•  American Sign Language Instructor  

     --Deanne Bray, M.A.--

                              Phone:  818-483-0411 (videophone)
                              Email: dbray@opusd.org 
                                            Instagram:  dbraykotsur and also deannebraykotsur
    Open House meeting at 6:45 to 7:30 PM on February 25, 2021 (Thursday).  Looking forward to meeting you and answering questions.
    Open House with parents
    Thursday, February 25, 2021 in the time frame of6:45 PM – 7:30 PM
    ‪(US) +1 470-285-4485‬ PIN: ‪240 033 406‬#
    Degrees and Certifications:
    • Santa Barbara-Ventura Association World Language Teachers - member since 2019
    • California Language Teacher Association - member since 2019
    • Ventura County Office of Education- Induction Program (Credential cleared and locked) - May 2018
    • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages member since 2017
    • California State Teaching Credential (Single Subject)- California State University, Northridge, August 2016 
    • Deaf Women United member (2016)
    • California Association of the Deaf (founded in 1906)-Secretary (2015-2021)
    • American Sign Language Honor Society sponsor for Oak Park High since 2014
    • Signing Naturally Curriculum Units 1 - 12 (2008 and 2014) 36 hours of training. (2013-2014)
    • American Sign Language Teachers Association member since 2013
    • M.A. in Sign Language Education (Linguistics)- Gallaudet University (2013)
    • Los Angeles City Hall Award received in increasing Deaf Awareness-2011
    • Woman of the Year from Arizona Association of the Deaf-2012
    • Best Teacher of the Year from Sequoia School for the Deaf, Arizona-2012
    • Best Teacher of the Year recognized by East Los Angeles District of LAUSD--1999
    • B.A. in Biology- California State University, Northridge

    Career experiences

    1999-2002 Teacher working with Deaf children using Bilingual Education philosophy (ASL/English prints for reading & writing)  
    1991-2018 (still developing ongoing projects) 
    2020 Publishing a book for hearing parents of Deaf children. (pending)
    2013 to current Teacher as a General Educator with all 9th to 12th grade *WL students using 85% to 90% target language (American Sign Language), 15% to 10% English Prints, and 0% Spoken Language.  American Sign Language - 100% Visual Modality
    • 2002-2005  Actress Starred in own television show, Sue Thomas: FBEye 
    • 2007  Actress  With Larry David, Curb your Enthusiasm
    • 2008-2010 Actress  9 episodes in 4th season, Heroes
    • 2018 (July 14 to Sept 30) Actress Fountain Theatre Production, Arrival and Departure
    • 2019 (fall during winter break) Actress, Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye
    •     For more acting information, look in IMDB if you are curious.
    *L2 (or WL) means individuals learning a language as their second or third language  (WL means World Language)

    A note to reader:
    I was born deaf and I came from a hearing family.  When I was 2 years old, my parents discovered how the Deaf community uses American Sign Language to communicate at a deeper level. They decided to rely on the Deaf community to give me the gift of American Sign Language and to learn about my identity as a Deaf individual during the critical period of language development as a child.  My family and I had our own journey.  Every Deaf child's journey is different.  For me, I ended up having the best of both worlds by becoming a fluent signer and by learning spoken language as well through Audio/Verbal Training.  
    Currently, ASL is my primary language and English is my second language by choice.
    I studied Linguistics in ASL and language teaching applying for both Heritage Language and World Language at Gallaudet University (the only signing University in the world in Washington, D.C., which was first approved by Abraham Lincoln and it was established in 1864 with an influence of a French Deaf teacher who came to America to help establish Deaf Education). 
    I earned my masters degree in Sign Language Education in July 2013.  Fortunately, an ASL teaching position at OPHS landed on my lap the following month.  I am very current, involved, and an active member of the Deaf community.  As a passionate educator in preserving the language and continuing to bring high quality to language teaching, I create a signing environment with 100% total immersion (visual modality) of using American Sign Language.
    I also shed light on perspectives about Deaf culture and Deaf people.  I continue to find that working with WL students (students learning a language as their 2nd or 3rd language) an amazing progress and rewarding.  I have learned from students every year in their process of language learning and curiosity of the politics within the communities between hearing and Deaf communities which applies to any cultures around the world.

