Pallotti graduate AJ Markel’s mother, Diana, tricked him when he was a baby.
But it was for a good reason and that decision has made an educational impact 18 years later.
“My mother didn’t talk to me for two or three years,” Markel says of his early days as a child. “She was pretending to be deaf so I could learn the language.”
That language was American Sign Language (ASL), which Markel learned before he started speaking English. His mother is not deaf but his father Allen is, and she wanted her sons to be able to communicate well with his father.
As he got older Markel, who played several sports at Saint Vincent Pallotti in Laurel, saw hearing children who...