CSDB Superintendents


Jonathan R. Kennedy
Jonathan R. Kennedy, April 1874-August 1883

George Failor
George Failor, August 1883-February 1884

Anna O. Whitcomb
Anna O. Whitcomb, February 1884-April 1885

The Montrose Monitor reported in 1883 that "Mr. J.R. Kennedy became the first Superintendent, while his wife was the first Matron.  Through the Nine years they managed the Institute, it has grown from a school with an attendance of a dozen little half-wild children, to an institution of learning, where nearly fifty children and young person were taught during the recent term.  A large number of young person, who have been educated and taught some trade or employment by which they are now independent, are enabled to support themselves.  The institution is doing grand work."


In 1883, Superintendent Failor resigned after being charged with firing a pistol at one of the boys.  He fled the state instead of standing trial.  The boy was David Wolpert, who says, "I was shot at by one of the Superintendents, who came after Mr. Kennedy for the crime of complaining about the unbearable conditions which prevail.  The bullet grazed my right ear, but I'm glad to say it was the beginning of real and lasting improvements in the organization of the School.  The would-be-homicidal Superintendent was removed, and the great educator, David Dudley (Superintendent from 1884-1899), took charge.  I graduated in 1889, together with Mr. Paul Hubbard (later to be known for inventing the football huddle), and Miss Grace Young, who eight years later became Mrs. Wolpert.  The three of us formed the first class to graduate from the School."


Anna O. Whitcomb was the first female Superintendent and in total, the third Superintendent of the school, appointed February 1884.  In the late 1800's as a single lady, she was given a difficult time by those who thought she should not be in her position.  In the summer of 1884, she considered leaving her position, and sent a letter to a board member describing her feelings.  "Even Mrs. Failor (the previous Superintendent's wife), though protected by her husband, was defamed so much, the ladies of her own church would not call on her.  I do not feel comfortable leaving the institute, but I think it is the best thing for me."  She resigned her job, after one year, March 1885.  A written school statement says, "Mrs. Whitcomb, having tired of the unsought honors that had been thrust upon her, delegated all her powers as Superintendent to the principal, David Dudley."


David C. Dudley
David C. Dudley, April 1885-December 1887

John E. Ray
John E. Ray, December 1887-August 1894

David C. Dudley
David C. Dudley, August 1894-March 1899

Superintendent Dudley, experienced as a teacher of the deaf and a former superintendent, began as a principal, November 1884, and progressed then to Superintendent, June 1885.  During his first summer, Superintendent Dudley traveled thru the State of Colorado searching for mute or blind children who had not yet attended school.  He resigned in 1887 due to continued ill health.


Superintendent Ray, a former teacher of the deaf, arrived from North Carolina and rented a cottage west on Kiowa.  He began as Superintendent in December 1887 and worked in that position for nearly seven years.  During his time at CSDB, the student population grew to 130, the facilities increased from one building to five and the name changed from the Colorado School Mute and Blind Institute (1884) to the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (1893).  After seven years as superintendent, Mr. Ray resigned to become superintendent of the Kentucky School.


In the meantime, Mr. Dudley, having regained his health and been appointed head teacher in the school and upon Mr. Ray's retirement again became superintendent. He continued in office until 1899, when ill health forced him to relinquish the position, and his death occurred some months later.


William K. Argo
William K. Argo, March 1899-April 1921

Isabella C. Argo
Isabella C. Argo, April 1921-March 1922

Thomas S. McAloney
Thomas S. McAloney, August 1922-August 1932

Mr. W.K. Argo, also form the Kentucky school, succeeded to the superintendent, March 1899, leading to 19 years of growth and increased efficiency of the school including new and remodeled buildings, health-promoting outdoor recreation for the students, and a well-stocked library.  Agro, and his wife, Isabell "Bella", had worked as teachers in the Deaf department, beginning in 1896.  They were favorites of the students, often leading students on excursions and hosting holiday parties.  Mrs. Argo soon received a promotion as Matron of the residential program.  Mr. Argo was superintendent until his death in 1921.  Mrs. Argo became the next superintendent for one year until passing from ill health.


