The Loss of a Sister Thirteen of the 15 surviving members of the 2005 class of the Ole Miss communication sciences and disorders program, including Kasey Overby (back row, second from the right), attended a 5K race organized in memory of a murdered colleague. They also have established a scholarship in her memory. We ... First Person on the Last Page
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First Person on the Last Page  |   July 01, 2012
The Loss of a Sister
Author Notes
  • Kasey Overby, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist for the Grafton Integrated Health Network at its Berryville and Leesburg campuses in Virginia. Contact her at kaoverby@gmail.com.
    Kasey Overby, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist for the Grafton Integrated Health Network at its Berryville and Leesburg campuses in Virginia. Contact her at kaoverby@gmail.com.×
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School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / First Person on the Last Page
First Person on the Last Page   |   July 01, 2012
The Loss of a Sister
The ASHA Leader, July 2012, Vol. 17, 35. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.17082012.35
The ASHA Leader, July 2012, Vol. 17, 35. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.17082012.35
Thirteen of the 15 surviving members of the 2005 class of the Ole Miss communication sciences and disorders program, including Kasey Overby (back row, second from the right), attended a 5K race organized in memory of a murdered colleague. They also have established a scholarship in her memory.
We learned a lot in the two years we spent together in the Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate program at Ole Miss. Language norms, how to administer articulation tests, ethics, and why you should always give back to your profession. That’s not all we learned, though. I didn’t leave Ole Miss with just an education—I left with 15 sisters I never knew I had.
Lab partners, study buddies, girls you commute with—they are the only people who relate to what you are going through. They are the first people you show your engagement ring to, bridesmaids in weddings, the first people you tell you are pregnant.
So I’ll never forget getting a text message on Dec. 6, 2011, from a fellow sister about another of our own: “OMG! Amanda Price? Really?”
Amanda was the well-loved speech-language pathologist for Mississippi’s New Albany Public School System, where she worked for the high school, middle school, and classroom for students with developmental delays.
“What are you talking about?” I texted back.
“Call me.”
Nothing could have prepared me for the words: “Amanda was murdered last night. Someone shot her.” Minutes later, I saw it online. I read in disbelief, “Coach shot, wife murdered.”
The only thing worse than receiving one of those phone calls is making them. One by one we contacted the remaining 14 and shared the terrible news. After I got off the phone, I sat in bed, my face flooded with tears. I remembered the day we met, her kindness, and amazing smile. I remembered how we agreed to ride to school together. I remembered her encouraging me as we studied last-minute on those rides. I remembered her. So did others. About 3,000 people attended her viewing, and about 2,000 attended her funeral.
Two weeks after her death, a 20-year-old convicted felon was arrested and charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, and car robbery. Amanda’s husband, Ron, survived his gunshot wound and is raising their 4-year-old daughter, Molly Addison.
After Amanda’s death, her close friends organized the Amanda Price Memorial 5K. The Ole Miss Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders was a sponsor. Proceeds of $20,000 went to the Amanda Price Scholarship Fund of the New Albany Junior Auxiliary and to Survival Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports families who have lost a loved one through a violent crime. More than 1,300 people—including 13 of the 15 remaining members of our graduate class—attended.
Giving back to our profession has new meaning for me now. Our class has established a scholarship to be awarded each year at the Mississippi Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention. The Amanda Price Spirit of Life Award will go to a student who, among other things, is optimistic, empathetic, ethical, determined, selfless, passionate about her profession, and at the top of her class—just like Amanda.
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July 2012
Volume 17, Issue 8