School Psychologist of the Year Award

NASP School Psychologist of the Year Award (SPY) program recognizes excellence in the provision of school psychological services by a field-based practitioner.  Each state is invited to nominate one candidate.  Nomination materials are to be completed by state presidents (or their designees) for NASP-affiliated state associations.  NASP delegates are to complete materials in any non-affiliated state.  Candidates must be current members of NASP and practicing school psychologists who spend the majority of their time providing direct services to students, teachers, and parents.  (Trainers, researchers, and administrators are not eligible for this award).  The NCSP is desired.  An award ceremony takes place at the NASP convention.


To identify and recognize an outstanding practicing school psychologist and to increase public awareness of the profession.

Who Can Nominate

Each state is invited to nominate one candidate. State school psychology associations must approve nominations. The state association president or their designee (e.g., awards chair, NASP delegate, etc.) may make the nomination. The nominator is responsible for submitting all the materials. Previously submitted nominations may be resubmitted with updated information.

Who is Eligible?

Practicing school psychologists who spend the majority of their time (80 percent) providing direct services to students, teachers, and parents in school settings. Examples of "majority of the time (80 percent)" could include 4/5 days spent as a practitioner vs. 1/5 days in another role (administrator, trainer, grant writer, etc.) or if your practice has been for 20 years so far, 16 years should be as a practicing school psychologist. A candidate who has retired during the 2015-16 school year may be nominated. Trainers, researchers, or administrators are not eligible for this award. The NCSP is desirable.

Selection Criteria

  • Is a NASP member for fiscal year 2016-2017 (July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017).
  • Provides school psychological services in line with current NASP practice standards.
  • Performs job in exemplary manner.
  • Earns respect of others.
  • Demonstrates ethical and professional behavior, as defined by NASP standards and ethics documents.
  • Has membership and/or leadership in local, state & national professional associations.

Procedures and Required Documents

  1. Nomination materials should be in a 10- or 12-point font for easy reading by the reviewers.
    • Nomination Statement: In no more than two pages, describe why the candidate should be considered for this award. Give specific examples in any of the following areas: data-based decision making; consultation & collaboration; interventions & instructional support to develop academic skills; interventions & mental health support to develop social & life skills; school-wide practices to promote learning; prevention, crisis prevention & mental health; family-school & community collaboration; diversity in development & learning; research and program evaluation; legal, ethical and professional behavior; performs job in an exemplary manner; earns respect of others; professional memberships and leadership activities. Please see the domains of school psychology practice page for definitions and examples of these areas. More detailed descriptions can be found in the NASP Standards for Practice and Ethics on the NASP website.
    • Nominator & Candidate Contact Sheet
    • Candidate's resume or vita.
    • Letters of support: These should be no more than two page letters written by individuals knowledgeable (e.g., teachers, parents, students, colleagues, administrators, etc.) about the candidate's capabilities, professionalism and ethical behavior, interpersonal skills, and leadership qualities. At least one letter must be from an individual in the candidate's school system. Four (4) letters of support should be included. Please refer to the additional pages on the website for more details for your writers. Letters of support should avoid repeating information in the candidate's resume/vita.
    • Essay Questions to be completed by each nominee: Please limit your response to each question to 1,000 words. Include the question at the top of each response and your name, question number and page number in the header. The question does not count as part of the 1,000 word limit. Please double-space and use a 10 or 12-point font.
    • Question 1: Describe one professional accomplishment specifically related to your role as a school psychologist. How has it given you your greatest satisfaction professionally and/or personally?
    • Question 2:  What kind obstacles have you encountered when you have tried to involve parents in their child's education? What have you done to remove or get around those obstacles?
  2. All nomination materials must be POSTMARKED BY: Friday, July 15, 2016.Please mail materials to Karen O'Brien, 134 Aloha Court, Roseburg, OR 97471-9125.
  3. INCOMPLETE nominations will not be reviewed. If the packet is missing one or more of the following documents it will be considered incomplete: nomination statement, candidate's resume, 4 letters of support, responses to essay questions 1 and 2. The chairperson will contact the nominee regarding the missing documentation to see if it was inadvertently omitted.
  4. A confirmation of materials received will be sent to the nominator by email.
  5. Questions? Please contact: Karen O'Brien,

Selection & Notification

A panel of reviewers (delegates and a former SPY recipient) will read and rate the materials and determine the top candidate. All candidates and nominators will be informed of the outcome by letter. At this time, committee ratings are due in mid-October 2016 and the award recipient will be notified by mid-November. The other candidates and nominators will be notified by December 1, 2016.

Award Presentation

The award ceremony and reception will be held at the NASP Convention in San Antonio, TX. Transportation to and from the convention as well as lodging and per diem for two nights is provided for the recipient. The basic convention fee (no extras) is also paid for the recipient.No advance public announcement or publicity (such as an article in the local newspaper or state association newsletter) should be made prior to the convention. You may tell colleagues, employers, friends and family.

Nomination Resources

Nominator Contact Sheet
This form must be filled out and included with other nomination materials.

Hints for Nominators & Candidates
Tips to give your nominee the best chance possible at being honored as School Psychologist of the Year.

Domains of Practice
An overview of the 10 Domains of Practice in the NASP Practice model.


For any questions regarding the Schopol Psychologist of the Year Award, nomination procedures, or selection criteria, plase contact Karen O'Brien, Chair of the Awards Subcommittee.