Jessica Luhman, MA CCC-SLP
Began at Teachwell:
Why did you choose this field?
My dream was always to be "in the helping field," but a personal experience solidified my career as a Speech-Language Pathologist. Right before I left for college, a close friend of mine was involved in a motor vehicle accident, resulting in a Traumatic Brain Injury. I supported his family through this difficult time. First, watching him fight for his life, then watching as he worked to regain skills through intense therapy. After sitting through a couple therapy sessions, I knew immediately I wanted to be a therapist and help other people. My mom would say I chose Speech over PT/OT because I never stopped talking as a child (HA!). But truthfully, I was humbled and inspired by my friend's experience. When I got to college, I ended up with a double major in psychology and communication disorders.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I knew I wanted to be a MOM! I also wanted to be a teacher and a psychologist. With the field of speech/language pathology, I truly get to do all of my favorite things.
What or who most inspires you?
People who face adversity and never give up. Just everyday people, getting up every day, and doing their best to make the world a better place.
Working for Teachwell allows me to work with highly skilled therapists and improve my skills, both personally and professionally. It allows me the flexibility to stay home part-time with my children, and also allows me to continue my work at Sanford as a PRN therapist.
What are you proudest of?
Being a MOM! My biggest dream came true, times TWO! Having children didn't come easily for me, so I don't take it for granted. My 10 year old daughter, Delainey, and my 2 year old son, Daniel, are the absolute lights of my life!
How do you hope to make a difference?
I hope to make a difference in the lives of the children, adults, and families I serve. I want them to remember me as being a good listener and making every effort to help them achieve their goals. I want families to remember me as being an advocate for them.
What lessons has your work life taught you?
My work life has taught me humility. Every person is fighting their own battle and we must be sensitive to that. My work has taught me to be open-minded, flexible, and collaborative.
What is your background? Experience, degrees, skills, etc.?
Born and raised in Pierre, SD, I graduated from T.F. Riggs High School in 1997. I attended the University of South Dakota for both undergraduate (2001) and graduate school (2003). I began my Speech-Language Pathology career in Fremont, Nebraska, then life changes moved me all over the map! I have been licensed as a SLP in five states (Nebraska, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and South Dakota), due to moving for my husband's job several times. My experience includes 20 years working with children in a variety of settings; including, outpatient, inpatient, and school settings. The bulk of my time has been spent in the public school system, with a special interest in Autism and Early Childhood. I've also been employed through Sanford, as a PRN employee, for the past five years. Here, I work with adults in inpatient rehabilitation - also my favorite! Since having my son with a heart defect in 2020, I have been a part-time SLP and part-time Mom. I currently work at Teachwell (school setting) and Sanford (inpatient rehabilitation). I have the best of both worlds!
People would be surprised to know that I . . .