(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Twelve high school seniors at the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) were awarded diplomas in a ceremony held May 25 at the school in Danville.

The graduates, along with their hometowns, are:

  • Zoe Andrews, Louisville
  • Mason Biederman, Danville and Versailles
  • Caleb Chappell, Glencoe
  • Alexa Hale, Lexington
  • Irvin Herrera, Mayfield
  • Lane Johnson, Williamsburg
  • Allanah McBride, Greensburg
  • David Peck, Florence
  • Nia Ralston, Bowling Green
  • Matthew Sowders, Somerset
  • Kaley Vickers, Owensboro
  • Tyler Weber, Bagdad

Allanah McBride, the class valedictorian, and David Peck, the salutatorian, each addressed their classmates during the ceremony. McBride plans to attend either Bluegrass Community and Technical College or Campbellsville University and wants to become a forensic scientist. Peck plans to attend Gateway Community and Technical College; he wants to become an auto mechanic, and his dream is to own his own racing team.

Six of the 12 graduates plan to continue their education at two- or four-year colleges, and six plan to immediately enter the workforce.

“The education these students have received at the Kentucky School for the Deaf has prepared them for success,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said. “I’m so proud of them and the work they have done that has led them to this special day.”

KSD alumnus Sandra Mae Frank, a Louisville native and a trained stage and film actress, also addressed the graduates and their guests. Frank acted on Broadway as Wendla Bergmann in Deaf West Theater’s Tony Award-nominated revival of “Spring Awakening,” in which deaf and hearing actors performed alongside each other in American Sign Language and English. Her other theater credits include “At Home at the Zoo” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” She also has several film, television and music video credits.

Frank first discovered her love of the stage at age 16 while performing in “Crimes of the Heart,” and she went on to earn a degree in theater arts from Gallaudet University. An advocate for the deaf community, she serves as a national spokesperson for communication access company ZVRS.

Also attending the ceremony were Kentucky Board of Education members Roger Marcum, Nawanna Privett and Milton Seymore.