New York School for the Deaf to Host Academic Bowl


Banner Academic BowlWHITE PLAINS – March 10 – 12, 2016 – New York School for the Deaf (“Fanwood”), the second oldest school for deaf in the country, will host and compete in the Gallaudet Academic Bowl. For schools for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, this is probably the most distinguished academic event in the nation.

Over 110 high School students, from eighteen other school from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, and every corner of New York State will travel to Fanwood in hopes of winning a spot in the National Tournament, to be held at Gallaudet University from April 23 -25, 2016.

This event will be unique in that only deaf or hard of hearing students will participate. The academic rigor and standards of the Academic Bowl will be just as challenging as they would be for their hearing peers.

Students will have their knowledge tested in categories such as social studies, language and literature, science and technology, mathematics, the arts, deaf studies, current events, pop culture, leisure and sports. They will be graded on their general knowledge and quick recall skills.

“The academic bowl allows deaf/hard of hearing students to showcase their knowledge over a broad range of subjects and in such a fun, memorable manner too,” Superintendent Dr. Ron Stern explained in a statement released by the school. “New friendships are invariably forged along with old friends being able to get together once again outside of competition.   With this being the 20th anniversary of Gallaudet’s Academic Bowl event and on behalf of all students and adults who have, and will continue to participate, Fanwood as this year’s proud host, extends its profound gratitude and appreciation to Gallaudet.”

This exciting event will kick-off New York School for the Deaf’s celebration of their 200th Year Anniversary.


NYSD to Name Building After Beloved and Accomplished Alumnus

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 4.44.33 PMWHITE PLAINS February 24,2016 The Board of Trustees of New York School for the Deaf (also known as Fanwood) and Dr. Ronald Stern, Superintendent, proudly announce that the school will be dedicating its Auditorium/Theatre in honor of Bernard Bragg, one of its most prominent alumni and one of the world’s most accomplished performing deaf artists. A pioneer as a deaf mime and actor, “BB”, as he is fondly called in the deaf community, was central to paving the way for many deaf and hard of hearing actors in Theatre, television, and movies.

Fanwood will proBernard Bragg Theatre (2)udly unveil the newly named Bernard Bragg Theatre on Friday, June 23, 2016. This ribbon-cutting ceremony along with an evening reception in his honor will be part of a year-long series of events celebrating the school’s 200th anniversary.  Established in 1817, NYSD is the oldest school for the deaf in New York and the second oldest in the nation.  Though Fanwood has produced the most alumni who have earned doctorates of any school for the deaf among many other outstanding graduates during its long existence, the Bernard Bragg Theatre will be the first school facility not only named after an alumnus but also a deaf person. This is a fitting tribute to Bernard Bragg and his extraordinary essence.

Bragg enrolled at Fanwood at the age of five where he remained until his graduation from high school in 1947.  To this day, he fondly reminds friends and family that Fanwood has been and continues to be “home” – and that he would not be where he is today if it were not for the school. One of his earliest mentors as a young child was none other than Robert F. Panara, a renowned teacher and poet who taught Bragg and nurtured his interest in the arts.  His love for the stage grew steadily stronger over the years in what was formerly known as the Peet Hall Auditorium which has long since given way to the current theatre being dedicated to Bernard Bragg – a well-used, popular and important facility.

Dr. Stern notes “naming our theatre in honor of Bernard Bragg is an important and lasting celebration of his incredible talents and contributions. Furthermore, it is also with a burst of pride that, as the school commemorates its 200th anniversary going forward, it will be cemented forever that Bernard Bragg is an esteemed, proud product of Fanwood.”

Linda Bove, an NYSD Trustee, long-time librarian on Sesame Street, accomplished deaf actor, and personal friend of Bernard Bragg stated “It is so well deserved that the Theatre at New York School for the Deaf be named after this great man. He single handedly recruited me for the National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) when I was a junior at Gallaudet University. Without Bernard Bragg at the forefront of deaf theatre, and as a proponent of young deaf actors, many of us would not have become accomplished in the field. “

Please be sure to check out the school’s website at for details of the Bernard Bragg Theatre naming events to be held on June 23, 2016 at Fanwood.

Come one, come all as we welcome Bernard Bragg back to Fanwood to thank and celebrate him!

NYSD Basketball Makes History This Weekend

Full teamFor the first time in 52 years, New York School for the Deaf’s Boy’s Basketball team, the Tornadoes, won the championship at the annual Eastern Schools for the Deaf Basketball Tournament this past weekend. The last time NYSD, known as Fanwood, had won this tournament was back in 1964 when they bested Pennsylvania School for the Deaf for the title.

At the start of the tournament, senior, Agron Deski, stepped onto the court vs. Ohio School for the Deaf knowing that he had a chance of scoring his 1000th career point. Earlier in the season, when askDSC_0068ed if he was excited to achieve this goal, his thoughts were focused only on winning the ESDAA tournament. “I want to accomplish this dream, but scoring 1,000 points is not as important to me as winning the championship at the ESDAA tourney this February.” Assistant Coach and Fanwood Athletic Director John Diehl, noted at the time, “Agron is undoubtedly a great leader and team player, but I’m still rooting for him to attain the 1,000 points milestone while also pursuing his dream to win the championship.”

