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Mr. Chris Ballentine To All Instructors

Hailed from Kalamazoo, Michigan and born deaf into a hearing family, I grew up wearing hearing aids and speaking English.  I then started learning Signed Exact English (SEE) until going to National Technology Institute for the Deaf college in Rochester, NY.  This was when I first learned of ASL and deaf culture thus began my passion for learning ASL and teaching it.  After graduation with a photography degree at RIT, I joined a full time traveling drama Christian group called “The Tenth Coin” all over the US ministering to churches.  Later, I moved to Belize, Central America working at a Deaf School as an Assistant Administrator and interim Director.  After living abroad for 17 months, I returned to the US to marry my wife - we recently celebrated 20th years this past Fall.  We have 3 deaf children whom we love dearly and couldn’t be more proud of.  Our oldest will be graduating from high school this June.   

I have taught ASL in a wide variety places.  In Massachusetts, I taught at an Adult Community Center in Boston.  I also taught at North Essex Community College in Andover, MA and at Boston University for few years.  Currently, I am an ASL instructor at North Central University for the past 4 years.

I enjoy seeing students blossom through understanding of the language and am able to carry on conversations without the aid of an ASL interpreter.  I do throw in tidbits of deaf cultures to help my students understand what it’s really all about.  Watching students develop a respect for ASL and the deaf culture makes it all worthwhile of my time and investments.  Some of my former students have eventually become a teacher of deaf children or even ASL interpreters.  One even became a missionary to deaf people in Africa!   That is my inspiration and passion. 

When not working on lesson plans or teaching, I enjoy Netflix. I am a movie buff!  I also enjoy photography, going to my children’s sport meets and cheering them on, socializing on Facebook, keeping in touch with family and friends near and far.  Cooking is a must for me, love creating new recipes from nothing!   I am excited to be working with your children at WEST and look forward building bridges! 

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