Mascia named AIDB president
by Aziza Jackson
TALLADEGA — Dr. John Mascia has been named the new president of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

The AIDB Board of Trustees voted unanimously for Mascia to take on the role of president and succeed current President Terry Graham, who announced he will retire Feb. 1, 2013.

“We are delighted that Dr. John Mascia has agreed to lead AIDB into the future,” AIDB Board of Trustees Chairman Lynwood French said. “We have full confidence in his ability and commitment to making a difference in the lives of the people we serve.”

The board cast its ballots around 3 p.m. Monday after a day of interviews with three final candidates, who included Mascia, current vice president of Adult Programs at AIDB; Dr. Larry Taub, who has served as the Head of School at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and Center for Community and Professional Services in Philadelphia; and Dr. Tyrone Yarbrough, superintendent of the Department of Youth Services School District 210 in Mt. Meigs.

The three candidates were asked questions related to their leadership and management styles, personal philosophies about education, tactics for implementing academic standards and goals, handling of complex personnel situations and publicity, fundraising strategies, and building and strengthening strong relationships with state officials and legislators.

Board member Bunny Gamble asked each of the candidates: “Why do you want to be the president of Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind?”

“It’s a passion for me,” Mascia said. “You get involved with what we do and the people and it becomes a passion.”

Mascia noted his leadership experience with the E.H. Gentry Technical Facility and responsibilities as vice president of Adult Programs at AIDB as examples of what his type of leadership could bring to the table if he were selected president.

“I believe that I am a proven commodity,” Mascia told the board. “There is no one that can fill the shoes of Dr. Graham. I have no doubt that I can come in Feb. 3 or 4 and turn the lights on and get a cup of coffee and ask Ms. Amanda Fuller (the president’s secretary) what I need to do for the day.”

Mascia’s first day as president will be Jan. 1, 2013.

The board voted for Graham to work on a consulting basis effective Jan. 1, 2013, until the end of February as Mascia transitions into his new position.

Mascia’s three-year contract includes $150,000 in annual pay, with $10,000 allocated in travel expenses and a 3-1 match on annuity.

“I thank the Board of Trustees for placing their confidence and trust in me. It is an honor to be named president and to follow such a wonderful man and leader, Dr. Terry Graham,” Mascia said.

“I look forward to working with the president’s staff, the Board of Trustees and the entire AIDB family as we move AIDB forward. I am excited to be given this opportunity and I will work tirelessly in my role as president so that all students, clients and staff members have an opportunity to be successful.”

Mascia holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in audiology and speech pathology from Hofstra University in New York and has a doctorate in audiology from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, School of Audiology. He received his certificate of clinical competence in audiology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is a licensed audiologist. He has made numerous presentations and served in leadership roles with professional organizations and is widely published.

Mascia has worked as a supervising and chief audiologist and as an assistant professor in New York. In 1989, he joined the Helen Keller National Center, where he served as coordinator of Audiological Services, supervisor of the Speech and Hearing Department, coordinator of Professional Services and then finally as national director of Field Services. As a senior administrator, he was responsible for the supervision of regional representatives, national training programs, community placement services and 45 affiliate programs. In 2005, he joined AIDB as executive director of the E.H. Gentry Facility and Regional Centers and was promoted to the role of vice president of Adult Programs in 2009.

Contact Aziza Jackson at ajackson@dailyhome.com.

© 2012