Obituary: Gertrude Scott “Gertie” Galloway

GertieImage Credit: Deaf Senior USA Blog

 GALLOWAY, Gertrude Scott “Gertie”

Gertrude “Gertie” Scott Galloway passed away at her home on July 17, 2014 after a battle with cancer. She was foremost a women’s rights advocate, and her accomplishments confirm her determination and resolution to prove to the deaf community women’s equality to men.

Gertie was the first deaf superintendent of the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf in New Jersey (MKSD). She was the first woman president of the Conference of the Educational Administrators of the Schools and Programs for the Deaf. Also, she was the first woman to be elected president of the National Association of the Deaf, and was the first female president of the Deaf Seniors of America, Inc.

Her many leadership roles with deaf organizations included: vice president and president of the Maryland Association of the Deaf, vice president of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association (GCAA), and president of the Free State chapter of the GCAA. In 1986, former President Ronald Reagan appointed her as chair of the Pre-College Committee on the National Commission of the Education for the Deaf, which presented a report, “Toward Equality-Education of the Deaf”, that contained important recommendations to Congress for improving the quality of education for deaf and hard of hearing people.

She attended the Kendall School for the Deaf in Washington, DC, and earned her BA from Gallaudet College. While teaching mathematics at the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD), she worked towards an M.A. in deaf education from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College).

After receiving her degree, she was promoted to assistant principal at MSD’s Columbia campus and stayed in that position until 1990. During this time, she had an important role in establishing new elementary school programs and programs for students with multiple disabilities. She taught psychology and women’s studies at Hood College in Frederick, and American Sign Language at Western Maryland College.

Before Gertie became superintendent of MKSD in 1991 she earned a doctorate in special education administration from Gallaudet in 1993, and in 2002 she was awarded an honorary degree from the University. After retiring in 1999, she was DSA president from 1999 to 2005.

Gertie was an avid sports fan. She loved her Washington Redskins and watching tennis. She lived her life in service to her family, friends and community. She is quoted saying”so many things happened to me without really making plans for themthe winds kept on blowing me, throwing me off the courses in many waysso I danced to the winds.” She will be missed.

Gertie is preceded in death by her parents, sister Meda, and children Dawn and Vance. She is survived by her daughter Shayne Galloway and four grandchildren, Morgan and Tyler Reeves and Brit and Dane Galloway, her brother and sister-in-law Roger and Pauline Scott of Delaware and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu in flowers, donations may be made to the National Association of the Deaf.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from July 20 to July 21, 2014


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