Tribute to Teachers: John Paul Jebian makes sign language easy and popular

For 25 years, Jebian has been teaching American Sign Language and inspiring his students.

MIAMI – For 25 years, John Paul Jebian has been using an unspoken language to reach people.

He teaches American Sign Language to parents and students at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami.

“He’s got eight periods of classes and students want to be in those classes,” said principal Allen Breeding. “And there are times when we have to turn students away because the classes are too full. We are very impressed with what he’s done the direction he’s taken the program.”

Jebian’s hearing and deaf students have themselves become teachers and have performed at universities and public libraries, promoting an understanding of deaf culture.

The loving husband and father of three is the director of his high school’s ASL honor society and first deaf teacher of the year.

And he is also among the 2021 honorees in Local 10′s annual Tribute to Teachers.

“He’s absolutely amazing,” student Sofia Perez said. “He cares for his students’ needs. He makes a language the some might find difficult to learn very easy.”

Jebian’s teaching abilities extend far beyond high school. He’s a part-time college professor, a tutor for deaf children and the president of a nonprofit called Waving Hands, which helps communities embrace their hard-of-hearing members.

The recognition from the Tribute to Teachers campaign comes with a $1,000 gift card from Publix Super Markets.

Earlier this week, Local 10 honored:

The final teacher selected this year will be announced during Friday’s 5 p.m. Local 10 newscast.

About the Author:

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.