Antony McLetchie

Superintendent, Rochester School for the Deaf

Starting at an early age, formal education came to me through a variety of settings. My learning occurred often in classrooms with no support, classrooms with minimal support (such as out-of-class tutoring and use of an FM system), at a school for the Deaf, and in public schools with all of the necessary supports in place (note-takers and interpreters in every corner of classrooms as well as at clubs and on sporting fields).

I believe the most important thing I had growing up, was full access to language and communication in my home with my family even though access to classroom education varied. I was born Deaf in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada due to the widespread Rubella epidemic of the ‘60s. A close family friend who was Deaf was able to convince my parents to adopt me at the age of two-and-a-half. My mother was a trained teacher for the Deaf and Blind, and my father was a recent graduate of medical school at that time.

After eight years in Nova Scotia, my family moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in order to pursue a better education for me, as well as the presentation of exciting career opportunities in the city for my parents. Moreover, our family wanted to be close to our extended family members who resided all over New England.

Growing up, I dreamed of being a doctor like my father, or lawyer like my uncles, or a professor like my mother, but the bottom line was I wanted to be in a career where I could make a difference. That career path became clear to me by the end of freshman year at Gallaudet University. It was partly due to the Deaf President Now protest in March 1988, where I was able to appreciate the depth [of influence] that education has on all of us and our trajectories. It helped me envision a future as a Deaf educator and administrator.

After graduating from Gallaudet in 1992, I went straight to Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) and received a Master’s in Deaf Education. My teaching career started in 1993 at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf and then at Ernest C. Drury School for the Deaf-Elementary School in 1994. I completed the Ontario Principal Certificate in 2000.

I eventually took on leadership roles and started moving toward a career at the administration level. My first position as a principal was in 2001 at the Scranton State School for the Deaf in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I then returned to Ontario in 2003 and continued as an administrator at the Robarts School for the Deaf in London, and finally at Ernest C. Drury School [in Milton] for the Deaf at both Elementary and Secondary Schools.

After numerous years as principal, I wanted to pursue a career where I could contribute my educational leadership and support the school as a whole at a system level. The role of superintendent suddenly became very appealing. I completed the Superintendent certificate in 2013. At that time I was only the second Deaf person to hold a Superintendent Certificate in Ontario, Canada. Additionally, I was selected to attend an eighteen-month leadership training program provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education/Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities.

Some of the accomplishments I am most proud of during my tenure as a school administrator are: the implementation of the ASL curriculum as a study of a language with ASL curriculum committee, coaching and coordinating the Ernest C. Drury academic-bowl team as the first non-American school to compete at the Gallaudet Academic Bowl competitions since 2012, participating in a state-of-the-art Mass Notification System for the whole campus, and assisting with the development of an entirely ASL version of the Provincial School Branch website.

Leadership in the community is something I also enjoy doing. I have had the privilege of holding many leadership roles in local Deaf club, Provincial Deaf Organizations, and I served as Vice-President for the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf.

On the sporting front, I grew up playing different sports and was on the 1987 Gallaudet football team that won 9 games. I played tennis for the Gallaudet Tennis team for 3 years and participated in local softball teams in Boston, New Jersey, and Ontario. Also, interestingly enough, I represented and coordinated the Canada Tennis team at the Dresse and Maere Cup (World Tennis Cup) in 1995 in Bradenton, Florida, and represented Canada at the 1997 Deaflympics in Copenhagen, Denmark.

On a personal side, I am happily married to Susan Demers-McLetchie. Together we share a lovely daughter, Rainna, who is currently preschool age. Rainna enjoys her older sisters and brothers, ranging in age from 18 to 13, who love to hang out with her.

As I see it, the challenge we have here in Deaf Education is competing interests. The proven success of Bilingual-Bicultural education along with the medical advancement of the cochlear implant has created much friction and conflict between the medical and the Deaf community. I sincerely believe both can work together to pool our collective information and data and review how acquiring American Sign Language and English can benefit children with and without implants.

I had the opportunity to meet with many stakeholders during my presentation to the Rochester community last August. People raised some valid concerns, which will become priorities for me to address as the next superintendent/CEO at RSD. As schools for the Deaf across the country face challenges associated with declining enrollment, I believe the more success stories we share with the community as well as with lawmakers, and with specific efforts made to have our school visible, we can increase enrollment. We all have the same common goal, which is to make RSD the first choice for families to send their Deaf and hard of hearing child to, and to pass on the strong passion we have for the school to future generations of students.

The status between the Rochester School for the Deaf Alumni Association and the RSD Board of Directors is an ongoing dialogue. I met with parties from both groups and I believe there is a true desire on both sides to have the relationship restored. Both groups have the same common goal: to do the best we can for our students, and both sides are equally passionate about RSD. It is now public knowledge that the Board appointed two alumni to the board and in my perspective with this move alone progress has been made.

During my entry-plan presentation, the motto I used in my presentation was “Moving RSD from great to excellent.” I have high expectations of my staff to provide a top-notch education for all students. Every individual student that enters RSD deserves a well-planned program to match their learning style and social-emotion needs. Also, I believe students should strive for higher level expectations for themselves.

I look forward to moving RSD from great to excellent in my appointment as a Superintendent/CEO and I look forward to doing that with our outstanding staff, students and community support.


Deaf Person of the Year
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2017
January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017
July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2016
January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016
July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2015
January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015
July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2014
January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014
July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2013
January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013
July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2012
January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012
July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2011
January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011
July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2010
January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010
July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2009
January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009
July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2008
January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008
July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008
Deaf Person of the Month: archives 2007
January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007
July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007

Site Terms | Contacts | Advertising | Privacy Policy

Any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns you’d like to share?  Contact us at editor@deafpeople.com.
Copyright © 2007 - 2016 MSM Productions Ltd. All Rights Reserved.