About CAID


CAID continues to respond to teachers… 
The CAID continues to follow the tradition begun in 1850 and recognizes the value of bringing fellow teaching professionals together to share experiences and ideas for the purpose of improving learning opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing children, adolescents and young adults.

CAID has undergone a metamorphosis… 
The CAID recognizes change. National Certification has given way to State Certification and teachers have become more dispersed. Where in the past, CAID members tended to work side by side at regional centers (state schools or large metropolitan programs), currently, most teachers in deaf education are spread out often working in relative isolation, doing their best to meet the needs of their students: with varying degrees of success and varying degrees of frustration.

CAID has a new mission… 
The CAID focus is consistent with a current generation i.e., We are attempting to reach out to the thousands of teachers who are working with deaf and hard of hearing students in diverse educational environments (Kindergarten through College), most of whom are relatively isolated from colleagues who are experiencing similar challenges.

CAID recognizes the importance of communication… 
The CAID is establishing and maintaining a communication system, a communication network that will allow for immediate and effective communication on both a general level (CAID.org and CAID listserv; on FaceBook at "Council of American Intructors of the Deaf" and "CAID-Students"; and at the a specific level CAID REGIONAL & SIG listserves).

CAID is inclusive… 
The CAID welcomes ALL persons involved in the teaching/learning process with deaf and hard of hearing students to become a member of this vibrant community, regardless of how one practices the art of assisting each deaf and hard of hearing student to achieve ones academic potential and personal dreams. CAID members include teaching support professionals, educational interpreters, instructional, techs counselors and others involved with deaf and hard of hearing learners.

Meet Your Board

Stefanie Kessen
​​Email: [email protected]

​Stefanie Kessen, M.Ed. has over 25 years of experience working with students with hearing loss and building relationships with the team that supports those children. Her roles have included Teacher of the Deaf, Community Interpreter, Education Specialist, and Family Advocate. In 2018 Stefanie founded The Online Itinerant to be able to support other professionals and families in a more global fashion.

Stefanie has her BS degree from Ball State University and her M.Ed. from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. She began her training with an emphasis in bi-lingual/bi-cultural education for Deaf students and later received training in working with students using Listening and Spoken Language. She has been a teacher of all ages, from birth through college age, and currently works with both signing and oral students of all backgrounds. Her background includes working with students in a school for the deaf, self-contained programs, and through the itinerant model.

President- Elect
Gail Wright
Email: [email protected]

Gail Wright has been teaching students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing since 1988!
During her tenure as a teacher (BS. Ed DHH), she earned her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction, her MEd. Type 75 Supervision and her early intervention credentials. While Gail has had experience in self-contained programs her passion truly is for the Itinerant Setting. 
Gail co-authored a book  
Building Skills for Independence in the Mainstream with Dr. Karen Anderson. Gail is the author of the games HiFI (Hear It Fix It) and Monkey Talk- 13 Tools for Self-Advocacy.
In her free time, she loves to travel, hike, garden, knit, and crochet. 

Natasha Kraft


Natasha has undergraduate psychology, elementary education, and deaf education degrees from UNO. Her Masters degree in School and Guidance Counseling is from Gallaudet University.
She has worked as an activity coordinator for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, organizing local and statewide social, emotional, and educational activities. She is an itinerant teacher for an urban school district serving students in their neighborhood schools.
Natasha enjoys hiking, reading, walking the dogs, and going on food adventures in her free time. 

Communications Officer Pro Tem

Email: [email protected]

​Jeannine Watson, M.Ed. has over 27 years of experience working with students with hearing loss. in both a classroom and itinerant setting. Jeannine knew she wanted to be a deaf education teacher from an early age. Growing up as a CODA led to her passion of teaching D/HH students.

Jeannine earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Deaf Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in December of 1994 and a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Deaf Education from the University of Northern Colorado in December of 2016. She also has her teaching English as a Second Language certification.  

Jeannine is active in several professional organizations including PA Educators of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (PESDHH) on the leadership committee and on the Children’s Hospital Audiology Friends of the Hearing Center advisory board.   In her free time, Jeannine enjoys traveling with her husband, camping, hiking, reading and spending time with her six grandchildren.  


Alexandria Roman Gabriel, M.Ed.
CAID Representative
Email: [email protected]

Alex is coming to CAID with more than 10 years of experience as a ToDHH, 3 years as a school special education department chair, and 2 years as a district coordinator of hearing services.
She’s taught PK-12+ in an itinerant model and PK-8 in a self-contained classroom for DHH students in public schools. She uses spoken English, PSE, ASL, and Cued Speech in her practice as individuals’ needs dictate.
She was named Exceptional Student Education Teacher of the Year in 2012 and has been published in Cochlear Americas; she also presented research at CEC.
Alex has additional certification in TESOL/TESL/TEFL and elementary education. She served briefly in AmeriCorps as a literacy instructor.
In addition to being your CAID representative, she now teaches 5-12th grade Literature and English Language Arts at a day school for the Deaf

Helen Lovato

P.O. Box 377
Bedford, Texas 76095-0377

Email: [email protected]