NMSD's History & Museum

NMSD's first class of five students, with Founder Lars Larson and wife Belle, in 1885.

NMSD has a rich history in the historic city of Santa Fe. It was founded by Deaf Education pioneer, Lars M. Larson, who first planted the school's deep roots in 1885.

Lars and his wife Belle used their own funds to begin teaching five students in a small adobe house in Santa Fe. The couple dreamed of establishing a permanent place where Deaf and Hard of Hearing children could receive a quality education.

Today, NMSD offers a robust statewide program, making a difference in the lives of 700+ Deaf children and 259 families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing infants and toddlers.

NMSD continues to honor the memory of Lars M. Larson and Belle Larson for their commitment to Deaf Education. 

NMSD Superintendent Biographies

- ASL with English or Spanish captions

Lars M. Larson

1885-1906

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Wesley O. Connor, Jr.

1906-1944

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Marshall S. Hester, Jr.

1944-1964

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James A. Little

1964-1983

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Dr. Kenneth E. Brasel

1983-1988

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Dr. Gilbert Delgado

1988-1994

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Dr. Madan M. Vasishta

1994-2000

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Dr. Ronald J. Stern

2000-2015

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Dr. Rosemary Gallegos (2015-2021) and Dr. Jennifer Herbold (2021-present) coming soon!

The Kenneth Brasel Museum

Superintendent Kenneth E. Brasel with four students.

The Kenneth Brasel Museum was established in 1987 to celebrate 100 years of education at NMSD. The museum is curated by NMSD staff and students, and houses one of the most comprehensive collections of American Deaf school history and memorabilia in the nation. 

The collection includes:

  • Extensive photo archives

  • Original documents

  • School equipment

  • Educational materials

The museum not only displays artifacts related to the school’s history, but also serves as a valuable research center for students, historians, and writers interested in Deaf Education from across the globe.

Contact us to make an appointment to visit the museum.

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Superintendent Kenneth E. Brasel's welcome wall in the NMSD Museum.