VAD and VSDAA’s 140th Birthday Bash

VSDAA logo


Virginia Association of the Deaf (VAD) and Virginia School for the Deaf Alumni Association (VSDAA)
hosted Deaf History Month & Birthday Bash celebrating 140th anniversary of both VAD and VSDAA on
April 13. One of Veditz Brewery owners, VAD Vice-President, and VSDAA President greeted everyone before the VAD Awards Ceremony. The afternoon included Veditz History by Greg Randall, VAD History by Race Drake, and VSDAA History by Rhonda Jennings-Arey. The program ended with the Birthday Cake Cutting ceremony by Donna Graff-Viall and Michele Paoni VanBoxlaere. Pat Beech shared her YouTube video for this event:

A special issue was created by Pat Beech, see VAD-VSDAA Party Bash Summary (PDF format)

Pictures can be found here.


VSDB Mascot Ballot Information

Please watch the first video from VSDAA President Michele VanBoxlaere as she explains the basic process, while the VSDB video provides an ASL version of the PDF file found below.  Also, please share this with all alumni ASAP as results must be sent by May 25, 2023.


Click here for the Video Transcript (PDF version)
Email your Alumni choices to Michele VanBoxlaere at vsdaapresident at
— No online poll setup yet, email poll for now. 


ASL version describing the 2 mascots to pick from based on the PDF file below.
Fox like at 4:50 mark and Falcon like at 5:52 mark.


Unified VSDB Mascot Ballot for Alumni (PDF version)


Below are your choices or don’t vote at all.

This Defender is a bird-like image. The image shows the full body of the bird with large, strong, outstretched wings. The wings give a sense of protection. The red and blue feathers honor the history of the Cardinal and the Chief. This Defender is shown in flight and resembles a falcon with a strong, sharp, tan beak with fierce piercing red eyes. Its talons are sharp and ready to pounce. This Defender is fast, alert, brave, confident, and daring. It is always listening and watching from the sky, ready to protect and defend VSDB. This Defender is a fox-like image facing right. It has fur streaked with red and blue. Its snout has red, blue, and white fur. Its red eyes are intense with a determined stare. They are alert and see everything around it. There is a mix of red and blue feathers gathered closely around the neck. The feathers honor the history of the Cardinal and the Chief. The Defender’s ears are upright, alert and strong, listening intently even for the faintest sound. This Defender is bold, strong, fierce, alert, powerful, and protective. It is ready to attack quickly to defend VSDB.

** Update, a separate poll was setup to help count how many refused to vote for the new mascot choices above (fox/falcon).  See **

Deaf Printers Page

A printer prepares a printing page for the printer - black and white photo.

Sharing this useful history as VSDB used to have something like this before.  There were some names listed that came up throughout VSDB years as well.

VSDB One School Plan

VSDB One School Schedule, Fall 2022 for students, Jan 2023 for employees and alumni then February 2023 for final ideas and voting to merge blind and deaf schools/mascots together
As we move forward with the One School Plan,   I want to provide you with a timeline of the process and the goals.  Please see the attachment below.
Stakeholder meetings will be done by a company  who have worked with VSDB previously in the development of the 5-year strategic plan.  Stakeholders are the students, employees, and alumni of VSDB.
This process will take several months and will occur in phases:
  • The first phase includes  the stakeholder meetings that will focus on collecting ideas for  a mascot and colors that will unite and represent VSDB as one school. Please see the attachment below.  It will also include a voting process with all stakeholders that will determine the final decision for the mascot and colors.
  • Stakeholder meetings will be in person.  If people cannot attend the meetings, they can email their ideas to VSDB.  There will be a special vsdb email address for sending ideas.
  • After the mascot and colors are chosen,  there will be meetings to discuss how to preserve the history, culture, and traditions of the Blind and the Deaf Department. It is very important that the history,  culture, and traditions be honored and passed on to the students of VSDB.
  • Student Stakeholder meetings will occur in mid-November.
  • The employee and alumni meetings will be scheduled for some time in January.
I look forward to working as a team  with everyone to establish a more inclusive educational setting that represents equal value and representation for all students. Please let me know if you have any questions. Your input is welcomed!
– Pat Trice, VSDB Superintendent