Atlanta Area School for the Deaf

Excellence Everyday.... That's the Panther Way!

School Year 2021-22

  • Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and Georgia Department of Education

    Superintendent Finalist Announcement

    The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) and the Georgia Department of Education are pleased to announce the AASD Superintendent finalists: Ms. Dina Rae Padden, Mr. J. Jack Johnson, and Mr. Rayburn Boland. These finalist candidates were recommended by the AASD Superintendent Search Committee.

    The finalist interviews are the next step in the search process, led by executive search firm Innivee Strategies, Inc. The interviews will take place on-site at the AASD campus in person over a two-day period, June 22 and 23. The finalist visits will include a tour of the campus, an interview, and a community event. The school and larger community will have an opportunity to meet all finalists during the Community Forum: Meet the AASD Superintendent Finalists event on June 23rd from 5:00-7:30 p.m. 

    The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf and Georgia Department of Education wishes to recognize and thank the AASD Superintendent Search Committee members for their commitment and support of this process and to the many staff and community members who contributed to the search process.

    About the Finalists:

    Ms. Dina Rae Padden

    Dina Rae Padden is passionate about ensuring academic excellence and paving the way to post-graduate success whether in the trades, college, or owning businesses. As a Deaf person, Ms. Padden continues to serve the Deaf/HoH community beyond the K-12 school system through her financial education company’s services and curriculum development.

    Ms. Padden came to the country as an immigrant, knowing no English. She worked in the corporate environment as an auditor and financial analyst before embarking on her journey in education, serving as a teacher, then a curriculum leader, and an assistant principal. She earned a dual Bachelor of Science in Finance and Biology from Gallaudet University, an Educational Leadership certificate from Hood College, a Master’s in Deaf Education from Gallaudet, a Master’s in Business Administration from Rutgers, and she has completed her first year as a doctorate student at the University of North Florida Educational Leadership program. Ms. Padden, her spouse, and three-month-old son, as well as their three dogs, live in Florida.  She enjoys mountain biking, swimming, and reading.

    Mr. J. Jack Johnson

    Jason “Jack” Johnson, whose sign name is “J3,” is a Deaf leader in education with over twenty-five years of experience in various roles to guide young deaf or hard of hearing children to become contributing members of our society. Jack has served as a teacher, a school principal, a curriculum specialist, an interventionist, a trainer, a public speaker, and a director. A strong believer in the power of positive thinking in the workplace, Jack regularly connects with other individuals to empower creative solutions to challenging situations. 

    With a heart of a teacher, Jack is passionate to mentor others to grow future leaders. Jack loves to laugh and thrives on spreading joy among his colleagues with his infectious smile. As a family man, Jack is devoted to Jennifer, his wife of 27 years, and to their three children, Caleb, Ethan, and Hannah. Jack enjoys a good Netflix binge but can also be found on long motorcycle rides on hilly country roads if he is not out hiking with his beloved sweetheart hunting for waterfalls.

    Mr. Rayburn Boland

    Rayburn is currently a secondary principal at Arkansas School for the Deaf. It is his seventh year; however, he has over 25 years of experience working in Deaf Education. For 15 years, Rayburn was a teacher of Deaf various from K-12 grade at Alabama School for the Deaf. Last seven years, Rayburn has been a Middle School English teacher. After obtaining his Ed.S., he got his first principal job at Indiana School for the Deaf. After that, he was like an army, which moved around until he settled in Arkansas in 2015. Rayburn has worked at Louisiana School for the Deaf as principal and New York School for the Deaf as a curriculum director for a brief stint, then secondary principal. He is working on Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University. Rayburn resides with his wife, Elaine, and two sons in Little Rock.


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  • Congratulations Class of 2022!!


    Click here to access the Graduation Celebrations Page


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  • Summer Food Service Program

    Ensuring Children have Access to Nutritious Meals and Snacks When School is not in Session

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  • New English Language Arts Curricula for the 2022-2023 School Year!

    ¡Nuevo Plan de Estudios de Artes del Lenguaje Inglés para el Año Escolar 2022-2023!


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  • Great news for AASD families regarding P-EBT benefits!

    Click here:

    P-EBT Family Letter ASL

    P-EBT Family Letter ENGLISH.pdf

    P-EBT Family Letter SPANISH.pdf


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  • Fall Festival 2021 Announcement!



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  • Please take a moment to review all of AASD's new protocols for reopening school.

