The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has announced that Ernest Garrett has been selected to head the Missouri School for the Deaf.
On July 1, 2014, Ernest E. Garrett III, M.S., M.S.W., will become the first deaf superintendent of the Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD) since the school was established by an act of the Missouri Legislature in 1851. He is a native of St. Louis.
The immediate past president of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. (NBDA), Garrett is a recipient of the "Advocate of the Year Award" from NBDA in 2009 and the "Lasting Impression Award" from Special School District of St. Louis County in 2011. He is currently the executive director of the Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Garrett received an Associate of Arts degree in general studies and dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He went on to earn an advanced academic degree in administration (MS) and an advanced professional degree in social work (MSW), with a school social work specialization, both from Gallaudet University. He is currently pursuing a research doctorate degree (PhD) in management from Walden University, with a specialization in leadership and organizational change.
Statewide, Garrett serves as a member of the Relay Missouri Advisory Committee, Missouri Newborn Hearing Screening Standing Committee, Missouri Department of Mental Health Deaf Advisory Council and Missouri Deaf-Blind Technical Assistance Project Advisory Committee.
Nationally, Garrett is a board member of the National Association of State Agencies for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. as well as an advisory board member of the Described and Captioned Media Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf, Inc.
Garrett is a lifetime member of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association, as well as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In addition, he holds membership with the following organizations: National Association of Social Workers, School Social Work Association of America, Academy of Management, and the Society for the Advancement of Management. He is active in the Jefferson City business community where he is a small business owner and member of the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce.
A press release from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education states "We want to thank the selection committee which included representatives from the MSD Advisory Board, the MSD Alumni Association, the MSD staff, and the Department for giving two days to interview numerous candidates. We also want to recognize the many staff who helped organize the interviews, interpreted during the interviews, conducted tours of the campus, provided technology support, and even fed the selection committee. It took a lot of teamwork and much effort by many people-thank you one and all."