PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- In a first for the state, Rhode Island has named a deaf man as the 2018 School Counselor of the Year.
The Providence Journal reports 44-year-old Joseph Batiano is the school counselor at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.
Batiano says he helps with a student's academic progress, emotional health and career readiness. He also developed a program to help students who spend school vacations around relatives who don't understand American Sign Language.
Katherine Kay, a school reading specialist who nominated Batiano, says kids are really benefiting from his service.
As a state winner, Batiano will be considered for the 2020 national title.
A spokeswoman for the American School Counselor Association says Batiano is the first deaf person to be nominated in the organization's history.
Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com