Teacher of the Year Joanna Hendrix Gets Deaf Students Off to a Strong Start
Santa Barbara County Education Office Teacher of the Year, Joanna Hendrix

Today's guest is Joanna Hendrix, the 2023 Teacher of the Year! (Recognized by the Santa Barbara County Education Office and the county Board of Education.) She is a teacher of the deaf serving preschool, transitional kindergarten, & kindergarten deaf and hard of hearing students from the Santa Maria and Orcutt area. Her classroom is housed on the campus of Ralph Dunlap Elementary School. Her goal is to ensure students obtain the necessary language and academic readiness skills to transition into kindergarten ready to learn and to partner with and empower parents in making informed educational choices.

For the past 21 years, Joanna Hendrix has been employed by the Santa Barbara County Education Office as a teacher of the deaf. She received her B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Deaf Education emphasis and M.A. in Deaf Education from California State University, Fresno, along with a multiple subject credential and an educational specialist credential. Hendrix teaches students with a range of hearing ability, language development, and literacy skills. Her students are culturally and linguistically diverse. The languages spoken in their homes consist of American Sign Language, English, Spanish, and Mixtec. Many arrive to her classroom with insufficient early language exposure, resulting in absent or weak language foundations.

Bits of Music You May Notice: Yo La Tengo, "Georgia Vs. Yo La Tengo," The Haden Triplets, "Every Time I Try," Galaxie 500, "Listen, the Snow Is Falling."

This episode first aired on KCSB-FM 91.9 on June 2, 2022.