The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Apr 15, 2024

New ASL teacher settles in at Johnson


by Joe Casarez | staff writer

After a long search, the campus welcomes its new American Sign Language teacher.

“I saw a post on a Facebook page that NEISD was looking for an ASL Teacher,” sign language teacher David Scotton said. “I got an email from Debbie Callihan-Dingle inviting me for an initial meeting via FaceTime. Then I had an interview with Mr. Comalander about a week later.”

The first time teacher, who had no previous knowledge of Johnson, pursued the job in order to teach students how to speak ASL. 

“I was living in Minnesota and wanted to move somewhere warm. My younger sister used to live in San Antonio and she loved living here, so I thought why not move here and be closer to my sister and her family in Houston,” Scotton said.

 Scotton, moved over thousands of miles to teach at Johnson.

“I’ve been deaf since birth. My mom contracted German Measles during her pregnancy, thus causing my deafness,” Scotton said.

Scotton tries to find other ways to communicate with staff members and students.

“It is challenging communicating with staff and students. I have some speaking skills and I can gesture. I communicate with my students by writing on the white board and using pen and paper. I communicate with staff by using some voice and some gestures,” Scotton said.

Few staff members know American Sign Language, so Scotton utilizes his limited speaking skills and universal gestures.

“It’s been a challenge transitioning to a new system – a lot to learn but I am getting there,” Scotton said.

Scotton has never taught ASL before, but is enjoying his new position and the campus.

“My favorite part is seeing students being thrilled to learn a new language and using their hands to communicate,” Scotton said.

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New ASL teacher settles in at Johnson