Second Deaf Education graduate named a top teacher

August 08, 2011

McDaniel alumnus and lecturer David Martin was named Teacher of the Year by the American Sign Language Teacher’s Association (ASLTA) at its June conference in Seattle, making him the second 1996 graduate of the college’s master’s program in Deaf Education to garner a prestigious top teacher award.

Martin, assistant professor and program manager of ASL Studies at Frederick Community College and an instructor and adjunct lecturer at McDaniel since 2000, took two classes with Michelle Shearer, M.S. ’96, who was named the nation’s top teacher in May.

“The award came to me by surprise. I was humbled and honored to be recognized by my peers,” Martin, who also has a B.S. in Psychology from Gallaudet, wrote in an e-mail. “I love this profession and will continue to do my best in raising the bar in ASL awareness and instruction.”

Author of many papers and a presenter at conferences all over the U.S., Martin was a classroom teacher at his own alma mater, the Maryland School for the Deaf, and a drama teacher at the Texas School for the Deaf. His varied teaching and research interests include American Deaf Culture and literature, Deaf communities, ASL vlogs (video blogs) and Deaf humor, folklore and traditions.

Being named Stephen M. Ryan Teacher of the Year is particularly meaningful to Martin since he knew the award’s namesake, who was a Deaf comedian before his death in 1995.

“Stephen had the passion to share his love of ASL/Deaf Culture and Humor,” wrote Martin, who is president of the Maryland chapter of ASLTA. “Stephen's legacy will carry on.”

Martin is the 2010 recipient of the Maryland ASLTA Teacher Excellence Award. He lives in Frederick with his wife, Debbie, and their four young children.