as her ability to build collaboration with all levels of professionals and the community will help lead ISD into a new era of educational excellence.”

Nist most recently held the role of school principal at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. In this role, she oversaw all programs and staff. Prior to serving as the school principal, she oversaw multiple services including athletics, after school programs, interpreters, high school education and the extended school year program. Her efforts helped students excel and earn higher test scores over previous years.

Nist has also taught as an adjunct professor for the Interpreter Training Program at the Community College of Philadelphia. She began her career as an interpreter and later became a teacher of American Sign Language, English, and early childhood.

Nist earned her Masters of Education in Administration, Superintendent Certification, bachelor’s degree in Communication with the Deaf and a minor in Speech Communication from Sam Houston State University. Nist earned her associate’s degree in Communication with the Deaf at Houston Community College. Nist also holds multiple certifications including Alternative Certification in Deaf Education and Education Specialist in Administrative Leadership for Teaching.

Students posing with the stand that they built to hold Santa's Mailbox.

Santa's Mailbox

Joe Tapscott’s son, who is the post master for Jacksonville, came across an old 1922 mail box. Joe had it restored by Rick Stewart of Stewart’s Auto Body. The intent was to have the mail box at the post office in December for children to place their letters headed for the North Pole. The only issue was it needed a stand. Joe contacted the welding program at ISD about the possibility of making a stand. A concept was discussed, a plan was formulated and the 4th and 7th period welding classes began the process. The posters illustrate the stand pictured with each class. This was a great project for the students and the community.


This video was created by ISD students from Mrs. Mansell, Mrs. Van Valey and Mrs. Williams’ 5-8th grade classes. Check out the reasons these students want you to know why ISD is GREAT!

The mission of the Illinois School for the Deaf is to educate students who are deaf or hard of hearing to be responsible, self-supporting citizens.