Meet Our Teachers
Heuser Hearing & Language Academy is privileged to be the home of such a wonderful, talented, and committed teaching staff. Our classroom instructors are all master’s level deaf educators, and our Arts Program is in the hands of experienced specialists with deep knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of Heuser’s students.
Our teachers are as committed to helping students today as their predecessors who founded this school and volunteered their time to help children beginning in 1948. Children with hearing, speech, and processing challenges can learn to thrive with the right treatment plan and educational foundation. Here are the people who help make that happen—our teachers!
Debra Woods- Education Director, Grant Writer
Debra Woods is the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy education director and has been at Heuser since 2008. She spent 15 years as an elementary school teacher before entering the field of early intervention. Debra earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education, and she holds two graduate teaching certificates for Dual Sensory Impairment and Deaf and Hard of Hearing. You can learn more about her past experiences, affiliations, and publications by reading her full bio here.
Elyse Allemang has taught deaf and hard of hearing students since 2007. After spending four years working with elementary-aged students with hearing loss in Hardin County Schools, where she was nominated for the ExCel Teaching Award in 2010, she joined Jefferson County Public Schools and the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy in 2011. Elyse earned her Bachelor of Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Elementary Education from Eastern Kentucky University. In 2010, she completed her Master of Education degree in school counseling at Western Kentucky University. Elyse obtained her National Board Certification for Teachers (NBCT) for exceptional needs children (birth¬–21 years) in 2015.
Sydney Creason has been a well-loved teacher at Heuser Hearing & Language Academy since the early 2000s. She has a Bachelor of Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (K–12) and Elementary Education (K–4) from Eastern Kentucky University. She has a Master of Education of the Deaf from Smith College. Sydney currently teaches in the three-year-old preschool total communication classroom at HHLA.
Mindy Folsom taught for four years as an Itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing before joining the team at Heuser Hearing & Language Academy in fall 2013. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education and Deaf Education from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Education degree in reading from the University of Louisville. She is currently teaching kindergarten here at HHLA.
Katie Massey Fromholt
Katie has been teaching at Heuser Hearing & Language Academy since 2010. She has taught kindergarten, four-year-old, and three-year-old classrooms. She is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky with a degree in Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Elementary Education. Katie also has a developmental interventionist (DI) certificate.
Greta E. Gillmeister
Greta E. Gillmeister is a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) and holds degrees in music performance and music therapy from the University of Kansas. She has been a MT-BC for over 13 years and has worked at HHLA since 2003. Greta leads weekly music education groups, which are part of a collaboration between HHLA and the Louisville Orchestra, and provides weekly music therapy sessions for our students. Greta has presented at local, regional, and national conferences about the benefits of music for children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
S. Jill Hedges
S. Jill Hedges is a native Hoosier and a lifelong artist. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington and received a degree in Fine Arts, specializing in painting and printmaking, in 1978. During that time, Jill studied painting in Germany at the Academy for Visual Arts in Hamburg with Bernd Koberling and K.P. Bremer. She also took classes as an exchange student at the University of Hamburg and double majored in art and German language at IU. In 2008, she received a Master of Education with a major in counseling psychology and a concentration in art therapy from the University of Louisville.
Jill has worked at HHLA since August 2008 as art therapist in the Project Art Room, serving as art teacher to all the students at Heuser. Jill is a board-certified art therapist (ATR-BC), a licensed professional art therapist LPAT, a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC), and a registered play therapist (RPT).
Bio coming soon.
Kristin Kelly has been the speech-language pathologist serving the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy through Jefferson County Public Schools since 2005. She graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Disorders and from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Speech Language Pathology. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), state licensure from the Kentucky Board of Speech-Language Pathology, and Kentucky teaching certificate in the area of communication disorders. Kristin has been with Heuser since 2006.
Staci Montgomery will be teaching in the kindergarten program for her first year here. She recently transferred in from Oklahoma, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2009. She also holds certification in both elementary and early childhood education. She taught first, second, third, fifth, and sixth grades over the span of five years at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, where she was also named Teacher of the Year in 2014.
Nikki Sipe is an LSLS (Listening and Spoken Language Specialist) certified oral deaf educator. She received bachelor’s degrees in speech pathology and psychology from St. Louis University and a Master of Early Intervention in Deaf Education degree from Fontbonne University. She is currently pursuing her Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS) certification. She has been teaching at Heuser since 2012.
Mary Kay Zukuhlen