Dr. Gertrude Galloway & Dr. Ernest Hairston Honored
The Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing honors Dr. Gertrude Galloway and Dr. Ernest Hairston.
The Governor’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing honored two distinguished Deaf individuals by naming facilities in their honor during a ceremony on September 13, 2019 held in Crownsville, MD during Deaf Awareness Month. The Dr. Gertrude Galloway Conference Room and the Dr. Ernest Hairston Suite Office will now be the meeting places to host those visiting the Governor’s Office.
Dr. Gertrude Scott Galloway was a women’s rights advocate, activist, civil leader, educator, and pioneer. At the time of the mid and late 20th century, there was gender inequality, along with a lack of Deaf female role models. That did not stop Dr. Galloway, who brazenly said “You need to be tough to make it out there.” With her determination and courage, she was a trailblazer with many firsts and achievements. She was the first woman to be elected president of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). She was the first Deaf superintendent of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf (MKSD), now known as New Jersey School of the Deaf. She was also the first woman president for both the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools Programs for the Deaf, and the Deaf Seniors of America. She passed away in 2014.
Dr. Galloway’s roots in Maryland began when she taught math at Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) in 1970 while receiving her masters in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College). As her career developed, she became assistant principal at MSD’s Columbia campus in 1973, while also teaching psychology and women’s studies at Hood College and Western Maryland College for several years. On top of her leadership firsts and activism built over the years, she was also the vice president and president of the Maryland Association for the Deaf, the vice president of Gallaudet College Alumni Association (GCAA), and the president of the Maryland state chapter of the GCAA. Additionally, she was the chair of the National Commission on Equal Education Opportunities for Deaf Children.
Dr. Galloway was a pioneer not only for Deaf rights, but also Deaf women’s rights. She paved the way for many Deaf women to be able to hold leadership positions, and her work for improving education for the children of the Deaf community has been invaluable.
Dr. Ernest Hairston is a leader, activist, advisor, teacher, author, and pioneer in the Deaf community. He experienced segregation and integration, and stood tall throughout. He became the first Black Deaf recipient of a Ph.D. in Special Education Administration. In 1971, Dr. Hairston worked with the U.S. Department of Education and contributed to a number of positions, including Associate Division Director, Chief of the Captioning and Adaptation Branch, Education Program Specialist, and Project Manager. He has also published numerous professional papers and articles, and co-authored a book, “Black and Deaf in America: Are We That Different?”
Dr. Hairston was a founding member of the leading advocacy organization of Black Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in the United States, the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), of which there is also a prominent chapter in Maryland. He also served on the Board of Trustees for the Maryland School for the Deaf and has been a contributor to the local community in Maryland. Dr. Hairston also served on the Board for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Government and provided valuable guidance to numerous companies and organizations, including NAD and NBDA.
He is currently the Director of Artistic Sign Language for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts sign-interpreted productions and performances. On top of his renowned work and accomplishments, Dr. Hairston established the High Bridge Foundation in 2012 with his wife, which promotes the well-being of young people from underserved populations, including new immigrants, adoptees, people with disabilities, and those in need of financial help, to pursue higher education. He also mentors many Black Deaf youths in the DMV area.
Dr. Hairston is a role model in the Black Deaf community for his educational pursuits, accomplishments, and community contributions. Dr. Hairston has shown passion in his work and successfully advocated and created changes in improving lives of many.