Meet our Deaf/HOH Instructors

We’d like to introduce you to our Signing Time Academy Instructors who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH). Who better to take a class or workshop from than someone fluent in ASL? These Instructors are not only great teachers, they are terrific resources for our other Signing Time Instructors. We are grateful for the contributions our Deaf/HOH Instructors make to the Signing Time Academy. Enjoy learning more about them! Note: If you are a Deaf/HOH Instructor and would like to be added to this blog, please send your information to leeann@signingtime.com.


Cindy (Millard) Meadows, Master Signing Time Academy Instructor

My name is Cindy (Millard) Meadows, I was born Deaf in a southern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  I graduated from Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida in 1989 and SVP ’89 at National Technical Institute for the Deaf. I attended Rochester Institute of Technology where I received an Associate’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology in 1993, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in Health System Administration in 1996. My careers have included 11 years at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC as Medical Laboratory Technician, Medical Technologist and Senior Medical Technologist. Right now I work at Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick, Maryland as a Laboratory Quality Assurance & Point-Of-Care Supervisor. I am married to Mark Meadows, SVP ’84. We have two children, Anna (5 years old) and Joseph (3 years old). I’ve been a Master Signing Time Instructor since March of 2o11.

  • Served 7 years as State Director for Miss Deaf Virginia Pageant (1997-2004)
  • Current member of Trader’s Jane Investment Club in Washington, DC.
  • Current Secretary for Eastern Deaf Timberfest, Inc.
  • Hobbies/Sports: Geocaching, Kayaking, Scuba Diving & Skiing

 

Gale Estell, Baby Signing Time Academy Instructor

My name is Gale Estell, and I am married to Brennan Estell.  We are both hard of hearing. We’ve been using sign language for a very long time!  We both learned to talk before we learned to sign, but that meant that neither of us could communicate until after the age of 4.  We have a beautiful son and we are teaching him to talk and to sign. He is growing up bilingual and it is going very well.

 



Jenene Johnson, Advanced Signing Time Academy Instructor

My name is Jenene Johnson, and I’ve been deaf since I was a year and a half. I’m married to a wonderful man named Robin, who has been deaf since birth. We have 4 adorable children, April (21), Ashley (17), Austin (5) (Deaf), and Avery (1). We use American Sign Language (ASL) daily.

I hold a Bachelor of Social Studies with a minor in Psychology from Washington State University and a Master in Deaf Education from Western Oregon University. Over the years, I worked as the director of Little Hands Child Care, instructional assistant at a school for the deaf for 9 years, and coached volleyball at school for the deaf for 10 years. I taught at the Oregon School for the Deaf for 3 years and at Washington School for the Deaf for 1 year. To be closer to my husband’s deaf family, we moved to Minnesota in 2009. I am currently teaching Junior High School science at Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, Minnesota as well as community and undergraduate level sign language classes. I am certified to teach deaf education at all levels. I have taught adults and children in both formal academic settings and informal settings. I am fluent in ASL and an active member among the deaf community.

When I was pregnant with my third child, I heard about the benefits of teaching ASL to infants as early as 6 months old through Dr. Joseph Garcia’s Sign with your Baby and Signing Time. After learning about this fabulous program I then had the desire to enrich the lives of parents, caregivers, education and health professionals, and children within my community by teaching them about the benefits of signing with babies and young children as well as deafness in general. Therefore, I became a Signing Time Advanced Instructor and founded SIGN2SAY! I am excited to share my knowledge, skills, and experience with you so you can experience the wonder of signing with your baby, toddler, pre-schooler, or school age child!

We started signing with my son, Austin, since birth. By 10 months, he signed DADDY. By 12 months, he signed MILK, MORE, EAT, HAT, BANANA, MOMMY, ALL DONE, BOOK, DOG, LIGHT, TREE, BALL, BYE-BYE, CAR, WATER, BATH, and SHOE and continues to sign and expand his signing vocabulary on a daily basis! Imagine our surprise when Austin signed his first 2-word sentence “MILK PLEASE” at 12 months! It is amazing that he can ask us for what he wants and he can tell us about what he sees and hears in the world. He actively participates when we are reading books and listening to music. It is amazing for such a young baby to have a tool to be able to communicate so clearly. We then had another child, beautiful Avery, who is now 18 months old. She also loves Signing Time and just like her brother, Austin, her signing vocabulary is amazing! She can clearly tell me by signing what she is thinking, feeling, or seeing!

To get more information as to what classes/workshops I have to offer, email me at sign2say@yahoo.com I am looking forward to hearing from you and sharing the beautiful language of American Sign Language. Happy signing!

