Mary W. Lark Humanitarian Award

The Mary W. Lark Humanitarian Award was established in 1982. Mary Lark came to Rapid City, SD in 1941 as the Dean of Girls at Rapid City High School. Miss Lark always worked as a counselor, but her role as a counselor was officially recognized in the mid 1950's. She epitomized everything that we are taught are the positive characteristics of the perfect counselor. She was a caring, kind, accepting person who had an enormous capacity  for hard work, long hours, no complaints, and had an exceptional ability to listen. Long after student had graduated from high school, they would return to visit with her. She was everybody's friend and provided comfort and assistance for a couple of generations of high school students. 

This award was established to recognize counselors who are true humanitarians-those who go above and beyond the ordinary. The recipient (if they are an ACA member) is then submitted as a candidate for the Gilbert Wrenn Award at the national level. To learn more about the Wrenn Award, click HERE

These award winners have shown concern about human beings in special ways through caring behavior, documented and generally recognized by peers. They have also been observed in unselfish involvement over a period of time in a cause of situation which benefits others, not self.


2021 Winner: Anna Eidem, pictured with Dr. Hande Briddock

"Like Mary W. Lark, Anna also has an exceptional ability to empathize and connect with others and empower them. Indeed, Anna has relentlessly worked to better the life of others, whether they are students in her school struggling with significant or small issues that overwhelm them, their parents who need Anna’s support and/or guidance in improving their interaction with their children, or graduate students specializing in school counseling learning from her evidence-based approaches for suicide prevention and intervention. Empowering anyone who is in need is a critical value for Anna, her compassion and empathy second to no other person I know."- Dr. Hande Briddock


Past Award Winners

  • 2021- Anna Eidem
  • 2018- Margie Neugebauer
  • 2017 - Valerie Horack
  • 2016 - Doug Hoisington
  • 2015 - Kelly Jones
  • 2014 - Brian Dannen
  • 2013 - Dianne Brendan
  • 2012 - Barb Ohleen
  • 2011 - Lois Walpole
  • 2010 - Lexi Seely
  • 2009 - Linda Johnson
  • 2008 - Penny Virchow
  • 2007 - Michelle Brandenberg
  • 2006 - Patricia Brady
  • 2005 - Debra Johnson
  • 2004 - Gloria Schulz
  • 2003 - Mike Cutler
  • 2002 - Jean Lakner
  • 2000 - Dana Sanderson