1964After winning over the West Virginia School for the Deaf in the semifinal on Saturday and before Sunday’s championship game against the American School for the Deaf from Connecticut, the NYSD team received inspiring words of encouragement from 2 alumni who were in their shoes 52 years ago. Harry Storch, captain and leader of the 1964 team and Stewart Gerlis, the current president of the Fanwood Alumni Association. The team went to the court fired up by Harry Storch’s words: “90% of this game is mental; the rest is physical. Make up your minds whether you want to win this game and then get out there and do it!”

After falling behind in the first two quarters, Fanwood took control of the game in the 3rd quarter and held on impressively IMG_8633the rest of the way. NYSD fans at the well-attended tournament erupted in excitement at the buzzer and stormed the court to celebrate the historic win.

Dr. Ron Stern, NYSD Superintendent, is so proud of these student-athletes. Never missing a game, Dr. Stern is as supportive and encouraging of the team as the coaches. When asked his thoughts after the tournament, Dr. Stern stated It is said champions do not become champions when winning but in the hours, weeks and years in preparation prior to the victory.  This is exactly the story of Fanwood’s historic, exhilarating championship of the prestigious Eastern Schools for the Deaf basketball tournament last weekend.  In a testament to the  time and effort our student athletes and their coaches and teachers have put forth in the classroom and on the court, we won the title.  Such is the essence of the special school and community Fanwood is as it heads into its 200th year of meaningful existence.”

This victory comes at an exciting time for New York School for the Deaf, as they are just about to kick off a year-long series of events celebrating the school’s 200th anniversary.

84th Annual ESDAA Tournament Game Highlights
Day 1

NYSD 55 vs. OSD 53
Seeded #1 in the tournament, NYSD opened the first round against #8 Ohio School for the Deaf, the Spartans. The team got off to a bad start as they were down 15-4 at the end of the first quarter. Refusing to give up, they played hard and were down by 7 at halftime.

The Spartans started the 2nd half ready to play, and NYSD once again struggled both offensively and defensively being down by 11 points at the start of the 4th quarter. NYSD picked up their speed of play and intensity on defense to finally catch up with Ohio near the end of the game to force overtime. Being down 5 points in overtime, Fanwood had to once again come from behind and with the help of probably Agron Deski’s most important points of his illustrious career, his 1000th point put Fanwood ahead for the first time in the whole game with about 35 seconds left. By eking out this hard-fought win, Fanwood advanced to the semifinals.


1 2 3 4 OT Final
NYSD 4 17 5 18 11 55
OSD 15 13 9 7 9 53

Halftime: 21-28

Deski- 20 pts, 11 rebounds, 2 assists
Banton- 18 pts, 11 rebounds, 1 block
Vega- 16 pts, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 8 steals, 1 block
Lora- 1 pt, 4 rebounds

Day 2:

NYSD 62 vs. WVSD 51
NYSD faced West Virginia School for the Deaf in the second round. Though hobbled by a badly sprained ankle incurred in the first game, it was mind over matter for Agron Deski. With Banton, Vega, Lora, and the rest of the team stepping up, they pulled ahead in the second quarter after falling behind at the start and built on their lead in the 3rd period to win handily. Point guard Carlos Vega led the team with 22 points.

1 2 3 4 Final
NYSD 16 14 21 10 62
WVSD 20 6 8 18 51

Halftime: 30-26
Vega- 22 pts, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 steals
Banton- 15 pts, 9 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block
Deski- 14 pts, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Lora- 6 pts, 2 rebounds
Pon – 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals

Day 3:
NYSD 48 vs. ASD 39
NYSD faced American School for the Deaf of Connecticut for the title in the third and final round of the tournament. The team had played ASD three previous times in the season, resulting in a 2-1 record in ASD’s favor. But this did not deter Fanwood’s determination or confidence going into the game.

After both teams got off to a slow start, ASD pulled ahead by 5 points at the end of the second quarter. After a pep talk from Coach Tegni and putting on a full court press, the team roared back in the second half winning the championship with a score of 48-39 with Deski bringing his superb all-around game and Owen Banton scoring 22 points and garnering 18 rebounds.

1 2 3 4 Final
NYSD 8 8 18 14 48
ASD 15 6 5 13 39

Halftime: 16-21
Owen – 22 pts, 18 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks
Deski – 19 pts, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals
Vega – 7 pts, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 2 steals
Pon – 1 rebound, 2 assists, 5 steals

Tournament All Stars
Carlos Vega – 45 pts, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 15 steals, 1 block
Owen Banton – 55 pts, 38 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, 3 blocks
Agron Deski – 43 pts, 30 rebounds, 9 assists, 10 steals

Senior Agron Deski was named tournament Most Valuable Player

Purchase Beautiful Yankee Candles AND Support the Senior Class!

2016 Senior ClassNYSD’s Class of 2016 is holding a Yankee Candle fundraising drive to raise money for their traditional senior field trip and prom. Click HERE to view the beautiful brochure online and purchase items for your friends, family members, and yourself!

To start shopping, simply click visit the Yankee Candle website and type in our Organization Group Number: 990060391

You can also go to and set up a seller account to contact supporters:

1. Create your seller account
click “seller login”
Complete “Sign up to be a seller”
Enter your organization group number 990060391
click “SUBMIT”

  • 2. Provide e-mail addresses (email addresses are confidential and will not be shared)
  • Visit the “Seller Dashboard”
    Enter email addresses of friends and family
    Click “SEND”The students of the Class of 2016 thank you in advance for your support!