NASP 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: NASP 2021 General Session Remarks

The NASP Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an outstanding school psychologist who has had a national impact on the field and has dedicated his/her professional life to the development and improvement of school psychology.

Deborah Peek Crockett, PhD, NCSP

The NASP 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Deborah P. Crocket, PhD, NCSP, has made a substantial impact on the profession of school psychology through her exemplary work as a practitioner, graduate educator, consultant, scholar, mentor, and volunteer leader at the local, state, and national levels.

Spanning a career of nearly 40 years, Deborah has dedicated herself to service and to the profession. She has made an indelible imprint on the field, blazing a trail for school psychologists, particularly those of color, through her work at both the individual and systems levels. She has advanced diversity and culturally competent practice in schools and worked to support the academic enrichment, mental health needs, and overall well-being of children, youth, and families. She is known as a child and family advocate for appropriate education of all children; development, promotion, implementation, and training of diversity and equity issues; parent education and school involvement; assessment; and professional issues. Deborah has been an important figure in the lives of youth, as well as graduate students around the country. Her mentorship has contributed to the broadening of the field of school psychology to minoritized groups on a global level.

Deborah earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Georgia State University, where she went on to earn Master of Education, Educational Specialist, and Doctoral degrees in school psychology. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Deborah worked as a psychometrist for 2 years before transitioning into school psychology when started her work as a school psychologist in Fulton County Schools, Hapeville, Georgia. Over the course of her career, Deborah served in various roles as a school psychologist, including in Cobb County, Fayette County, and Atlanta Public Schools. Deborah also has worked as a consultant, guest lecturer, and adjunct professor, as well as an expert on assessments for The Psychological Corporation.

Deborah has been a dedicated and ground-breaking leader in the profession as well. At the state level, she has served as the President of the Georgia Association of School Psychologists (GASP), Chair of the GASP Multicultural Enrichment Committee, GASP Fall Conference Chair, GASP Secretary, GASP Dialogue Newsletter Associate Editor, GASP Regional Representative, and Chairperson of GASP's Accreditation Certification and Training Committee. Within NASP, Deborah has served many, many roles, including as NASP President, NASP Southeast Regional Director, Contributing Editor for the Communiqué, member of NASP's Ethics Advisory Board, and Chair of NASP's Multicultural Affairs Committee.

Diversity, inclusiveness, and cultural competence are common themes in Deborah's continued efforts to advance the profession. She has been a seminal advocate for increasing diversity in the field, helping to lay the groundwork and build the scaffolding for NASP's work in this area over more than a quarter century. Perhaps one of her greatest legacies in this regard is her role in founding and growing the NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program, which supports the graduate training of traditionally underrepresented groups pursuing careers in school psychology by seeking to lower financial barriers to training and highlighting the accomplishments of promising future professionals.

Deborah's scholarship is evident as she is a widely renowned author and presenter who has published books, chapters, and articles in numerous professional journals and newsletters. She has also contributed articles to news publications and magazines. She has been invited to present at over 100 professional meetings, conferences, and community-based events across the country and internationally. Deborah has received a myriad of honors and awards from professional organizations, community partners, and higher education institutions, including the NASP Honorary Lifetime Membership, the establishment of the Deborah Peek Crockett Endowed Minority Scholarship, Georgia's Lifetime Achievement Award, Alumnae Achievement Award for Education from Spelman College, the Georgia School Psychologist of the Year Award, multiple NASP Presidential Leadership Awards, and countless other awards and recognitions.

Deborah continues to shine as she dedicates time to advocate and promote leadership, equity in education, safety, emergency crisis response, and inclusion for all students. Since 2002, Deborah has served on the College of Education and Human Development Leadership Advisory Council at the Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. Her additional professional appointments have included the Georgia Emergency Management Agency Crisis Response Team, the Georgia Crisis Assistance Teams to Schools, the American Psychological Association Healthy GLB Students Project's Youth of Color Expert Panel, the United States Department of Education Violence Crisis Response Team, Chairperson for the Committee for Women in Church and Society Georgia-South Carolina Association United Church of Christ, and National Advisory Council Board Member of the Boy's Clubs of America.

Deborah's influence spans many generations. One colleague shared how "her efforts have continued to attract minority individuals into school psychology and NASP. She has overcome adversity in her life and encouraged many others to succeed in school psychology. She is a very worthy recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award!"

Another colleague and friend proclaimed that "of all the school psychologists I have met, Dr. Deborah Crockett is as distinguished and worthy of the NASP Lifetime Achievement Award as anyone I could imagine. Simply stated, she has been a brilliant light of knowledge, wisdom, dedication, and humanity." They continued on to say that they, "have always seen Dr. Crockett as an extraordinary person and professional with outstanding insights and leadership needed to make the positive changes she has. It is certainly clear that Dr. Crockett meets all the criteria for this award. I am honored to call her my colleague and dear friend."

Finally, Deborah is recognized as a, "trendsetter and pioneer in the world of school psychology. She has mentored countless graduate students of color, facilitated the establishment of the NASP minority scholarship, championed NASP's Tolerance in Action Campaign, worked in graduate education, served as the first African American to be elected NASP president, and published stellar research on topics of tolerance and diversity. However, what is not captured in her résumé and countless lists of accomplishments and awards is her kind and giving nature as well as her commitment to the success of school psychology students and practitioners of color."