The NCSA is run by an elected board of officers, directors, and regional representatives. Board Officers and Directors serve a three-year term in each position and may not exceed two terms in any one position. Regional Representatives do not have term limits.
Please feel free to contact any of us for more information about Cued Speech or the NCSA, as well as information about local support in your area.
President: Esther Rimer
Esther Rimer, a native adult cuer, was elected to lead the NCSA Board of Directors for the 2020-2023 term and was re-elected President for the 2023-2026 term.
Esther Rimer previously served on the NCSA Board of Directors in 2008–2010. She was a teaching intern with the NCSA Deaf Children’s Literacy Project in 2006. Esther grew up in South Carolina and graduated from Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She holds an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before going into the museum field, Esther worked as a historical archaeologist in the American southeast. She currently works with anthropology and archaeology collections for a natural history museum in Washington, D.C.
1st Vice President of Outreach: Hilary Franklin
Hilary is a native cuer and proficient signer. She grew up attending Montgomery County, MD, public schools, home to a three-track deaf and hard-of-hearing program that includes Cued Speech. She earned her B.A. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her M.A. in Teaching American Sign Language as a Foreign Language from Teachers College (Columbia University). In 2005, she became the first deaf NCSA-certified instructor of Cued American English. Since then, Hilary has taught multiple classes and workshops as well as presented at various conferences.
Hilary previously served on the NCSA Board from 2020-2023 as the Director of Regional Representatives and from 2009–2010 as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations.
Hilary currently works for the Department of Defense and lives in the Washington, DC, metro area. She enjoys the performing arts and puns.
2nd Vice President of Fundraising: Vacant
Interested in becoming our VP of Fundraising? Contact Esther Rimer.
Treasurer: Sara Sizemore
Sara is a native deaf cuer who has been cueing since being diagnosed hard of hearing at 18 months old. She attended Wake Forest University and later received her Ph.D. in Physics at Arizona State University. She currently lives in San Jose, California, with her husband and enjoys cooking and hiking in her leisure time.
Secretary: Rachel McAnallen
Rachel McAnallen is a native cuer and proficient signer. Rachel was born with severe-profound deafness and wears a cochlear implant and a hearing aid. While growing up in the Chicago, IL, suburbs she acted and danced for the International Center on Deafness and the Arts.
In 2013, Rachel earned her B.S. in Environmental Technology and M.S. in Environmental, Health, and Safety Management from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology. Rachel is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Maryland and specializes in environmental protection and compliance. After serving in the Department of Defense, she is currently working at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Rachel first joined the NCSA Board of Directors as a Regional Representative during the 2017–2020 term and became a certified instructor of Cued Speech through the NCSA’s InsCert program in 2018. Since then she has taught children how to cue at Arlington County Public Schools’ American Sign Language-Cued English A.C.E.S. camp. Rachel started teaching adults Cued Speech through Maryland/District of Columbia’s Hands and Voices Chapter. She has presented at the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) national conference twice and at the Virginia EHDI Committee.
She lives in Burke, VA, with her husband (a fluent cuer!) and their three children.
Academic Outreach: Stephanie Gardiner-Walsh
Dr. Stef Gardiner-Walsh (she/her) is an associate professor of deaf education at Illinois State University. She is a hard-of-hearing CODA, and fluent signer. She learned to cue at Camp Cheerio as a way to access phonetics and continued cueing as a Teacher of the Deaf in NC and IL. Her role as Academic Outreach Director aligns with her research and teaching agendas to promote multilingual, multimodal access to language in the home and school. Outside of work, she is a swimmer, a mom, and the Coordinator for Camp Sertoma for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (MD, VA, NC).
Community Engagement: Shareef Alwarasneh
Shareef has been cueing since his college years. After taking a few workshops on cueing, he began to practice cueing on his own. Also a fluent signer, he studied linguistics with particular emphasis in phonology and pragmatics. Shareef is now studying to become a nationally certified Cued Language Transliterator.
Legislative Activities: Vacant (Acting: Rachel McAnallen)
Interested in becoming our Director of Legislative Activities? Contact Esther Rimer.
Organizational Outreach: Maureen Bellamy
Maureen Bellamy lives in Fairfax, Virginia, and is the mother of an adult deaf native cuer. She is a past president and current vice president of the Northern Virginia Cued Speech Association (NVCSA) and has served as a Director of Cue Camp Virginia since 2003.
Maureen has a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.P.A (Public Administration) from Troy University. She is retired from military service as an aviator and aviation support facility supervisor for the U.S. Army and the District of Columbia National Guard.
Maureen is an NCSA Instructor of Cued Speech and currently works part time as a Cued Language Transliterator in her local school system.
The NCSA has six regions: East, Midwest, Northeast, Rockies, South, and West.
East (Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC)
Courtney Poole (North Carolina)
Courtney is an adult native cuer in Locust, NC, just outside of Charlotte. She graduated from St. Andrews University with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Equine Studies. She currently works for BAYADA Home Health Care as a Manager for the Habilitation Practice.
