Jenkins - 1883
Professor Weston Jenkins

John Pennington Walker

Kilpartick - 1916
Walter M. Kilpatrick

Pope - 1917
Dr. Alvin E. Pope

Jochem - 1940
Dr. Charles M. Jochem

Cronlund - 1975
Philip Cronlund

LeBuffe - 1981
James LeBuffe

Bozza - 1985
Dr. Richard Bozza

Galloway - 1991
Dr. Gertrude Galloway

Ronald C. Goodwin

Dennis P. Russell

Dr. Angel Ramos

Clock Tower 


Katzenbach welcomed Mrs. Joan Krasnisky
as the Acting Superintendent beginning
on July 1, 2015.

1832 - 2009

On March 31, 1832 an act was approved which provided for the funding of a state institution "...for the instruction and maintenance of Deaf mutes to be known as the State Institution for the Deaf and Dumb." It also provided for the establishment of a board of eleven trustees that would have control and management of the institution. The institute was to be housed in a facility that was originally constructed for orphans of Civil War soldiers, the New Jersey Soldiers' Children Home, on Hamilton and Chestnut Avenues in Trenton. (pictured below)

The state made an appropriation of $15,000 " defray the expenses of the necessary alterations, improvements and repairs to the building and for procuring the necessary furniture." It was estimated that another $20,000 would be required to purchase all the supplies that would be needed in order to put the institution in proper condition for the reception and care of pupils (e.g., books, appliances, materials, etc.). It was later determined, however, that $20,000 would not be adequate, so the state sold the Stevens Battery and allocated the proceeds ($58,793.58) to the institution.

On May 1, 1883 the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint Professor Weston Jenkins (Senior Professor of the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and former Civil War Lieutenant) the first Superintendent of New Jersey's State Institution for the Deaf and Dumb with an annual salary of $3,500. On October 9, 1883 the first pupils were received at the school and preparations for educational operations were begun. 

 The first school population consisted of 68 pupils (38 males and 30 females), including six from Mercer County. In the annual report of  1890/91 it was stated, "By Chapter XCVII of the Laws 1891 the former Board of Trustees of the New Jersey School for Deaf Mutes is abolished and the duties and powers of such a Board are vested in the State Board of Education." Thus, the beginning of the school's long term association with the New Jersey State Board of Education and the State Department of Education.

In 1899, John Pennington Walker became the second superintendent of the school. Walker was the former principal of the industrial department of the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. In 1900, the school's name was changed to the New Jersey School for the Deaf (NJSD). On May 30, 1900, the Biennial Convention of the New Jersey Society of the Deaf was held at the school chapel.

Walter M. Kilpatrick, of the American School for the Deaf, served as the third superintendent of the New Jersey School for the Deaf from 1916 to 1917. It was under his administration that one year of military instruction was  carried out at the school.

Dr. Alvin E. Pope, a former teacher at the Nebraska School for the Deaf, was appointed the 4th superintendent of the school in 1917 and he served until 1939. 

Dr. Pope oversaw moving the school from its Hamilton Avenue location in downtown Trenton to its present suburban location in West Trenton. The state purchased the Scudder farm and began construction of the new school for the Deaf. The Primary Unit of the school opened in 1923, and the Middle and Upper Units opened in 1926. The school officially was opened by Governor Moore.

On March 22, 1965, the school's name was changed to the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf. Mrs. Katzenbach was chosen for this honor because of her many years of hard work for the school and its students while serving on the State Board of Education. She served on the Board for 43 years during which time she was a friend and advocate of the Deaf in New Jersey

In 1940, Charles M. Jochem, principal of the Vocational Department, was appointed the fifth superintendent of the NJSD and served until his retirement in 1975.

Philip Cronlund served as the sixth superintendent of the school from 1975 until 1981. During Mr. Cronlund's administration the school officially adopted a Total Communication philosophy.

Dr. James R. LeBuffe was appointed the 7th superintendent of the school in 1981. Under Dr. LeBuffe's administration a great emphasis was placed upon general academic achievement; parent education; and informing the general public, throughout New Jersey, about the affects of hearing loss on individuals and families. 

Dr. Richard G. Bozza served as the 8th Superintendent and was appointed in 1985. Dr. Bozza was responsible for code changes regarding the school as well as many of the policies and procedures which now govern the school. Dr. Bozza was recruited from the Montville, N.J. school system and returned to Montville as its superintendent in December of 1989.

Dr. Gertrude S. Galloway was appointed superintendent effective January, 1991. Dr. Galloway was the first Deaf person to hold this position in the history of the school. It is also important to note that she was the first Deaf woman to be appointed superintendent of a boarding school for the Deaf in the United States. Dr. Galloway retired in 1999. 

Ronald C. Goodwin was appointed Superintendent in July 2000 after a nationwide search. Mr. Goodwin began his career as a teacher in 1969.  He became the principal of the Middle School in 1975 and remained in that position until 1987 when he was appointed Director of Support Services. He served in that position until 1994 when he was appointed Assistant Superintendent. Mr. Goodwin brings 31 years of experience serving New Jersey's Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students to the position of Superintendent. Mr. Goodwin retired in June 2003.

Dennis P. Russell was appointed Superintendent of New Jersey’s Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in 2003.  Prior to becoming superintendent in New Jersey, Mr. Russell was a regional superintendent for the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind where he was responsible for the oversight of the state’s northern region, including the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. 

Mr. Russell was employed by the New Jersey Department of Education as the state’s coordinator of deaf education and for Bergen County Special Services School District.  Mr. Russell is a former CEASD board member and has presented papers at NAD, CAID, CEASD, ACE-D/HH and ASCD.  Mr. Russell retired in August 2009.

Dr. Angel Ramos was appointed Superintendent on July 13, 2011. Dr. Ramos is one of the few deaf persons of Hispanic descent to earn a doctorate from Gallaudet University. He retired on June 30, 2015.

Admission Information
Email: Mrs. Margaret Provost

Telephone: 609-530-3156 - TTY: 609-530-3156 - FAX: 609-530-5791

Clock Tower During Construction
Circa 1922

New Jersey Soldier's 
Children's'  Home - Trenton 1873

Superintendent's Original Stone House -  200 years old