Congratulations TSD Graduating Class of 2019


 Texas School for the Deaf Class of 2019

Commencement Ceremony

2:00 p.m. – Thursday, May 30, 2019

Austin, Texas – May 30, 2019 – Fifty-four Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) seniors will participate in the traditional awarding of diplomas and turning of the tassels during commencement exercises today at 2:00 p.m. in TSD’s R.L. Davis Auditorium, at 1102 South Congress Avenue.

Known as an entertainer and Deaf advocate, Linsay Darnall, Jr., delivers the commencement address to the Class of 2019. 

  TSD and the Class of 2019 celebrate a year of academic and athletic achievements, including:

  • The TSD Lady Rangers broke the national basketball record, winning 33 consecutive games;
  • TSD boys and girls track and field took first place out of 19 Deaf schools at the Berg & Seeger Track & Field Classic;
  • TSD’s culinary team brought home the Deaf Culinary Bowl championship trophy from Las Vegas;
  • The TSD Blue Chargerbots robotics team are the TAPPS Robotics State Champions this year.

  At TSD since 2008, an honors student all four years of high school and an all-around athlete who participated in four sports at TSD, Sunita Schmidjorg, is the class of 2019 Valedictorian and was Player of the Year in both volleyball and basketball.

  Salutatorian, Leila Sicoli, has been a student at TSD since 2004 and been involved in countless academic and extracurricular activities.

  Both of these top honor grads will attend Gallaudet University to continue their academic and sports careers at the world’s only liberal arts university designed for deaf and hard of hearing students, in Washington, D.C.

  Claire Bugen, TSD Superintendent says, “Graduation at TSD is always bitter-sweet seeing many of these kids graduating who have grown up here at TSD, each with their own unique story.”

  “I’m especially excited that 31 of our graduating seniors have received acceptances to two- and four-year colleges and universities.”




Linsay Darnall Jr., is a versatile individual whose experience ranges from chasing cattle in western Nebraska when he was young to serving on the National Association of the Deaf board. His reputation as an eloquent speaker and an expert advocate for Deaf people’s rights is held in esteem across the nation. Born to Deaf parents, Darnall grew up in Polk, Nebraska. He and his brother attended their parents’ alma mater, Nebraska School for the Deaf in Omaha. He then attended Gallaudet University, where he studied government, before returning to Nebraska to continue his advocacy and community work. Darnall has been heavily involved in the community for several decades. Among his experience is serving as vice-president of Nebraska Association of the Deaf for two years, president of Nebraska School for the Deaf Alumni Association for 17 years, and as National Association of the Deaf Region II board member for two years. He is serving on the Hands and Voices Board and Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Advisory Board. He also co-founded the Nebraska Deaf Heritage Museum and Cultural Center. His work with deaf youth and theatre was featured in the Omaha World-Herald. Darnall received the Outstanding use of American Sign Language award from the Gallaudet University Theater Department and The James Sowell Appreciation Award from Nebraska Association of the Deaf.



The Texas School for the Deaf is the oldest continuously operating public school in Texas. Educating deaf and hard of hearing students of Texas since 1856, the campus also provides outreach and educational resources for students, their families and professionals in the field throughout the state of Texas.  With educational excellence and a strong belief in a culture and community at TSD, students form a unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents. TSD is an environment where students learn, grow, and belong. For more information about the Texas School for the Deaf, visit

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Graduating Class of 2019! Congratulations! #wearetsd

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