Happy New Year and welcome back! I hope that you had time to rest and disconnect during winter break and gear up for 2019. I wanted to start off by saying thank you to everyone who made it to Bend for our fall conference in October. We got to hear some great presentations from local Oregon practitioners and graduate students, NASP President Lisa Kelly Vance and several other presenters who flew in from around the country. It was nice to have time to connect with coworkers and school psychologists from around the state while enjoying Bend and the beautiful surroundings.
In November, our student representatives organized School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW) events in both Portland and Eugene. Here is a recap of the Portland event from Cassidy Bibo, school psychologist intern:
“School psychologist practitioners and students alike gathered at The Waypost, a lively hub in NE Portland, on Novemebr 12th to celebrate School Psychology Awareness Week. About twenty attendees from the Portland metro area gathered together to create connection between school psychologists and recognize the meaningful work that we do in local communities. $315 was raised through a raffle for the Focus on School Psychologist Students committee, a subset of OSPA which strives to promote professional development opportunities for school psychology students in Oregon. Some of the generously donated raffle prizes from community sponsors included a Nike Jordan gift pack, gift certificates from PDX Sliders and Atlas Pizza, and artisan coffee beans from Cave Painter Coffee.”
Thank you to everyone who participated!
In addition to the SPAW events, Sandra Walk, OSPA Secretary, sent letters to superintendents in all districts across the state, alerting them to SPAW week and encouraging their recognition of the hard work you do every day to support students in our schools.
This year we also participated in Virtual Hill Day, a new component to School Psychology Awareness Week. Two members of the OSPA public relations committee, Emily Barrett and Danea deGlee, drafted a form letter for OSPA members to share with their state legislators and policy makers describing about the role school psychologists play in supporting students in Oregon schools. They also sent this letter to Oregon house representatives and senators and a number of other policy makers, and received personalized email responses from senator Kathleen Taylor, house representative Marty Wilde, and Colt Gill and Lisa Bateman at ODE.
Beaverton school district school psychologists participated as well, mailling 64 letters to Oregon lawmakers. Way to go Beaverton Psychs!
The NASP conference in Atlanta is less than two months away and we have a large group of OSPA members who are gearing up for the Regional Leadership Meeting. Sandra Walk (OSPA secretary), Emily Barrett, Emma Morgan, Moira McKenna, and Rachel Santiago (OSPA Directors-at-large), and I will all be attending this two day event on February 25th and 26th. We are excited to have time together to reflect on the progress toward our strategic priorities, gain new ideas for supporting the profession of school psychology, plan outreach to influence decision makers in our state, and continue the work of increasing OSPA’s organizational capacity. I hope to see many of you at NASP in Atlanta in February!
Lastly, the NASP elections are being held from January 2nd to January 23rd. This year we will be voting for the President Elect, Treasurer, and Oregon delegate. Don’t forget to sign in and vote!
Wishing you a smooth start to 2019,
Jill Kornelis, M.S., NCSP