The History of South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Special thanks to Dr. Sylvester Clifford, Jim Walters, Dr. Robert Litke, Judy Flanagin, Margaret King, Ruth Samuelson, Sally Coddington Dolan and Dr. Dean Lockwood for their recollections of years gone by.

Organization of SDSHA 
The organizational meeting of the South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association was held in Pierre, SD in 1958. Marvin Knittel, who was working in the Aberdeen Public Schools with Margaret King, was elected President but there was not a formal convention held. Margaret noted there were fewer than ten people attending and that that may have represented all who worked in the state at that time. The others attending were Ethel Bridgeford, Rapid City; Mr. and Mrs. Flint, Augustana College; Mr. DeLaubenfels, University of South Dakota; Sally Coddington (Dolan) Crippled Children's Hospital and School; and Gaylen Dragert, Ph.D. from South Dakota State College. Dr. Dragert was in a wheelchair and was helped by graduate assistants Bob Litke and Adrian Parmeter.

Dr. Litke remembers that Ethel was the motivating force to get the group organized. Ethel has been a speech pathologist in Portland, Oregon and had completed a semester toward her Masters Degree when the director of the South Dakota State Department of Health and asked of her to start a speech and hearing program under the Division of Crippled Children. She served Pennington, Meade and Lawrence counties and the Rapid City Schools. Ethel used the development of this program for her thesis at the University of Iowa and received her Masters Degree in 1946 and then returned to South Dakota.

Another "quieter" force for speech therapy in South Dakota was Lily Thomsland who worked in Sioux Falls. She believed in the Moto-Kinesthetic method, which was a manual manipulation of articulators. Lily and Sally Coddington (Dolan) were the only speech therapists in Sioux Falls before 1959.

Mary Twitchell and Jim Walters followed Marv Knittel and Margaret King in the Aberdeen Schools. Margaret moved to Rapid City in 1961 and worked a year and a half until her first child arrived. Some of the speech therapists who worked there were Ethel Bridgeford, Mary Twitchell, Nancy Stevens, Jane Case, Sharon Lee and Ruth Samuelson. Margaret returned to work in 1979.

Dr. Sylvester Clifford arrived at the University of South Dakota during the summer of 1961. (He retired in 1994.) His predecessors were James Cavanaugh and James McDearmon who had initiated the speech therapy/audiology program. Dr. Harold Jordan, Chair of the Speech Department at the University of South Dakota, also was instrumental in the programs inception. During those years students earned a double major; one in speech therapy and on in speech/drama/debate.

Dr. Clifford remembers attending a business meeting in Pierre during the winter of 1961-62 where several people including Ethel Bridgeford, Jim Walter, Mary Twitchell, Keith Newcomb (CCHS) and Margaret King were still trying to shape/word a constitution and get some recognition from the State Department of Education. In 1961, there were two ASHA certified SLPs; Ethel Bridgeford and Sylvester Clifford.

By 1965, there were 25 original active members and 8 original associate members. Jim Walters was President when South Dakota Speech-Language-Hearing Association Third Annual convention was held at the Crippled Children's Hospital and School in Sioux Falls. Speakers include Ethel Bridgeford on "Therapy for Tongue Thrust"; John B. Gregg, M.D. "Techniques of Stapesdoplasty Surgery"; and William M. Shearer, Ph.D. "Recent Research in Stuttering Behavior; (A) Middle Ear Activity (B) Self-Recovery.

David Larsen presented at the 1966 convention in Yankton, SD on "Pioneers in Statewide Speech and Hearing Conservation".  Ray Hull was the lone person doing statewide hearing testing, out of his car, the first year.  Then in succeeding years, David Larsen, Charlie Anderson and Mike Spicer headed up the Mobile Hearing Unit, which was a hearing booth inside a truck.  They were supported and encouraged partially by the March of Dimes.

Original Active Members:
Pat Adam*, Charles Anderson, Susan Armstrong*, Ethel Bridgeford* Jean Britton*, Maribeth Chase*, Sylvester Clifford*, Betty Culligan*, Arlene Howard, Raymond Hull*, Margaret King*, DeAnna Lacina, Sharon Lee, Robert Litke*, Natalie Nelson,  Keith Newcomb, Kay Rubendall, Sister Doris Oberembt, Verlyn Swee*, Richard Terry*, Joan Theilman*, Lily Tiomsland*, Billie Jo Tupper*, James E. Walters*, Evelyn Woods

Original Associate Members:
Ruth Duncan (Samuelson), Jeannette Higbe, Julie Mickelson (Anderson), Jennie Wanhal, Keathy Larson (Amundson), Roger Wahl*, Camille Peterson, Karen Kay Knutson (Ferris)
(*also members of the American Speech and Hearing Association according to the 1965 ASHA Directory.)