In 1922, Dr. Thomas S. McAloney was appointed the Superintendent of CSDB, succeeding the late Mrs. Argo.  He remained at CSDB for 10 years and then, ill for only one day, Dr. McAloney died from peritonitis in 1932.  At the time, he was the president of the American Association of Instructors for the Deaf.  The Colorado Index reported, "He was devoted heart and soul to his students and brought to his work enthusiasm for progress that achieved results little short of miracles.  There are buildings at several schools serving as monuments to his energy and efforts, but his greater monuments are found in the lives and characters of the many boys and girls who came under his care.  He made the world a better place in which to live.


Alfred L. Brown
Alfred L. Brown, October 1932-August 1954

Roy M. Stelle
Roy M. Stelle, September 1954-July 1962

Armin G. Turechek
Armin G. Turecheck, July 1962-June 1974

Mr. Alfred Brown, CSDB teacher and coach in 1912, soon became the School for the Deaf Principal and finally CSDB's Superintendent for 22 years beginning 1932 until 1954.  In 1941, the Old Girls Hall was torn down and a new residential building was completed on the same site.  "This is a very substantial building of stone construction and is one of the finest we have on the campus."  In 1946, this building was named Alfred L. Brown Hall.  During his time at CSDB, the Old School Building burned down and a new one, the Gottlieb Building, was built.  He was also nationally known for training students who were deaf in square dancing, using American Sign Language to sign the calls.


Robert T. Dawson
Robert T. Dawson, July 1974-June 1982

Gordon L. Kaufman
Gordon L. Kaufman, July 1982-June 1990

Marilyn Jaitly
Marilyn Jaitly, July 1990-June 2004

Marilyn Jaitly received her Master’s Degree in Social Welfare from the University of Denver in 1974 and began working at CSDB that summer as a counselor and social worker for students and their families. In 1976, she was promoted to Director of the Counseling and Evaluation Center, later called Diagnostic and Related Services. She remained in this position through the 1986 school year. Afterward, she worked as the Special Education Director for Colorado Springs School District 11. In March 1990, she was named Interim Superintendent at CSDB and was elected as Superintendent in July 1990. Under her leadership, the CSDB Outreach Program began in 1990 and the Transition Program for 18-21-year-old students began in 1997. She retired in 2004.


Carol A. Hilty
Carol A. Hilty, July 2004-June 2019

Nancy E. Benham
Nancy E. Benham, July 2019-April 2022

Interim Superintendent Tera Spangler
Tera Spangler, Interim Superintendent, April 2022-February 2024, Superintendent February 2024

Carol Hilty began her career as a teacher of the Deaf in Nebraska and later worked as a consultant on Deaf issues for the Nebraska Department of Education. She started working at CSDB in 1989 as an elementary teacher in the School for the Deaf. In 1990, she was promoted to principal of the School for the Deaf. She held this position until July 2004 when she became interim superintendent. She was officially appointed superintendent in 2005. During her leadership, several large renovation projects were completed, including remodeling Jones Hall, Palmer Hall, and the Gottlieb Building. She retired in 2019.

Tera Spangler, born and raised in a small Iowa farming town, became Deaf at age 10. After graduating in 2000 with a double major in Elementary Education and Deaf Education from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, she initially taught preschool in Omaha. Relocating to Colorado Springs, she spent five years in Falcon School District 49 as an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf before earning her Masters in Deaf Education from the University of Northern Colorado.  In 2006, Tera joined the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, embarking on a multifaceted journey. She held various roles, including Elementary Teacher, Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator, Principal, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, and presently serves as the Interim Superintendent. Alongside her professional roles, she pursued an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Oakland University.  Tera's commitment to advocating for Deaf, Blind, and Deafblind students remains unwavering. Her leadership strives for language access and equitable opportunities, endeavoring to create educational environments where students have equal access to language and visual information.