Kathy Sussman: Executive Director Emeritus

A consummate educator, Kathy Sussman began her career in teaching deaf children how to listen and speak at St. Francis School for the Deaf in New York City in 1966. Wanting to learn more about childhood deafness, she earned a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders at Washington University in St Louis, where she also held a faculty position at the Central Institute for the Deaf.

In 1974, Kathy went “international” and directed the first preschool for the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf. While in Canada, she worked closely with Dr. Daniel Ling as he developed his seminal work in auditory-based therapy. Kathy was then selected to serve as the Executive Director of the Louisville Deaf Oral School in Kentucky where she worked from 1978 to 1991.

Her friend and colleague, Leahea Grammatico, persuaded Kathy to move to California and assume the Directorship of the Peninsula Oral School for the Deaf. During her 25-year tenure at the school, Kathy was recognized as a leader in the field of oral deaf education. She was a founding member of the OPTION Schools Board, a longtime member of the Advisory Board to the Oberkotter Foundation and served as President of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf, receiving its Honors of the Association.



Her lifetime of national and international achievements in the field have left an indelible mark on the trajectory of outcomes for so many children with hearing loss across the globe.  In honor and recognition of her passion and life’s work, Kathy was presented with Leahea Grammatico Achievement Award on September 16th, 2017 at WCC’s 50th anniversary celebration!

As Kathy continues to focus on her health, she loves to visit WCC from time to time and staff is always eager to seize the opportunity to receive her knowledge and expertise. During her visits, Kathy is sure to be greeted with hugs and excited chatter from the children!