    As mentioned, I started working for Oak Park High School since August 2013.  Proudly looking back, over the past successful and effective years, students went on a field trip to see a DeafWest Production, "Flowers for Algernon,"  performed by Deaf and hearing actors delivering in both ASL and Spoken English. As well as Our Town at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2018.  And Arrival and Departure at the Fountain Theatre.  A few went to Deafnation Expo in Pomona to do volunteer work with my supervision of students interacting with signers at the Expo supporting Deaf-run buinesses. 

    OPHS invited Deaf guests for the students to create opportunities for interactive skills development.  ASL III provided ASL Storytime once a month at a local library for opportunities to increase ASL and Deaf Culture awareness to the community.  And many more.  Photos of different events are posted below. 

    As mentioned above, we had a total of 16 guest speakers who were native signers and native-like signers come to visit OPHS. Students had the opportunity to develop their interactive skills with a greeting, question/comments prepared and improv, and a closure with our guest speakers.
    The following ASL guest speakers who came were:
    Troy Kotsur (Deaf, storyteller and director)
    Amber Zion (Superbowl signer in 2013)
    Marlee Matlin (Deaf, Oscar winning actress)
    Jack Jason (CODA, Marlee's manager and interpreter)
    Matt Daigle (Deaf, Deaf and Blind cartoonist)
    Kay Daigle (Hearing, writer)
    Lisa Hermatz (Deaf, ASL teacher/song translator)
    DJ Kurs (Deaf, Artistic Director of DeafWest Theatre)
    Howie Seago (Deaf, actor from Star Trek and Beyond Silence movie shown in class)
    Beverly Nero (Hearing, producer, knows ASL)
    John Maucere (Deaf, performer and Superbowl signer in 2012)
    Ryan Lane (Deaf, actor from Switched at Birth)
    Amanda Richer (Deaf, actress from Canada)
    Joel Barish (Deaf, CEO of DeafNation)
    Tia Barish (Deaf, from Korea)
    Allisun Kale (Hearing, Interpreter and professor at CSUN's interpreting program)
    Kristie (Gallaudet University recruiter) 
    Terrylene Sachetti (Deaf Educator/actress, OPHS's first ASL Honor Society Keynote Speaker)
    John Maucere (Deaf performer, OPHS's ASL Honor Society Keynote Speaker)
    Joe Dannis (CEO of DawnSignPress company)
    Charles Katz (ASL master of Our Town, ASL teacher)
    CJ Jones (Black Deaf actor who was in Avatar and Baby Driver)
    Kavita Pipalia (Deaf ASL teacher at Glendale Community College and a native from India.  Does know Indian Sign Language as well)
    Jevon Whetter (American Film Institute graduate and Deaf producer of Flash Before the Band (in preproduction))
    Warren Snipes "Wawa" (performed the National Anthem at the SuperBowl on Feb 7, 2021)- coming on April 21, 2021 as a Kyenote speaker for ASL Honor Society Candlelight ceremony.
     troy marlee cartoon
    Troy Kotsur                     Marlee Matlin, Jack Jason                           Deaf/Blind
    storyteller/director            with OPHS Principal, Kevin Buchanan      Cartoonist
    marlee with student
    Emma Sugar and Peyton Keiling signing with Marlee Matlin
    Kay and Matt Daigle (Deaf cartoonist, That Deaf Guy) with OPHS senior, Austin Roundy
      Superbowl signer (2014) and actress, Amber Zion, teaching OPHS ASL Students to sign the National Anthem.


    John Maucere, No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie actor and entertainer.
    dj an howie  
     DJ Kurs (DeafWest Theatre Artistic Director) and Howie Seago (actor from Beyond Silence)
    Charles Katz
    Charles Katz-
    Deaf ASL Master of Our Town at Pasadena Playhouse discussing about the story, Our Town.
     ASL Honor Society new members from April 20, 2020
    Jevon Whetter, producer of Flash Before the Bang movie and AFI graduate.  Candlelight Ceremony during the pandemic for the ASL Honor Society.

