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Longmeadow—Mary Gomez , a parent of two students who attended and graduated from Willie Ross School for the Deaf, has been appointed to the school’s Board of Trustees, it was announced.

Ms. Gomez, a native of the Dominican Republic, resides in Easthampton and serves as a foster mother at the Treehouse Communities initiative that provides a multigenerational foster care environment in a 60-home village located in Easthampton.

Both children of Ms. Gomez, William and Melanie, were born deaf. She moved to Massachusetts from New York where she was unsatisfied with deaf education programs and schools available at the time. After moving to Massachusetts her children thrived at Willie Ross, and her son William is a Willie Ross graduate currently attending the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her daughter Melanie graduated from Willie Ross in the spring of 2020 and will be attending Holyoke Community College in the fall.

Ms. Gomez was an active parent when her children attended the school and will bring the parent perspective to the Board of Trustees. “It is very important for parents to be involved in the education of their children at Willie Ross. The school was founded and named by parents. I want to connect with parents and have them be a part of the school community and their child’s education. When I was a parent of children attending Willie Ross, I was very involved with my children and their friends at the school. I hope to help the parents feel more connected to the school and I think I can also bring their voice to the Board of Trustees.”

According to Bert Carter, President and CEO of Willie Ross School for the Deaf, “Mary was an active and dynamic parent when her two children attended the school. We are excited to have her join the Board of Trustees and know she will bring her enthusiasm for the school and her unique ability to engage parents and all members of our school community to the Board.”

Ms. Gomez is currently enrolled in a certificate programs at Holyoke Community College for English-Spanish translation and sign language translation.

Willie Ross School for the Deaf provides a comprehensive educational program stressing academic excellence that focuses on the development of students’ intellectual, social, and emotional growth from the early childhood level through high school. Willie Ross serves students at its main campus in Longmeadow and at its partnership campus located in the East Longmeadow Public Schools. Mainstreaming opportunities are provided at the partnership campus

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