American Sign Language

Teachers Association


Board of Directors ...

Alysse Rasmussen
Vice President
... Rey J. Vega
Cheryl Zuckerman
... Cindi Jacobs
Newsletter/Media Editor
... Shawn Olmstead
Barbara Chaves
Craig Leavitt
... Lori Wilkinson
Past President
... Cheryl Zuckerman

Bios of Board Members...

Alysse Rasmussen, PhD. teaches ASL 1 & 2 at Valencia Community College in Orlando.  She holds 2 BAs in Linguistics & Spanish from UW-Madison (1978).  In addition she has Graduate Certificates in Teaching ASL & Interpreting from Colorado University at Boulder (2001) and Teaching Interpretering Educators & Mentors from Northeastern University, Boston (2003).  In early 2004, she completed her MA in Learning & Technololgy from Western Governors University.  She has been a member of ASLTA & FASLTA since 1989. Alysse currently holds ASLTA Qualified certification.

Reinaldo (Rey) J. Vega, M.Ed. was born and raised in West Palm Beach, FL, resided in Jacksonville, FL for two years and Kissimmee, FL for eight years and returned to West Palm Beach August Ď05. He is profoundly deaf and attended public mainstreamed schools with a Deaf/HH Program. He was granted a Bachelorís Degree in Applied Mathematics from NTID/RIT and a Masterís Degree in Special Education-Deaf Education from UNF along with Floridaís Educatorís Certificates in Mathematics 6-12 and Hearing Impaired K-12 with an ASL endorsement. He also has achieved national American Sign Language Teacher Association (ASLTA) Professional certificate. Overall, Rey has been teaching for over 12 years, one year at Jefferson Middle School in West Palm Beach, five years in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program at St. Cloud High School, one year with Deaf PreK-K students at Cypress Elementary School, two years at Poinciana High School, all in Osceola County. Rey has taught ASL adult community Level 1-2 classes at ASL Services, Inc., part-time over two years, ASL 1 in high school over a year and half, taught ASL 1 and 4 at Miami-Dade College, and currently teaching ASL 1-4 at Palm Beach Community College. He is a former member and former President and Treasurer of Deaf Experience Association, Inc. (DEAI) in Kissimmee for five years. Rey was a member and a former Vice President of Orlando Club of the Deaf (OCD) and now, he is a member of Palm Beach County Association of the Deaf (PBCAD). Rey is also a member of FASLTA, ASLTA, RID, FRID, TriFRID, FEA, FAD, and NAD. He was a Florida Educational Interpreter Evaluation (EIE) evaluator, Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD) Member-at-Large (currently Secretary) and TriFRID Member-at-Large, Deaf Liaison.

Cindi Jacobs was introduced to sign language when she was 18 years old in high school inclusion (SEE). She has taught sign language classes for over 30 years. Varied places - Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association, Boston Language Institution, Lesley University (with credits), Adult Education under school department and private tutoring. Cindi is currently adjunct instructor at Palm Beach State College. She earned her B.A. of Psychology from Cambridge College on January 1995. Cindi worked at Horace Mann School for the Deaf in Allston, Mass as teacher aide for 19 years, taught deaf studies to middle school students for several years. Plus storytelling to elementary children from the children's book -- (SRP) Shared Reading Project with parents of deaf children. Played an actress "Grandmother for The Napping House" for DVD. After retiring, Cindi continued working as a substitute teacher until December 2012. She serves as Chairperson membership for (FAD) Florida Association membership since 2009, and currently as Treasurer of FASLTA since February 2013. She runs FINGO games on first Saturday monthly at (PBCAD) Palm Beach County Association of the Deaf in Lake Worth, FL.

Shawn Olmstead teaches at Winter Springs HS in the Seminole County Public School system. She holds ASLTA Professional level certification, and has also received her Florida DOE endorsement for teaching ASL. She has an AA in Interpreting for the Deaf and a BS in Exceptional Education. Shawn has been teaching ASL since 1998.

Barbara Chaves is a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children. ASL teacher at Hagerty High School, Oviedo Fl or 6 years. Taught ASL in Seminole County for 16 years total. Has completed the requirements for FLDOE Endorsement. Barbara is a National Certified Interpreter (NIC-ADV). Has presented at several conferences. She loves the Deaf community and teaching ASL.

Craig A. Leavitt, M.B.A. worked as an educational interpreter and ASL teacher for the past 10 years. He has a background in psychology and communications and holds professional teaching certifications in Exceptional Student Education (ESE), K-12; Social Sciences, 6-12; English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL), K-12; and has the ASL Teaching Endorsement. He is passionate about mentoring novice teachers. Craig works diligently to improve his craft by seeking ongoing professional development opportunities. Currently, he is focused on writing high-quality language assessments and creating a standards-based curriculum that also integrates critical thinking skills, differentiated instruction, and content-area reading strategies. Craig also maintains professional memberships and has facilitated workshops with the American Council for the Teaching for Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and the Florida Foreign Language Association (FFLA). He stays actively involved with the Foreign Language Educators of Northeast Florida (FLENEF) and was instrumental in introducing American Sign Language to their annual world languages festival.

Lori Wilkinson, M.A. holds a Master's degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University. She has taught multiply handicapped Deaf children for 18 years in Palm Beach County and ASL 2 at Broward College for 10 years. A member of FASLTA for the past 4 years, this is her first year serving on the Board.

Cheryl Zuckerman, M.Ed. is teaching ASL1-4 in a public HS in Fort Lauderdale since January 2001. She previously taught in a Deaf Ed program for 2 years, and has taught continuing education classes in ASL at Broward Community College. She holds an M.S. in Education, a Certificate in Teaching ASL from Colorado University at Boulder, and Florida DOE ASL endorsement. Cheryl teaches community education ASL classes, and is a former EIE evaluator for the Florida Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (FRID), and is currently involved with the FLDOE to create a state database of test questions for use by American Sign Language teachers in FL public schools.




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Last update: 11/29/13