April Turner Receives NASP 2022 School Psychologist of the Year Award

Bethesda, MD-The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has named April Turner, PhD, NCSP, as the 2022 School Psychologist of the Year. Dr. Turner was selected for her commitment to the profession not only through her advocacy work addressing the needs of children, families, and schools, but also her work on improving the pathways for future school psychologists through leadership development. Dr. Turner will receive the award on February 16 during the NASP 2022 Annual Convention in Boston, MA.

NASP's School Psychologist of the Year is awarded for excellence in the provision of school psychological services and is selected from nominations by states across the country. Dr. Turner is currently the School Psychological Services Supervisor at the Maryland State Department of Education in Baltimore. Prior to this position, she served as a school psychologist in Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) for 9 years. In both her practitioner and administrative leadership roles, Dr. Turner's focus has been on evidence-based service delivery and effective use of data-collection and decision-making systems to support student success. In addition, her commitment to professionally advocacy has helped to build and strengthen sustainable pathways to leadership for school psychologists.

"This past year and a half have been difficult on many levels," shares NASP President Laurie Klose. "Despite all the challenges we have seen in schools, April's tireless dedication to the field of school psychology, desire to support students, and uplifting of her colleagues secured her place as NASP's 2022 School Psychologists of the Year. I am proud we have someone as committed as Dr. Turner working in the field." 

In BCPS, Dr. Turner served in a comprehensive role in which she worked with general education and special education students, addressing the individual and systemic barriers to student success through both academic and mental and behavioral health interventions. Dr. Turner also worked to increase family engagement and involvement by focusing on communication and community buy-in. In the face of the dual struggles of COVID-19 and racial injustice, Dr. Turner was instrumental in organizing an affinity support group for school psychologists of color to navigate working virtually and managing racial inequalities and stressors.

Dr. Turner's contributions to the profession, engagement in leadership development, and advocacy for the success of all children is evident in the programs, services, and collaborations she has engaged in, and also in the accolades from her colleagues. Her commitment to secure the future of the field is evident through one colleague's statement: "The record of her achievements is lengthy, but even so it pales in comparison to the personal impact that Dr. Turner has had on our careers as a mentor, colleague, and friend." It is clear why April is a successful leader as she "leads with integrity and compassion," as shared by another colleague. Dr. Turner will no doubt continue to impact the field and success of students, as others state that "she stands out as a bright, engaging, and strategic thinker who consistently uses her voice to speak for those who may not have the power or privilege to do so" and is a "tireless advocate for the field of school psychology."

The National Association of School Psychologists represents 25,000 school psychologists throughout the United States and abroad. NASP empowers school psychologists to improve students' learning, behavior, and mental health. Our vision is that all children and youth access the learning, behavior, and mental health support needed to thrive in school, at home, and throughout life. Further information about school psychology, NASP, and our School Psychologist of the Year is available at www.nasponline.org.

Photo available. Inquiries should be directed to Kathy Cowan, NASP Director of Communications, 301-657-0270, ext. 226, or kcowan@naspweb.org.