David Larsen presented at the 1966 convention in Yankton, South Dakota. There have been Bachelor Degree programs in Communication Disorder at Northern State College in Aberdeen, South Dakota State College in Brooking, Augustana College in Sioux Falls, and University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Presently, USD is the only location with a Bachelors Degree and Masters Degree program in the state. Dr. Dean Lockwood is the Chair of the Department and has been at USD since 1970.

There have been bachelor’s degree programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota State University in Brookings, Augustana University in Sioux Falls, and the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. USD also houses a master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology and a doctor of Audiology program. In 2010, Mitchell Technical College in Mitchell, SD added an associate’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. 

Presidents of the Association and Convention/Meeting Site
1973-1974 Dean Lockwood, Rapid City   2000-2001 Bob Froke, Sioux Falls
1974-1975 Lois Moore, Aberdeen 2001-2002 Rhonda Nitschelm, Sioux Falls
1975-1976 Viola Willis, Mitchell 2002-2003 Kari Diamond, Rapid City
1976-1977 Alice Swallum, Aberdeen 2003-2004 Jennifer Schultz, Sioux Falls
1977-1978 Marilyn Condon, Spearfish 2004-2005 Shirley Hauge, Sioux Falls
1978-1979 Fred Romkema, Pierre 2005-2006 Anne Crosswait-Degen, Sioux Falls
1979-1980 Keith Erickson, Aberdeen 2006-2007 Julie Carl, Sioux Falls
1980-1981 Kay Schallenkamp, Vermillion 2006-2007 Linda Ingerson, Sioux Falls
1981-1982 Bob Litke, Aberdeen 2007-2008 Kris Kelley, Sioux Falls
1982-1983 Joan Fliehs, Rapid City 2008-2009 Shelly Grinde, Sioux Falls
1983-1984 Judy Flanagin, Rapid City 2009-2010 Becky Cermak, Sioux Falls
1984-1985 Richard Hoeve 2010-2011 Julie Carl, Sioux Falls
1985-1986 Robert Anderson 2011-2012 Becky Cermak & Julie Carl, Sioux Falls 
1986-1987 Carol Woltzen, Sioux Falls 2012-2013 Jessica Messersmith, Sioux Falls
1987-1988 Sue Brockeyeldt, Rapid City 2013-2014 Elizabeth Hanson, Sioux Falls
1988-1989 Sure Brockeyeldt, Aberdeen 2014-2015 Laura Barbara, Rapid City
1989-1990 Sylvester Clifford, Sioux Falls    2015-2016 Kyle Brower, Sioux Falls
1990-1991 Sylvester Clifford, Sioux Falls 2016-2017 Rachel Meester, Sioux Falls
1991-1992 Perry Hanayan, Rapid City 2017-2018 Julie Holiday, Sioux Falls
1992-1993 Perry Hanavan, Sioux Falls 2018-2019 Londa DeRouchey, Spearfish    
1993-1994 Sally Dolan, Pierre 2019-2020 Jennifer Schultz, Postponed
1994-1995 Sally Dolan, Sioux Falls 2020-2021 Jennifer Schultz, Virtual Convention
1995-1996 Jane Leite, Rapid City 2021-2022 Shelly Grinde, Deadwood
1996-1997 Jane Leite, Sioux Falls 2022-2023 Liz DeVelder, Sioux Falls
1997-1998 Sharon Hoelscher, Rapid City   
1998-1999 Sharon Hoelscher, Sioux Falls  
1999-2000 Bob Froke, Rapid City  
SDSLHA Honors and Awards
Life Members: Honors of the Association:
Paula Bingham                                   Lily Tjomsland & Sylvester Clifford, 1984 
Pam Bonenberger                                   Ethel Bridgeford, 1987
