ASL Interpretation

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  • Mr. Christopher Kaftan

    A native New Yorker, Christopher Kaftan has spent more than two decades in Deaf Education. Chris began his career as a high school Social Studies teacher at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. Chris then became the Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Maryland School for the Deaf and the Secondary Principal at the Marie Philip School. Chris is currently the Director of Student Services at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Massachusetts. Throughout his career, Chris has demonstrated a deep understanding of school structure and operations.

    Since starting his career, Chris has focused on putting inclusion and innovation at the forefront of his values and actions. Chris is known for his unrelenting advocacy and commitment to ensuring all Deaf and hard of hearing children are given an equitable and excellent education. In all his positions, he has focused on operational excellence, ensuring resources flow to classrooms, and supporting teachers and students.

    Chris graduated from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s in history and secondary education and a master’s degree in Deaf Education.  Chris received a graduate certificate in special education administration from Johns Hopkins University. A father of two children and a deaf dog, Chris is passionate about the outdoors, his books, and doing woodcraft projects.

  • Ms. Aimee Bell

    Aimee Bell, M.Ed. is currently Associate Principal of the Secondary Department at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf (SMSD).  She has over 16 years of experience in the field of Deaf Education.  She obtained her Master of Education degree in Deaf Education with a concentration in Educational Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2008, and will complete a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Canisius University this May. 

    A native Western New York resident, Aimee returned to Buffalo following her graduate studies in NYC.  Her career has led her to have the following opportunities prior to working as principal at SMSD: Teacher Assistant and later Teacher at St. Francis School for the Deaf in Brooklyn; Teacher of the Deaf and Math Teacher at SMSD; ASL Instructor at Erie Community College, Genesee Community College, Niagara University, and Villa Maria College; Adjunct Professor in the Canisius College Deaf Education Program, and Video Relay Interpreter at Sorenson Communications. 

    Aimee, her husband, and their son live in Amherst, N.Y. 

  • Don't forget to attend our Open Forums on April 23rd & 24th.  Live Streaming with Questions & Answers will be available. 

    The St. Mary's School for the Deaf Board of Trustees has officially announced the final two candidates for the Superintendent's position.
    Mrs. Aimee Bell and Mr. Chris Kaftan impressed the committee enough to move on to the next step in this process.
    Both candidates will be available to stakeholders during open forums on April 23rd and 24th.
    Live Streaming: There are two ways to watch the Open Forums if you cannot attend in person.
    1. On your FaceBook page and search for St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and you will see a post about the Superintendent and a link to the school’s YouTube page. Click it, and it will take you to YouTube to watch it.
    2. Go to and search for St. Mary’s School for the Deaf. You will see the school’s page and the live stream will show up.
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