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Clarke School Announces Commencement Speaker

Clarke President Bill Corwin and the Board of Trustees announce that New York Times bestselling author Josh Swiller will address the Clarke School community at Commencement on Friday, June 13 at 11 a.m., in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel on the Smith College campus.

Swiller, who has been deaf since childhood, is a graduate of Yale University and has had a wide variety of careers, including forest ranger in the California Redwoods, chef, journalist, teacher and hospice social worker. Swiller also spent two years serving in the Peace Corps in Zambia, which he recounts in his acclaimed memoir, The Unheard. Josh grew up speaking and using hearing aids and received a cochlear implant two years ago at the age of 35.

Swiller will address students of the Clarke School Class of 2008, who will enter mainstream high schools in the fall, and graduates of the Smith College/Clarke Graduate Teacher Education program who will go on to work with deaf children all over the world. Clarke will also recognize young graduates from its four additional East Coast locations in Boston, New York City, Jacksonville, Florida and Philadelphia.

About Clarke:

Clarke School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education in Northampton, MA has an international reputation for excellence in teaching deaf and hard-of-hearing children to listen and talk. Today, more than 500 children and their families benefit from Clarkes five schools and educational programs. Thousands of others benefit from Clarkes research, curriculum development and through the teachers and professionals who take their special skills to all parts of the world.

Established in 1867, Clarke School pioneered auditory/oral education in the United States by teaching deaf children how to listen, speak and understand others. This approach is combined with intensive study of the English language and regular academic subjects so that students are prepared to enter neighborhood high schools with their hearing peers. As testimony to the success of the Clarke School program, Clarke School graduates have gone on to attend more than 200 colleges and universities and enjoy a wide range of rewarding careers.

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