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Nine graduate from Wisconsin School for the Deaf

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, June 11, 2016

DELAVAN—When Howard Rosenblum was a child in the 1960s, his mother took him to see the one—and only—deaf lawyer in the United States.

Now, Rosenblum is one of 400 deaf lawyers in the United States and the chief executive officer for the National Association of the Deaf.

On Friday, Rosenblum spoke at the graduation ceremony at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.

“It isn't a question of whether we can do it, it's a question of access,” Rosenblum told them.

The nine students graduating on Friday have had the advantage of access and plan to use it—and their skills—to be successful.

The school for the deaf is a boarding school, with students coming from all over the state. However, three of the nine students were local.

Valedictorian Malia Christenson, Delavan, plans to pursue a degree in graphic design at the Rochester Institute of technology.

In her graduation speech, she talked about how her parents, teachers and classmates had been characters in the book of her life.

The next stages of their lives are blank volumes, and they can write their own stories.

“So hold your pens up high and start writing your book with the spirit of a firebird,” Christenson told the crowd.

During her time in high school, Christenson was on the Academic Bowl Team and served as student body president and as a member of the Junior National Association of the Deaf.

She was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Ketsi Hoover-Simon, Delavan, plans to attend Gateway Technical College. She wants to work with animals, perhaps as a vet tech.

Daniel Orizaba, Janesville, was on the first quarter honor roll and the second quarter high honor roll.

Rosenblum told the students he's pleased to see deaf people and the use of American Sign Language “all over the Internet and television.”

In March, model Nyle DiMarco, who is deaf, appeared on “Dancing with the Stars."

That's what Rosenblum hopes for the new generation of students.

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