Deborah Sinkis

Worcester Public School Teacher and Principal

"And the principal from this school retired and they had the deaf and hard of hearing program here. So the superintendent specifically [asked me] to move here and be principal at this school.  Now that was a very unique experience because the children had never experienced  interacting directly with the principal not through an interpreter. So was able to understand their sign and make them understand me, and it was wonderful."


Deborah Mary Sinkis was born in Worcester, MA and has an Irish and Russian heritage. Her father was a roofer and her mother was a hairdresser. She is a grandmother of two and a Worcester public school teacher and principal. Deborah attended St. Paul’s School, Notre Dame Academy, Worcester State College, and was a Hiatt Fellow at Harvard University. She earned her doctorate from University of Massachusetts Amherst. In this interview she discusses what it was like to start losing her hearing at the age of 21 and how it affected her chosen career. Deborah learned American Sign Language and underwent experimental cochlear implant surgery in 1985.

Interview Date: 
March 16, 2007