Highline Teacher Honored as American Sign Language Teacher of the Year


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L-R: Superintendent Susan Enfield, Joani Bishop, School Board Vice President Bernie Dorsey.

Joani Bishop, American Sign Language (ASL) teacher at the Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment (ACE), was honored by her peers as ASL Teacher of the Year.

The honor was bestowed by the Seattle Central Community College ASL Consortium program. This honor is especially meaningful, because Bishop is the very first recipient of the award.

Bishop was recognized for her strengths as a teacher, a leader, and as a community member. Her colleagues say that Bishop works well with hearing students, deaf students, and interpreters.

In recognizing Bishop at a recent School Board meeting, Superintendent Susan Enfield remarked on the many contributions she has made to the community.

“I am proud to congratulate Joani Bishop on this award,” said Enfield. “Joani’s dedication and professional achievements have helped our students be successful. We are fortunate to have her in our community.”

ASL is considered a world language and a Career Technical Education (CTE) pathway. Bishop has been instrumental in training CTE teachers, including creating summer workshops to build teacher skills. She has also been involved with the annual ASL “Sign Off” as a judge, presenter and committee member.

Bishop has been with Highline Public Schools for more than 20 years. She started in 1990 as a sign language interpreter. In 1998 she earned her teaching certificate and has been teaching American Sign Language on the Tyee campus since that time, currently at the Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment.

ACE is located at 4424 South 188th Street in SeaTac.

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