 

Joyce Edmiston, Master Signing Time Academy Instructor


My name is Joyce Edmiston,
I was a hearing impaired child and now I am deaf as an adult. I took my first sign language classes back in the 1980s and more in the 1990s. I began teaching with the Signing Time Classroom Edition when my son’s kindergarten teacher asked if I would come in and teach the children a few signs. My husband found the Classroom Edition on the web and purchased it for me. He also told me about the Signing Time Academy and helped me become an Instructor. Today, I am teaching children from pre-school up to second grade with Signing Time. The children love learning with Rachel, Leah, Alex, and Hopkins, and so do the teachers. Though I come in only once a week, the teachers at the school are doing an excellent job of consistently incorporating the lessons and vocabulary in their classrooms daily. This has been my 4th year teaching at the school, and I am so grateful to Signing Time for this wonderful opportunity. You can follow me through my blog at http://xpressivehandz.blogspot.com/

 

Karla Giese, Baby Signing Time Academy Instructor

My name is Karla Giese.  I am currently a Baby Signing Time Instructor and the founder of If Your Hands Could Talk.  I am a deaf adult, a mom of 3 wonderful kids, a teacher of the deaf, a deaf mentor, and a parent advocate.  I firmly believe that ALL children can benefit from sign language at any age.  I live and work in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago.  I am currently teaching two classes at a local daycare. I’d love to be a part of your sign language journey! Contact me and let your fingers soar!

 

Lindsay Rebenack, Advanced Signing Time Academy Instructor

 

My name is Lindsay Rebenack, I am a native of Colorado and plan not to leave Colorado anytime soon or ever, I believe. I am a mother of four young boys, one is six years old, he is my little helper and really takes care of me. I have 5 year old twins, full of energy, who keep me on the GO and very busy! Lastly, I have a 13-month-old baby, who is so laid back and really picks up on signs – very smart!  I have found my passion in teaching ASL to children of all ages. The more classes I teach, the more my passion grows! I want to expand and offer more services to everyone, including children with special needs. I am teaching several classes this summer, including some at my church. They have been SO kind to let me teach several classes there. It’s been a GREAT experience. While teaching, I learn so much about myself personally. Teaching really helps me to grow and benefit as a person, as a mother, and as an educator.  My goal is to provide classes that meet the needs of all participants that are also FUN experiences that everyone enjoys. With my teaching, I always include story time because I have found that Sign & Read has a GREAT impact on language development. Now it is my goal to become a reading/literacy specialist who uses ASL – I have fallen in love in that area. It is my honor to teach the beautiful language of ASL to all children and all ages. I can’t wait to see what the future brings!

 

Suzie McMullen, Master Signing Time Instructor

 

My name is Suzie McMullen, I was born profoundly Deaf to hearing parents and I have two older brothers. I was born in Baltimore Maryland. My father transferred his job from Baltimore to St.Louis, Missouri so I could attend, for 11 years, a private oral school to learn to talk and lip read. I went to a hearing high school for four years without any support services. A language therapist came once a week to tutor me with my assignments, which was not helpful to me at all. In high school there were six deaf people. The only time I could use basic sign language with them was during study hall or lunch breaks. The most cherished high school memories were the weekends when I would hang around with deaf friends that I met from a deaf club for teenagers from various hearing high schools in the area. I went to NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) – where I was exposed to ASL and the Deaf Culture there. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Education focusing on Child and Family Development from the University of Akron. I have been teaching there for 20 years.


During summer or holiday breaks, I work with my Deaf husband of 21 years, Tommy at his own dental lab business in Akron making crowns and bridges for 26 years.

We adopt and raise rescued golden retriever dogs. We have 3 dogs and 2 cats. Besides spending a lot of time going to ASL workshops and conferences in my spare time, I am a bookworm. I also like sewing, knitting and crocheting, swimming, traveling, gardening, boating with Tommy on Lake Erie, and a long list of other activities.

Susan Siemsen, Advanced Signing Time Academy Instructor


My name is Susan Siemsen 
and I have been teaching sign language classes for six years at a homeschooling group called Families Enriching Education Together in Esko, MN. The children are eager to learn sign language and enjoy understanding what the signs stand for and how to use them. I wanted to share the Signing Time videos with them but we meet at the church building where we are not allowed to use their DVD player. To get around this, I created a way to use Signing Time by showing pictures from Signing Time Academy! I showed them the pictures from the books and then showed them how to use the signs from the English sentence to make an ASL sentence. This is a bit more advanced, but I want them to see what ASL really looks like :) Now my students can use their “silent hands” to communicate :)   I am learning so much from the students. Teaching them has challenged me to become a better teacher. I am proud of all my homeschool students !

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