    Outside of the Classroom and involved with the community (Real-World experience)
    Students also served community hours by reading children books to deaf children through ASL and Spoken English at Barnes and Nobles and at the Oak Park Library.  (Along with prepping with Ms. Bray's training of the Shared Reading Project's philosophy in reading with Deaf children who uses ASL).  This was an opportunity to give back to the Deaf community and to make use of the language outside of the classroom.  We had ASL Storytime once a month.  This counted the hours towards the American Sign Language Honor Society for those who have a GPA of 3.2 or higher.  One of the philosophies I practice in language teaching is the Interactive Approach, which I have seen students grow significantly in internalizing the language as the years progress and according to research, Interactive Approach has shown to be one of the effective ways. 
    "Learning to sign without interacting with signers is like learning to swim without water."  -- Bill Vicars
    2013  ASL Storytime interact its ok One Busy Day
     Alexandra Brewer, Austin Roundy, Mackenzie Johnson, Blake Fine, Mayaan Bahalul, Carly Albert, Hillary and Kelli Lewis.

    Students can choose to join me to go to on non mandatory Deaf events that takes place in the Deaf community throughout the year.  I write events on the board for students to be aware in what is happening the Deaf community.

    With a one-page reflection paper of their experience and photos/videos of the event with themselves with signers they meet at the event (with student in the photo/video), students will get only 15-30 points for extra credit.  This is not about the grade, it is about ASL immersion and opportunities to become a better signer, which is by interacting and having more experiences with different signers. 
    csun run a thon  farm
    CSUN 5K Sign-and-Run.                                                                    Michael Borenstein at Gentle Farm
    OPHS senior, Derek Townsley received a medal.                       

    deafnation dwt

    Blake Fine and Mackenzie Johnson at DeafNation          Flowers for Algernon field trip at DeafWest Theater.
        with actor Daniel Durant and chef Kurt Ramborger                Ariana signing her name to get her ticket.
    ASL 3
    ASL 3 students went to the Pasadena Playhouse to see "Our Town"
    with Deaf and Hearing actors seeing ASL on stage.
    ASL Club 2017-2018
    President - Sophia Soliday shows the sign for Halloween before playing games
    Vice President - Danielle Shakib shows the sign for witch before playing games
    Secretary - Eden Forman
    Treasurer - Emily Glickstein
    Historian - Malavika Rankit
    Community-at-large - Anjulena Bagga and Dylan Rodgers
    Board of officers of ASL Club
    club 2
    ASL Bingo Night
    asl bingo
    Like any subject, the more students commit to participating and interacting, they will more likely improve.  There are evidences of language learning development occurring in and out of the classroom that will significantly help fluency and confidence in expressing in ASL and in perceiving or "reading" ASL.  Opportunities provided can have an impact on students' grades by how the signing environment is developed during class instruction/interaction.
    OPHS is also a sponsor and works with the National Level ASL Honor Society which is not related to the courses of ASL IIIH and ASL IVH.  This is for more opportunities for language enrichment that any students of ASL II or higher can apply and become members.  They can participate in art and literature competitions, apply for scholarships, and serve the Deaf community (challenging now with the pandemic), and promote Deaf Culture awareness in bringing the communities together.
    May 2020, OPHS graduating Senior won scholarship (one of the chosen 3 out of all of the candidates from the nation), Caroline Baumann.
    Also winner of a nationwide ASL Literature Competition in May 2020.
    Good news: 
    Since 2019, ASL III and ASL IIIH and ASL IVH has been approved  from the UC /CSU system through the A-G articulation for courses to be acceptable in colleges.  All of the courses provided by OPHS relating to ASL are all approved.
    An ASL Honors course is similar to ASL 3 but the course will be more rigorous than ASL 3 (CP) by studying ASL Literature of different genres.

    I am looking forward to cover Deaf culture, American Sign Language (ASL) and to provide perspectives from myths to reality so that the students can have a general and better understanding about Deaf people and their natural language.

    Despite of adapting to distance learning from 2020-2021 school year, I look forward to the continued success in guiding students to start a wonderful journey in language learning with the wonderful collaboration we have in the World Language Department and the Oak Park community.

    Deanne Bray