Charles Moss Joins ASL Department Part-Time


Courtesy of Connor Johnson

Charles Moss will be splitting time between Creek and Grandview High School starting next year.

Natalia Perusquia, Staff Writer

After five years of American Sign Language (ASL) being offered at Creek by one teacher, there is now going to be a second teacher due to high demand.

ASL and English teacher Charles Moss will be splitting time between Creek and Grandview High School to teach both languages starting next school year.

Moss is hard of hearing and grew up with some hard of hearing family members that speak both Italian and Spanish. He tried learning German in high school, and he later learned ASL during his freshman year of college after trying many different languages.

“Being hard of hearing, sometimes it’s hard enough for me to comprehend and understand English so when you add a whole other language into the mix, it gets really difficult,” Moss said. “That was always my problem. I couldn’t read and write a lot of those other languages. I can speak, but understanding was the biggest hurdle for me. So if I had the choice, I probably would have learned ASL a lot earlier in my life.”

Moss was encouraged to begin teaching by his sister, who was an ASL teacher.

Creek’s current ASL teacher, Anne Zurcher, has taught at Creek since the language was first offered in 2018. She says students’ interest in ASL has increased over the years.

“It’s been really exciting to see the kids’ interest and their passion for sign language [grow] and to want to take it since it was a new language here five years ago,” Zurcher said. “It’s been really exciting to see their interest in it, and overall, it’s just been very enjoyable.”

Zurcher emphasizes the importance of expanding ASL classes and looks forward to collaborating with Moss in the future.

“I think that having a hard of hearing or deaf teacher is amazing because they have a new perspective,” Zurcher said. “They can shine a light on a different perspective from their childhood, growing up, their education, what they’ve been through, positives and negatives. I just think it’ll be an awesome opportunity for kids to learn from someone who’s grown up in that situation or setting.”

Senior Brooklyn Emery has been taking ASL for three years at Creek. She believes that many of the students taking ASL genuinely enjoy learning the language, even though there are some students that don’t know that ASL is a class offered at Creek.

“I feel like not enough people are aware of it, like when I mention what language I’m taking some people say they didn’t even know it [ASL] was an option,” Emery said.

Although switching back and forth from two schools is new to Moss, he is excited to be teaching ASL at Creek and is looking forward to growing ASL classes.

“I’m really excited to be coming over to Cherry Creek, and working with the language department and to grow the program and be part of the community,” Moss said.