Jacobsen, D.J.

D.J. Jacobsen

I began at WHS in 1996; PROUD to be OPENING NORTH CREEK HIGH 2017!
Since 1991 I have been with Northshore School District.

*Department:World Language and CTE
Teaching: American Sign Language Interpreting

Courses Taught: 
ASL 100/121, 200/122, 300/123
Teaching Information Past and Present: 
I have been, since 1980, an American Sign Language interpreter and teacher. Here's a fun fact. I started learning sign language when I was 12 and babysitting for my neighbors who were Deaf who had a little one and I just visited from time to time.

They taught me "their-language"...things were different at that time it was not called American Sign Language or even sign language. Within a yr. a young couple moved into our neighborhood as well and they had two little girls. I WAS the neighborhood babysitter and they found me or I found them. Their 2 yr. old was Deaf/Blind and I became obsessed with wanting to spend time there and form a relationship with this little one...the rest is a story for the classroom.

My teaching experience spans all ages ranging from five years old through college and beyond to Life Long Learning at the Community level and Extention programs.

In 1996 it was my pleasure, fun and I was full of excitement to open the American Sign Language program in the Northshore School District . It did begin at Woodinville High School and has since grown to Inglemoor and Bothell HighSchool and now look where we are, NORTH CREEK!


My education and career path is very interesting and eclectic.

It all started with the Seattle Community College system, to Seattle Pacific University, Harvard PZ SI- WIDEWorld Harvard and UW Seattle.

My teaching knowledge and style is ignited by all the learning and career experiences with the philosophy of *TfU. My professional career began in Nursing from NSCC until I did transition into a life-long dream to formally learn ASL at SCCC now SCC and this did lead to freelance and educational interpreting which lead to seeking my teaching certificate.

After attending Harvard PZ SI in the summer of 1999 I was nominated by a professor (Louis Hetland) at Harvard to study and become an on-line "coach/mentor" for educators taking Harvard WIDEWorld courses (online) specific to *Teaching for Understanding. The coaching/mentoring, consultanting development program was two years of hard work and joy.

All this has added richly to my educational classroom philosophy aligning theories of John Dewey, Ted Sizer, Steve Siedel, Howard Gardner and David Perkins (Harvard GSE and WIDEWorld) and life experiences interpreting in so many teaching and learning rooms I can't even count from small private schools to colleges and universities to every class and school in-between.


From my neighborhood to college: nursing, interpreting, teaching, working with families with deaf children through Hearing Speech and Deafness Center, building the ASL program in the NSD and creating Sounds of Silence before anything like this had ever been seen (1998) I bring much to the class room.

As all of my own children are different learners too I hope to be understanding and open- differential education and standard based grading philosophy.

All of this richly embellished with the WIDEWorld online coaching; the educators are from all over the world, Namibia to Shanghai and Australia to Italy and working with teachers in IB French, Biology, History, Culinary Arts, Math, PE, Special Education, and more. This also included my assessments and reports to the professor, enrich my daily life.

Recently I did teach through the University of Washington, Seattle campus with Upward Bound through two summer quarters.

Other Information and Interests:

I have four children whom have graduated from WHS. Their lives have been full of education, art, music, creativity, and wonderful life adventures with two of the four married.My children are 4th generation Seattlites.

I now have 4 grandchildren, 3 locally in grades 3rd to 10th and one going into her 4th yr at Cal Poly!

My family comes first and they all bring joy to my life.

Just ME: Engaging students in understanding with fun is a passion, while they are gaining knowledge. As well as the acquisition of language... asking and expecting the students are being kind to others are important to me so this means building relationships. Understanding people, cultures and communities other that our own; The Arts-Expression: music, reading, writing, salt water-boating and above all of this the love and joy and being with my family is important to me!

Deborah Jacobsen aka DJ

Email: djacobsen@nsd.org