For the first year and a half of his life, Cole Renart lived 60% of his day in language isolation.

Born without any hearing, Cole was 17 months old when he began receiving early intervention with a deaf American Sign Language teacher while he was at daycare.

“Within three months, his language exploded,” said Amy Andersen, an ASL teacher at Ocean City High School and 2018 New Jersey Teacher of the Year, who helped lobby the state for Cole’s interventions. “It was the first time it had been done in the state of New Jersey.”