Marla Walsh retiring after 33 years with WESP-DHH

Portrait of a woman with short white hair wearing a black top.After 33 years of dedicated and loyal service to Wisconsin’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, Marla Walsh will be retiring from her post as the Center Director of the Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WESP-DHH), effective Friday, July 3, 2020. WESP-DHH includes the Statewide Outreach program, the Deafblind grant program, and the Wisconsin School for the Deaf.

This announcement comes with bittersweet emotion.  Along with warm wishes for a well deserved retirement, we acknowledge the enormous void that comes along with her departure.  Marla began her state service as a high school English teacher at the Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD) in 1987 and continued in that role for twelve years before becoming the WSD high school Principal in 1999.  As the school took on new initiatives, Marla added the role of Director of Student Services to her duties as Principal.  She was then appointed as the Interim WESP-DHH Center Director in 2015, and in July 2016, began serving in that role in a permanent capacity, until her retirement this week.

Marla Walsh’s accomplishments as the 20th Director of the program are many.  The most notable during her time as Director has been her guidance, leadership, and tireless work in preparation for CEASD accreditation.  She has been a strong advocate and a selfless leader, who has broken barriers, launched our program into the success that it is, and through all of that, has stuck to her core beliefs in the process. It is fitting that she will forever be known as the first female Director of the WESP-DHH Program.  A title that will eternally be hers.

Believing in the value of, and striving for quality education for deaf children across the state has truly been her life’s mission. Please join us in saying thank you, Marla Walsh, for your steadfast service to Wisconsin’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.  Your work has impacted, and will continue to impact generations to come.

We bid you farewell, and wish you a wonderful retirement by including the following quote from Betty Sullivan, “There is a whole new kind of life ahead, full of experiences just waiting to happen. Some call it ‘retirement.’ I call it bliss.”  Enjoy, Marla!