School Psychologist of the Year Award

The NASP School Psychologist of the Year Award (SPY) recognizes excellence in the provision of school psychological services by a field-based practitioner. This award serves to identify and recognize an outstanding practicing school psychologist and increase public awareness of the profession.

Nominations are being accepted for 2023-2024. Nominations will be accepted between May 1 and August 15. All nomination materials must be submitted in one email to The nominator will receive an email reply confirming receipt. If the packet is missing any of the required documents (see below) it will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Who can nominate?

Each state association is invited to nominate one outstanding candidate for this prestigious national award. 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 in one email to Previously submitted nominations of candidates not chosen may be resubmitted with updated information.

Eligibility Criteria

The candidate must be a current NASP member and a practicing school psychologist who spends at least 80% of their time providing direct services to students, teachers, and parents. Trainers, researchers, and administrators are not eligible for this award. Examples could include 4 out of 5 days spent as a practitioner versus 1 out of 5 days in another role (administrator, trainer, grant writer, etc.) or if the candidate's practice has been for 20 years so far, 16 years should be as a practicing school psychologist. School psychologists who retired during the 2022-2023 school year may be nominated. Having the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential is desired but not required.

Candidate must meet the following criteria:

  • Is a NASP member for the 2023-2024 membership year (July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024).
  • Provides school psychological services in line with 2020 NASP Practice Model.
  • Performs job in exemplary manner.
  • Earns the respect of others.
  • Demonstrates ethical and professional behavior, as defined in the  2020 NASP Professional Standards.
  • Has membership and/or leadership experience in local, state, and/or national professional associations.

Procedures and Required Documents

Nomination materials should be written using 12-point font and a maximum of two single-spaced pages for easy reading by the reviewers. All documents should be saved as a PDF. A complete nomination packet includes:

Nominator and Candidate Contact Sheet

Nomination Statement

In no more than 1000 words (12-point font), the nominator should describe why the candidate should be considered for this award, including specific examples in any of the Practice Model domains or examples of exemplary job performance, respect of others, professional memberships, and/or leadership activities.

Candidate's Resume or Vita

Four Letters of Support

Each letter should be no more than 2 pages (12-point font, standard margins) and should be written by individuals knowledgeable about the candidate's capabilities, professionalism and ethical behavior, interpersonal skills, and leadership qualities (e.g., teachers, parents, students, colleagues, administrators). At least one letter must be from an individual in the candidate's school system. No more than four (4) letters of support should be submitted. Please refer to the tips for nominators and candidates for more details. Letters of support should avoid repeating information in the candidate's resume/vita.

Candidate's Responses to Essay Questions

Responses to each question should be provided as a Word document  (12-point font) and limited to 1000 words. Include the question and number at the top of each response and the candidate's name and page number in the header. The question does not count as part of the 1000-word limit. The essay questions for the current award year are:

    • 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?
    • In what ways have you collaborated with and engaged students' families and community (e.g., school, neighborhoods, agencies, faith-based institutions, etc.) to support student learning and health?

Selection and Notification

A panel of reviewers made up of NASP leaders (state delegates, committee chairs, 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 email. Reviewer ratings will be completed in October. The award recipient and their nominator will be notified in November, and other candidates and their nominators will be notified in December. An official NASP announcement will be made to NASP members in early January.

Award Presentation

The School Psychologist of the Year Award recipient will be asked to attend the Awards Ceremony and the opening General Session at the NASP annual convention. Transportation to and from the convention as well as complimentary basic registration,  lodging, and per diem for two nights will be provided 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. The recipient may tell colleagues, employers, friends, and family. Traditionally, the SPY winner is introduced at the general opening session of the convention, and is invited to make remarks at the evening Awards Ceremony.


If you have any questions regarding the School Psychologist of the Year Award, please contact Joy Jaranilla, Manager of Leadership Support and she will forward your question to the appropriate leader.

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 Domains of Practice in the NASP Practice Model.

Scoring Rubric Description
View a description of the scoring rubric that is used by reviewers.