New President of St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet | Peter Kachris

The Board of Directors of St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf is pleased to announce the selection of Peter T. Kachris, PhD, as the Institute’s new president. Dr. Kachris takes over the senior leadership position previously held by Deborah Wilson, who retired in August 2012.

Dr. Kachris, who joins SJI on January 7, 2013, has more than 35 years of experience working in educational organizations. From 2000 to 2008 he served as the Superintendent of Schools for the Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD), the largest school district in Missouri. As such, he is adept at identifying and coordinating services for children needing special and/or vocational technical education services. During his tenure with SSD, Dr. Kachris stabilized and reorganized the structure of the school district to more closely align special education services with the needs of 23 regional school districts. He spearheaded two voter-approved tax levies to support SSD’s services and successfully oversaw the district’s initial and subsequent accreditation surveys.

Because of his extensive knowledge of cooperating partnerships among school districts, Dr. Kachris served as a consultant to St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf from 2008 to 2009, helping SJI establish and expand local school partnerships to better serve children with hearing loss within their own neighborhood schools. His familiarity with St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf has created a deep understanding of the Institute’s founding mission and he is excited to pursue the Institute’s broader vision to expand those services to additional families and school districts as well as to other states.

Prior to his position with the Special School District in St. Louis, Dr. Kachris was the District Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer for the Orleans-Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Medina, NY, for 12 years. He also served in key educational leadership positions with the Auburn Enlarged City School District in Auburn, NY, including as Superintendent of Schools. He earned his doctorate degree in educational administration and American history from the School of Education at Syracuse University in New York.


About St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf
St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf (SJI) is based in St. Louis, Mo. The independent private school was founded in 1837 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and specializes in listening and spoken language educational programs and services for children with hearing loss from birth through grade 8.  Its campus in Indianapolis serves children from birth through grade 1 or 2. With nationally recognized programs, faculty, and staff, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf has consistently been at the forefront of listening and spoken language services. It was among the first schools in the United States to develop a curriculum for children with cochlear implants in the 1980s. In 2009, SJI launched its innovative Internet therapy program, ihear, to reach students across the country who need listening and spoken language services. For more information about St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, visit

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