Superintendent Terrence (Terry) Wilding is the second superintendent of the Minnesota State Academies from Gooding, Idaho, following in the footsteps of Superintendent Howard M. Quigley (1945-1966). Superintendent Wilding was born into a large deaf family, consisting of 9 deaf siblings. Both of his parents are also deaf and he has numerous deaf relatives on both sides of his family tree. Mr. Wilding’s family is possibly the largest family in the world comprised of all deaf individuals, along with the Frelich family of North Dakota.
Mr. Wilding attended the Idaho School for the Deaf and the Blind in Gooding, Idaho, from Kindergarten until his graduation with honors in 1986. Upon his graduation from ISDB, he enrolled at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. During his first year in college, Gallaudet College underwent their transformation into Gallaudet University and his graduation class was the first class to graduate from Gallaudet University after 4 years as a university student. Upon graduation, Mr. Wilding earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government. While at Gallaudet University, he had the unique distinction of being the only person to serve as the heads of all 3 branches of the Student Body Government, serving as the Speaker of the Student Senate, the SBG president, and the Chief Justice during his 5 years of involvement in the student body government. He also had the opportunity to do an internship in the United States Senate under Senator Steve Symms of Idaho, being one of the first deaf people to work in an U.S. Senator’s office.
After graduation, Mr. Wilding moved to Austin, Texas where he started his teaching career at the Texas School for the Deaf. As he taught, he worked towards acquiring his Masters of Arts in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College (currently McDaniel College) in Westminster, Maryland. Upon completion of his studies, Mr. Wilding relocated to Tucson, Arizona where he began teaching at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. After 5 years of teaching, Mr. Wilding moved into a new position as supervising teacher of the high school department and remained in this position for 2 years. While in Tucson, Mr. Wilding was also actively involved in the deaf community, coaching basketball for the local deaf club, and teaching ASL classes at a local community college.
In 2002, Mr. Wilding and his family relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico and began working as a Principal at the New Mexico School for the Deaf. During his 14 years at NMSD, Mr. Wilding supervised different instructional departments and implemented innovative programming to improve the educational impact of instruction and extracurricular activities for students at NMSD. He was instrumental in efforts to increase opportunities for students in transition, extracurricular activities, and athletics. He was also involved in the design and oversight of many construction projects throughout the campus as NMSD underwent major renovation of their campus over a 12 year period of time.
In May 2016, the Minnesota State Academies board offered the job of Superintendent to Mr. Wilding and he accepted, starting his tenure as Superintendent on July 1st, 2016.
Mr. Wilding is married to Lisa Boren-Wilding and they have 3 children – Cheyenna, Caldonia, and Tyrel. In his spare time, Mr. Wilding enjoys outdoor activities, woodworking, and reading.