The following two letters were sent to the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) community of parents, faculty and staff, and students on April 4, 2022.

Letter from Margaret W. Steele, Chair, PSD Board of Trustees

Head of School Peter L. Bailey has advised us that, following six years of exemplary service, the upcoming 2022-23 academic year will be his last at Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Peter was named Head of School in 2016, making him the 17th Head of School in PSD’s 202 year history.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to express our tremendous gratitude and appreciation for Peter Bailey, who has proven himself to be an outstanding and visionary leader, educator, and administrator. Since joining PSD, Peter has enhanced the breadth of our programs, the quality of our academics, and the atmosphere of our campus. 

PSD was founded in 1820, the third school of its kind in the nation, and has since become a leading resource in the field of Deaf education. In 2019, Peter and the Board of Trustees adopted the school’s current three-year Strategic Plan, which outlines four strategic pillars for advancing the school’s vision as it enters its third century of educating Deaf students. At its core, the plan focuses on ensuring that PSD is able to continue to fulfill its mission of educating students to succeed by recognizing and developing individual strengths, building confidence, and collaborating with families and communities in a nurturing, dynamic, and language-rich environment steeped in cultural awareness of Deaf, hearing, and worldwide diversity. Leading up to and throughout the planning process, Peter galvanized the entire PSD community of staff, alumni, parents, partners, and, of course, students with optimism, strength, and forward thinking.

Peter has positioned PSD for continued evolution and future growth in the years ahead. The school has performed increasingly well in terms of student outcomes, alumni engagement, and diversity.  PSD just celebrated its 200th Anniversary with its most successful fundraising event in its history, and effectively weathered the COVID-19 pandemic with 98% of students returning to campus with higher levels of academic retention and engagement than many other schools. A testament to Peter’s leadership is that he has assembled a strong and highly capable executive team, which will help to ensure a smooth transition and continuity of services. 

The Board has begun its process for identifying and selecting the next Head of PSD.  

Dr. Elizabeth Moore, PSD Trustee and Alumna, will Chair the Search Committee.  We will communicate details about the committee members, search firm and process in the coming weeks.  All questions regarding this transition should be directed to me via Kim Schlicher, Executive Assistant to the Head of School and Board of Trustees, at

We are deeply grateful to have had the honor of working alongside Peter as a colleague and a friend, and hope you will join us in sharing your best wishes and gratitude with Peter in weeks and months ahead.


Margaret W. Steele

Chair, Board of Trustees

Letter from Peter L. Bailey, Head of School

Last week, I informed the Board of Trustees that I will be leaving PSD at the end of next school year, June 30, 2023.  As is customary for any Head of School, I am providing a full year of notice. The reason for my departure is so that I can join my family on a full-time basis in another state after my final year here. PSD will always be in my heart, because we have worked so hard together to bring the school back to what it used to be. 

It has truly been an honor to serve as the 17th Head of School, and to lead PSD, for these past six years. In the 2022-2023 school year, I will be entering my seventh year at PSD. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team on behalf of our school and staff, even as we went through some significant challenges. I am convinced that PSD will continue to be an increasingly strong force in the field of Deaf Education. 

In addition, it has been my great pleasure and privilege to work with such exceptionally dedicated and skilled team members of both executive and administrative leaders, the most talented group I have ever worked with in all my years in the Deaf Education. I am also exceedingly grateful to work with incredibly talented staff to design and deliver effective academic programs while nurturing a vibrant and truly diverse community. They have put in all the long hours and hard work to boost the school from a small to the national recognition level. These are not accomplishments the Head of School makes alone. These are achievements that require a committed team of gifted, tenacious individuals who come together to work relentlessly for a common goal – our students. 

We have some unfinished business to do for PSD so I will continue doing my best until a new and 18th Head of School starts July 1, 2023. I also could not have asked for a more supportive board of trustees. I sincerely treasure the friendships I have cultivated with each one of you, too. Together we continue to make a difference for our students!  

With gratitude and warm regards,

Peter L. Bailey

Head of School