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Released November 4, 2003

By David Tisdale

HATTIESBURG - Dr. Etoile DuBard, founder of the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi, died Tuesday at her home in Hattiesburg. She was 82.

A retired Southern Miss professor, Dr. DuBard started the Dubard School in 1962, when it was known as the School for Preschool Aphasic Children. During her 27 years with the school, she worked closely with hundreds of children ages 3-13 who struggled with communication disorders.

Dr. DuBard pioneered use of the renowned Association Method of working with children who have language disorders, considered a highly effective, multisensory, teaching/learning strategy that goes beyond the traditional visual/auditory teaching approach by incorporating tactile sense of touch and "motor kinesthetics."

A native of Grenada County, Dr. DuBard was a graduate of Grenada High School and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor, a master's degree from George Peabody College and a doctorate from Southern Miss. She taught in the public schools in Natchez, Clarksdale, Jackson and in Texas and Florida for nine years in elementary education and six years of speech therapy work, and served 35 months in the Women's Navy Reserve

"I just took it is as sort of a modern-day burning bush, if you will," DuBard said of her early work at the school during a 1988 interview. "The children we take in here are so severely impaired, they would not be able to survive."

Dr. Maureen Martin, director of the school, said the legacy Dr. DuBard left for professionals and the children that she served "is beyond measure."

"Her contributions will be felt for many years to come," Martin said.

Southern Miss President Dr. Shelby Thames praised Dr. DuBard, saying her service and contributions to children "marked her as a great educator and humanitarian.

"I'm saddened at Dr. DuBard's passing," Thames said. "Her work and her name will live on through the educators at the DuBard School on the campus of Southern Miss."

Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made through the USM Foundation to the DuBard School at The University of Southern Mississippi.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM