The new president will replace Terry Graham, who has held the post for 10 years and leaves a legacy of integrity and accomplishment. Before serving as president, Graham was on staff at AIDB for 25 years before that as an administrator.
That kind of institutional knowledge will be hard to replace.
But, based on resumes only, it seems the screening committee at the Institute has done a good job of providing applicants with deep and rich experience in the field of education. Two of them have backgrounds in education and services for the sensory impaired.
Dr. John Mascia is currently vice president for Adult Programs at AIDB. He has been at AIDB since 2005 and has held his current position since 2009. His education includes degrees from Hofstra University and Pennsylvania School of Optometry.
Dr. Larry Taub has been head of School for the Deaf in Philadelphia. He also has a degree from Hofstra, and advanced degrees from NYU and Columbia University.
Dr. Tyrone Yarbrough is currently superintendent of the Department of Youth Services School District 210 in Mt. Meigs, AL. His education includes degrees from Livingston University, University of West Alabama and the University of Alabama. He has been a principal at Talladega County Central High School.
We are positive the AIDB board will give serious thought to this decision. The person they choose as leader of this institution will have a great responsibility to the sensory impaired citizens of Alabama.
We often think of AIDB as a place where deaf and blind children are educated. And it is that. But it also provides programs for adult learning, and for occupational opportunities for adults as well.
AIDB has a well-deserved reputation for world-class work for the sensory impaired. Other professionals involved in sensory impaired education and vocational training come here from all around the country, and even the world, to see the work being done here in Talladega.
The leader of such a storied institution will be required to understand that work, and to understand how to be the most visible figure on a large campus. The president must first see to it that its students’ needs are met. The role also requires a visible presence in the community. And it requires a certain amount of political savvy to deal with a Legislature that controls its budgets.
It is not an easy job. But it can be a rewarding one.
The person who becomes the next president at AIDB will lead an institution that is vitally important to Talladega and its citizens.
We wish the board well as it makes this critical choice.