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Five staff members retire

Five Black Hills State University staff members who are retiring this year were honored at an annual spring recognition reception for faculty and staff.

Staff members retiring are Verla Fish, administrative assistant I in charge of the continuing education office and a 23-year employee; Ellen Koan, custodial supervisor I, a 26-year employee; Jane Mattson, senior cook, a 22-year employee; Dee Moodie, library associate, a seven-year employee; and Evonne Welsh, secretary at the Young Center, a nine-year employee.

Ben Dar, associate vice president for technology, spoke to the gathering by introducing Verla Fish and citing her accomplishments in directing the university's continuing education office.

For the past 23 years she has worked with Tom Lefler, Ellsworth Air Force Base branch campus director, in the development of the base campus.

Lefler said, “She has been extremely innovative, very helpful and very willing to put forth whatever was necessary to get the job done.”

In addition to Ellsworth responsibilities, she initiated the Elderhostel program at BHSU in 1981. She received a 15-year service pin from the national program for her efforts.

In 1991 Fish received the Excellence in Equity award from Black Hills Special Services and the Department of Education for coordinating and hosting the Expanding Your Horizons program for non-traditional career awareness.

At her campus office she supervises the university's correspondence program, coordinates the university's distance-education course schedules and developed the Visually Impaired Program, receiving a national award from the National American Association of Summer Schools (NAASS) in 1991.

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Verla Fish, administrative assistant in charge of the continuing education office at Black Hills State University, receives a gift from President Flickema in recognition of her 23 years at the university. She will be retiring this summer.


She played a key role as chair of the NAASS selection committee in getting BHSU as the host site for the national conference in 1998.

Fish is also a member of the board of directors of the North Central Conference on Summer Sessions (NCCSS) where she serves on the membership committee.

All of the retirees were given gifts from the university for their dedication and years of serves to BHSU.