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Maryland School for the Deaf’s 12th Superintendent Selected: John A. Serrano

Maryland School for the Deaf’s 12th Superintendent Selected: John A. Serrano

Innivee Strategies is thrilled to share that Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) recently announced the selection of Mr. John A. Serrano as the school’s 12th superintendent. As detailed in MSD’s press release (link):

Mr. Serrano, who identifies as Latinx, will be the first person of color to lead MSD in its 155-year history. Mr. Serrano’s appointment was ratified by a MSD Board of Trustees vote at a special meeting held on the Columbia Campus on January 9, 2023.  He will officially begin his superintendency on January 25, 2023.

Mr. Serrano brings extensive experience in K-12 Deaf education, including 13 years of administrative and management experience. He began his K-12 education career at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) as an elementary school teacher, teaching grades 3 through 5. Over the course of his 13 years with TSD, Mr. Serrano advanced through various administrative leadership roles, serving as a program supervisor, assistant principal and principal of the High School, and director of Academic Affairs. Prior to assuming his current role as executive director of Undergraduate Admissions at Gallaudet University, Mr. Serrano served for four years as the school-level superintendent of the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD), a day school serving over 150 Deaf/DHH students in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Mr. Serrano graduated from American School for the Deaf (ASD) in Connecticut and attended Gallaudet University for his undergraduate and graduate studies, where he majored in Elementary Education and Deaf Education. He holds the following certifications from the state of Maryland: Elementary Education (1-6), Deaf and Hard of Hearing Pre-K-12, Administrator I – Supervisor and Assistant Principal, and Area Superintendent I/II. Mr. Serrano serves as a governing board member for both the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) and the American School for the Deaf. John resides in Montgomery County, Maryland, with his wife, Melly, and three children, Natalia (14), AJ (13), and Matthew (6).

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as the next Superintendent of MSD, said Mr. Serrano. “Words cannot adequately describe how excited and eager I am to be a part of this great school, and I look forward to working together with faculty, staff, families, and community members to serve the students and to prepare for future generations to come. As excited as I am about I look forward to beginning a new chapter with MSD. I am committed to hitting the ground running and getting started with the great work MSD has been doing to bring the school forward to support this year’s school theme of belonging and becoming. Last but not least, let me proudly state this for the first time: Go Orioles!

“We are thrilled and honored that Mr. John A. Serrano has accepted our invitation to assume leadership of MSD and serve as the next superintendent. John impressed the search committee, the MSD community, and the Board of Trustees with his passion for quality education for all Deaf students and the tenets of MSD’s mission and values,” said Corey Burton, president of MSD’s Board of Trustees. “As an experienced K-12 educator and administrator, he has demonstrated a commitment to leading and serving students, families, and employees with equity, inclusivity, and collaboration. These qualifications, along with an enthusiastic energy and impressive track record of leadership and achievement, make John the ideal leader for MSD.”

“While the search for a new superintendent was a protracted process, MSD has been extremely fortunate to have a stellar team of staff that have taken on additional responsibilities to ensure that the school continued to serve and support MSD students and their families without disruption, as well as successfully completed or made noteworthy progress on critical initiatives. I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to convey the Board’s sincere appreciation to them here,” shared Mr. Burton. “I especially wish to thank Ann Miller, Jennifer Yost Ortiz, and Kevin Strachan for their period of service as interim superintendent over the last three years.”

Innivee Strategies, Inc. wishes to thank the school community for participating in the MSD Superintendent search process, especially those who provided support as staff and volunteers during the finalist visits. We also wish to thank the Maryland School for the Deaf Board of Trustees for entrusting our company with facilitating the MSD Superintendent search process. We look forward to the thriving future of MSD under Mr. Serrano’s leadership!

About Maryland School for the Deaf
Founded in 1868, Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) is a state-funded educational institution serving deaf and hard-of-hearing students from birth to 21 years. MSD serves and supports over 450 students and their families at two campuses: Frederick, established in 1868, and Columbia, established in 1973. The MSD strives to provide an equitable and exemplary education for all students in a nurturing, engaging, and challenging environment, ensuring that students achieve personal excellence and become responsible lifelong learners. The mission of MSD is to provide American Sign Language (ASL) and English language models for early acquisition and to provide linguistically enriched ASL and English environments for the attainment of fluency in both languages. The Board of Trustees of the Maryland School for the Deaf is the policy-making body responsible for the school’s governance and strategic operations and oversees the superintendent’s work.

About Innivee Strategies, Inc.
Innivee Strategies, Inc. provides organizations with systemic frameworks that enable them to build strong strategic decisions toward their desired vision. We engage leaders and stakeholders in collaborating together to choose the best governance model, set leadership, staff, and volunteer expectations, align and optimize resources, and manage change. Innivee Strategies is a leading search firm in the recruitment and placement of executives and leaders of organizations that serve the Deaf and hard of hearing community. Our services also include Effective Governance, Organizational Assessment, Strategic Planning, Change Management, Executive Support Systems, Leadership Development, and Guided Facilitation. Please visit our website at to learn about our clients and their testimonies about how our services have benefited their organizations.