West Ranch High School

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John Dichirico » About Me

About Me

Pronouns: He / They
Growing up, I struggled with speaking. Although the exact cause of my speech impediment is not known, it could possibly be tied to the fact that, growing up, I never passed a hearing test. Every year I would take the test at school and never met the threshold or "normal hearing." In fact, throughout my entire K-12 education all of my teachers sat me in the same location, the front, left side of the room because my hearing was better in my right ear than my left ear. Throughout elementary school I attended speech therapy and struggled with a handful of sounds and still do. I had a handful of bad experiences with my peers and them making fun of the way I talked. 
When I was in 8th grade, the high school counselors came to my middle school and asked us what classes we wanted to take our freshman year and started to plan out our high school path. I told my counselor that I wanted to take American Sign Language and my counselor said that was fine but that I would have to wait two years because the class had such a long waiting list that no freshman were allowed to take it and only a select number of sophomores were allowed. 
Learning ASL has really changed my life. Not only do I know a second language but I also feel more confident in presenting and speaking. 
  • 2013: Graduated from Newbury Park High School
  • 2016: B.A. Deaf Studies [CSU, Northridge]
  • 2020: M.A. Curriculum & Instruction [CSU, Northridge]
  • Current: Ed. D. Educational Leadership K-12 [California Lutheran University]
  • SoCal ASL Educators Conference [2020]
  • LGBTQ+ History [October 13, 2020] - presentation link