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Dan Frank Makes Students Hear the Voice of American Sign Language

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by Mollie Green

You may not hear the voice of American Sign Language, but it’s there and speaks to you in such a way that you can feel it.

Daniel Frank is the American Sign Language teacher at Walkersville High School who has been here for five years now and he loves it! Even though it is his own language, Frank has a passion for and is willing to spread ASL throughout the community.

I asked Frank if it was weird for him when he first started teaching here. He said “Well, I first started teaching at Maryland School for the Deaf and that was fine; everyone signed and it was easy for me. Then I moved to teach at Linganore High School for two years and it was hard. I didn’t know what to do, everyone was talking and talking and I was the only one who couldn’t hear! It was very hard to get used to. Then, when I started teaching here, I was fine because I had an idea of what I was doing.”

As far as communicating with other teachers goes, Frank says “It is hard! I’ll see them walking by and I’ll say hello or good morning and they’ll wave and say hi but they know very few signs. The principals try but they’ll forget the signs, I teach them sometimes which is fine. They want to learn because none of them know any signs really.”

After working here for five years, Frank has gotten to know a lot of the students and signs to most of them on a daily basis. “I have a lot of aides I know well and my flex class is full of students who sign perfect.

“I enjoy teaching here a lot, YES!” Frank says.