Get to Know Ms. Hayden


Ms. Hayden’s ASL 2 class taking their quarter 4 assessment. Students watch videos of signers and answer questions based on what is signed.

Caleb Ellison, Staff Writer

One of two American Sign Language teachers at Old Mill High School, Ms. Hayden began teaching at Old Mill in the fall of the 2015-2016 school year. She is also the head coach of the school’s volleyball program, that can be read about here.

Ms. Hayden’s inspiration to be involved with sign language came from her childhood, growing up in the Crofton area. Hayden’s best friend had deaf parents. After learning basic sign language and the alphabet from her friend’s family, Ms. Hayden felt a strong connection to sign language and the deaf culture in general. The Hayden family then moved to South Carolina for a few years. When returning to Maryland, Ms. Hayden learned her friend’s mother passed away. This served as an epiphany for Ms. Hayden as to what to do for a career.

“I never wanted to be a teacher, but I wanted to work with deaf people,” said Ms. Hayden.

In 2014 she earned her bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. Then in the following year, Old Mill reached out to Ms. Hayden about being an American Sign Language teacher at the school. While teaching at Old Mill, she was also working on earning her master’s degree in Deaf Education. Flagler has never had a master’s program for Deaf Education, but Ms. Hayden was chosen by Flagler to be a part of the school’s “master’s pilot program”.

Ms. Hayden’s main study from her master’s program was finding out what methods would work best to teach American Sign Language to hearing students.

Ms. Hayden also contributes to the school by being the head coach of the volleyball team. She was named head coach in March of 2018, after serving as an assistant coach for the school for 3 seasons. Ms. Hayden’s volleyball experience comes from playing varsity volleyball at Archbishop Spalding and playing volleyball at Flagler College for four years. Ms. Hayden admits she “never anticipated it being all year round.” Despite this she accepted the position and took the challenge head-on.

Ms. Hayden does have plans after her teaching career is finished. She would like to end up in the FBI as a linguistic analyst.