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Superintendent Search

  • AASD Now Accepting Superintendent Applications

    The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf is looking for a new Superintendent. The Superintendent is responsible for the overall operations and supervision of the school, its educational programs, budget, staff, and facilities. The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD), founded in 1972, is a state-operated day school established for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

    The AASD Superintendent prospectus, which can be found here, summarizes the organization, its programs, and the desired leader profile for its next leader. The prospectus describes the seven key themes and desired leadership profile that AASD seeks in its next leader based on focus groups and surveys conducted with the AASD community. The leadership profile includes:

    • Foster Family Engagement
    • Uphold Academic Standards
    • Collaborative and Open Leadership Style
    • Unifying Presence
    • Student-Centered
    • Faculty & Staff Champion
    • Systems-Level Changemaker

    The prospectus also includes the position summary, minimum qualifications, preferred qualifications, and instructions on how to apply. If you know of a potential candidate who is qualified for the Superintendent role at AASD, please share this webpage or the prospectus with them. Recommendations for the role can be sent to 

    All applications submitted by 11:59 pm EST on May 27th, 2022 will receive full consideration. Application materials including a cover letter, resume, and three references should be e-mailed to

    Please watch for updates at the AASD and Innivee Strategies websites, here and at, as well as both organizations’ social media channels.


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  • The GA DOE and AASD Announce AASD Superintendent Search Committee Selection

    The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf Superintendent search has begun and the search committee has been established. The search committee includes members of the AASD community including parents, students, teachers, and alumni. Our search committee members are volunteering their time, and we wish to recognize and thank them for their involvement.

    Innivee Strategies is partnering with the Georgia Department of Education to search for the next AASD Superintendent. Over the past few weeks, Innivee Strategies has distributed a survey and hosted several focus groups with AASD community members to learn about the characteristics that they wish to see in the AASD Superintendent leader profile. This desired leader profile will be a key document that guides the screening and interview process. If you have questions about the search process or if you have recommendations for AASD Superintendent candidates, please contact Shane Feldman, CEO of Innivee Strategies at

    Again, a huge thank you to community members for a great turnout in responses on the survey so far. Keep an eye on AASD’s emails and social media for more information soon.


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  • The GA DOE and AASD Announce Partnership with Innivee Strategies for AASD Superintendent Search


    The Georgia Department of Education and the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) have announced that the search process for the next AASD Superintendent has begun. As part of an ongoing commitment to directly engage the school’s students, parents, faculty, staff, community and other stakeholders in the search process, the search process will be led by Innivee Strategies, which has facilitated community-engaged search processes for other schools for the deaf.

    The goal is to hire the new Superintendent by the end of the school year and begin their new role by, or prior to July 1, 2022. Preparations for the search have begun. Stakeholder focus groups and surveys are expected to take place in early 2022. The recruitment period will occur in mid-to-late Spring 2022, with the interview and selection process taking place shortly afterward.

    New information about the search process will be shared through AASD and Innivee Strategies’ websites. We look forward to the AASD stakeholder community’s participation in the search for the next Superintendent.


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  • About the Georgia Department of Education

    The Georgia Department of Education oversees public education throughout the state, ensuring that laws and regulations pertaining to education are followed and that state and federal money appropriated for education is properly allocated to local school systems. 

    About Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD)

    The Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD) is a state-operated day school established for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. AASD is located in Clarkston, Georgia. AASD opened in 1972 with two buildings and approximately 80 students in preschool, elementary, and middle school. In 1978, a high school program was added with the first graduating class in 1983. Currently, AASD has five buildings and serves approximately 170 students in preschool through high school. 

    AASD also serves as a resource center on deafness offering information and technical assistance to parents, local school systems, community groups, and other agencies. All students attending AASD are referred by their local school system through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

    About Innivee Strategies, Inc.

    Innivee Strategies, Inc. provides organizations with systemic frameworks that enable them to build a strong strategic decision toward their desired vision. We engage leaders and stakeholders in collaborating together to choose the best governance model, set leadership, staff, and volunteer expectations, align and optimize resources, and manage change. Innivee Strategies is a leading search firm in the recruitment and placement of executives and leaders of organizations that serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Our services also include Effective Governance, Organizational Assessment, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Executive Support Systems, Leadership Development, and Guided Facilitation. Please visit our website at to learn about our clients and their testimonies about how our services have benefited their organizations.

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