She is also the Co-Director of Spring “Cue” Camp Cheerio and is involved with the North Carolina Cued Speech Association. In her spare time she enjoys riding and showing her horses, spending time with her family, and hiking with her dogs.
Jamie Karlinchak (Virginia)
Bio coming soon
Midwest (Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin):
Amy Hund (Kansas)
Amy Hund (they/she) was born and raised in Wichita, KS—not far from the geographic center of the Lower 48. They earned a BA in Sociology from Wichita State University in 2011.
At the age of eight, Amy met a deaf friend and began learning to sign so the two of them could communicate. She started her career as a professional interpreter in 1995. They have since practiced in various settings, with extensive work in post-secondary education, community interpreting, and video relay service.
It was during the early days of her work as a interpreter that Amy learned about Cued Speech and started cueing. A lifelong learner and lover of languages, they felt that cueing was a natural counterpart to signing—allowing complete visual access to traditionally spoken languages.
A strong proponent of multilingual, multi-modalism, Amy believes visual access to languages offers the best of both worlds: the complex richness of Deaf/signing cultures, and the ability to fully participate in the familial and broader social, educational, economic, and political spheres of mainstream (hearing/speaking) cultures.
In addition to serving as a newly elected NCSA co-representative for the Midwest Region, Amy serves on the board of CueSign, Inc.
Amy continues to work as an ASL-English interpreter and is also a Title II claims specialist with the Social Security Administration. Since 2012, they have had the honor and privilege of working with Dr. Melanie McKay-Cody, as a member of a cadre of interpreters that support her work as the foremost researcher of Plains Indian Sign Language.
Amy lives in Lawrence, KS, with her husband, sometimes his two children, and always their three dogs. In their free time, they enjoy traveling (especially to cue camps!) attending music concerts, and time with friends.
Northeast (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont):
Polly Earl (Maine)
Polly has supported children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing for the past 45 years, including work as a speech/language therapist, special education consultant, Cued Speech Instructor, Cued Speech consultant, and Adjunct Faculty teaching Language Development in the Exceptional Learner, Reading Strategies and Intervention, and American Sign Language at the University of Maine.
Dr. Earl had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Cornett speak about Cued Speech in 1978 at the University of Maine in Orono. She began to incorporate cueing into her speech and language sessions and saw how it helped her K-12 students more easily access and understand spoken languages. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology with a minor in Foreign Language and a Masters in Deaf Education with a thesis on a Deaf adult with a right hemisphere lesion. Dr. Earl received a Doctorate in Education writing her dissertation on simultaneous bilingualism with cued languages. She studied a child from the age of 8-18 months with auditory neuropathy who was cued to by her mother in Dutch and by her father in Spanish. Her parents cued to each other in English. By the age of 4 years, the child was trilingual and age-appropriately speaking, understanding, and reading three languages. This was the first study of its kind in the world.
Polly supports the use of Cued Speech with children and adults to provide clear and consistent access to any spoken language. She has taught beginning and intermediate classes for Cued American English for the past 30 years. She is currently the President of the Cued Speech Association of New England. Dr. Earl is also Vice-President of Special Education for Polyscience Consulting serving as a Consulting Teacher of the Deaf providing cued language support to families and schools worldwide. Polly lives in Maine.
Suzanne Flint (Maine/Virginia)
Bio coming soon
Rockies (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming):
Holly Steinke (Colorado)
Holly has an A.A.S. in Interpreter Preparation from Front Range Community College in Colorado and a B.A. in American History with an emphasis in secondary education from the University of Northern Colorado.
She has been interpreting in for 25 years in education, freelance, and corporate settings and recently began her work as a CLT in 2012. In 2015, Holly became a certified instructor of Cued Speech and has been teaching students and families to cue in the Denver area. In her free time Holly enjoys kickboxing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Interested in becoming a regional representative for the Rockies Region? Contact Hilary Franklin.
South (Arizona, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, and Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands):
John Veazey (Louisiana)
John Veazey is a native cuer from Prairieville, Louisiana. He is profoundly deaf with a cochlear implant. After attending a pre-K Cued Speech program at LeBlanc Special Services, John was mainstreamed with a CLT until his junior year of high school. John graduated with a B.A. in History from Louisiana State University in 2010 and with a J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU in 2014.
John currently practices as an attorney licensed in Louisiana primarily in the areas of disability civil rights, estate planning, and successions. He continues to use a combination of CLTs and captioning to facilitate his work. In his spare time, John enjoys reading, herpetoculture, gardening, hiking, and kayaking.
Interested in becoming a regional representative for the South Region? Contact Hilary Franklin.
West (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington State, and Guam, American Samoa, & the Northern Mariana Islands)
Matthew Goodall (California)
Bio coming soon
Brooke Wyrd (California)
Bio coming soon