Ethel Bridgeford Robert Anderson, 1991
Sylvester Clifford Aneita Wilcox, 1992
Anne Crosswait-Degen Karen Ferris, 1992
Sally Dolan Elanor Allard, 1993
Candace Fuller Ruth Samuelson,1996
Gordon Holloway Joyce M. Lampson,1998
Katherine Howe       Ron Balthazor, 2000
Solveig Korte Mary Friehe, 2001
Alice Swallum Teri Bellis, 2002
Penny Walker Dean Lockwood, 2003
  Jane Clem, 2004
  Candice Lee, 2005
  Marni Johnson, 2011
  Becky Cermak, Jennifer Schultz, Brenda Nedved & Mandy Williams, 2012
  Jessica Messersmith, 2014
  Kyle Brouwer, 2015
  Elizabeth Hanson, 2016
  Solveig Sperati Korte, 2017
  Jennifer Schultz, 2018
  Anne Crosswait-Degen, 2019
  Jennifer Schultz, 2021
  Shirley Hauge, 2022
  Deb Flynn, 2023
Louis M. DiCarlo Award for Recent Clinical Achievement Nominee:
Frank R. Kleffner Lifetime Clinical Career Award Nominee:
Ethel Bridgeford, 1983 Ruth Samuelson, 1990
Sylvester Clifford,1985 Jerome Alpiner, 1993
Robert E. Litke, 1987  
Sheela Stuart, 1988  
David Downs, 2002  
Linda Tyler, 2004  
Brittany Schmidt, 2005  
Deb Flynn, 2019  
Jennifer Schultz & Brittany Schmidt, 2020  
Jane Heinemeyer, 2021  
Shelly Grinde, 2022  
Terri Jensen, 2023  
Dorothy Dreyer Award for Volunteerism Nominee: ASHA Fellows:
Ruth Samuelson, 2003 Sylvester Clifford, 1983
Julia Jones, 2004 Dean Lockwood, 1985 
Jennifer Schultz, 2005 Ethel Bridgeford, 1987
Penny Walker, 2006 Ruth Samuelson, 2001
Shelly Grinde, 2011 Teri Bellis, 2007
Shirley Hauge & Julie Holiday, 2013  
Elizabeth DeVelder, 2014  
Kari Keating, 2015  
Julie Mairose, Rebecca Harvey & Laura Barbara 2016  
Shirley Hauge, 2019  
Stephanie Ulmer, 2020  
Candace Zweifel, 2021  
Rebecca Harvey, 2022  
Danci Hoff, 2023  
Distinguished Service Award:  Honorary Members:
John Gregg, Jr., 1990  John Gregg, Jr.
Robert Farrell, 1991  Harold Jordan (deceased)
Sylvia Henkin, 1992  
Easter Seals, 1993  
Alan Kelts, 1995-1996  
Scottish Rite Clinic in the Hills, Rapid City, 1999  
Greg DeSautel, 2000  
Sioux Empire United Way, 2001  
Dale Gunderson, 2002  
Noon Sertoma Club of Sioux Falls, 2003  
VanDeMark Family, 2004  
Vicki Mack - SPED Director Watertown School District, 2007  
Bridget Stone & Bonnie Christensen (Rapid City Birth to Three), 2005  
Dr. Susan Randall - SD Voices for Children, 2010  
Sen. Jen Hunhoff & Rep. Fred Romkema, 2012  
Greg Von Wald, 2013  
Samra Haifa, 2016  
Scottish Rite Foundation of South Dakota, 2019  
Rebecca Potrament, 2020  
South Dakota School for the Deaf, 2021  
Monument Health, 2022  
Anderson-Smith Therapy Institute, 2023  
New Program Award: Outstanding Service:
Kristeen Highland, 1991 Sue Brockevelt, 1993
  Jerome Alpiner, 1993
  Margaret King, 1995
Outstanding South Dakota Clinician:  
Kay Rubendall, 1991  
Bonnie Carr, 1993  
Kristi Olson, 1995  
Nicole Halls, 1999  
Colleen Gullickson, 2000  
Rolland J. Van Hattum Award Contribution in the Schools Nominee: SDSLHA Supporter:
Beth Peschong, 2019 John Sears, 1991
Rebecca Harvey & Theresa Gibbens, 2020  
Terri Jensen, 2021  
Laura Scholten, 2022  
Heather Erlenbusch, 2023  

To contribute additional SDSLHA History to this page, email [email protected].