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Piper Benjamin – Jean Massieu School

Piper Benjamin is no longer a teacher, but when she was she went above and beyond expectations. When I was in 4th grade I was sent to this deaf school without knowing any sign language at all. I had significant hearing loss and was attending speech therapy, I was in special education as well before attending JMS. Everyone kind of treated me like an outsider and acted like I was dumb for having a disability. I felt especially alone when I transferred schools. I couldn’t talk to anyone because this school did nothing but sign. I knew absolutely no sign language at all. Piper was my teacher, and she stood by me and helped me learn sign, even though she was busy teaching other deaf children regular their school work. Once the language barrier was broken I made the best friends of my life, and I learned how to think for myself. She taught me that I wasn’t dumb, I could make wonderful friends, and a disability couldn’t bar me from anything. I still keep in contact with her, I’m still friends with her, and she is still one of the most wonderful, and supportive people I’ve ever met.

–Aubrey Searle