George Batsche Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

By Byron McClure & Leah Nellis

Volume 46 Issue 8, pp. 24–25

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By Byron McClure & Leah Nellis

The 2018 NASP Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Dr. George Batsche, PhD, NCSP. Individuals recognized with the Lifetime Achievement award represent the best of NASP. They are school psychologists with at least 25 years of service in the field, 20 years membership in NASP, and 10 years or more leadership service to NASP. They have researched, written, published, taught, edited, mentored, and are exemplary models of professionalism and ethical responsibility.

George Batsche, PhD, NCSP, has made a substantial impact on the profession of school psychology through his role as a graduate educator, his work at the University of South Florida, and his state- and national-level leadership. Dr. Batsche has served as a pioneer in the field of providing forward-thinking policies and systems that have had a substantial impact in promoting the field of school psychology as an integral part of school systems nationally. His contribution to the field has been vital to establishing the certification of and national standards for school psychologists. Dr. Batsche directs the student support services project for the department of education in Florida. In his work, he addresses practice issues that affect the work of school psychologists. In addition, he has assisted numerous states to improve their efforts in policy change and implementing stronger guidelines for certification and credentialing.

For years, Dr. Batsche has been an advocate for students and families by improving practices, advocating for accountability, and establishing models to assess the impact of school psychology practices on student outcomes. His career spans close to 40 years. He earned his EdD in school and counseling psychology, with a special education concentration, from Ball State University in 1978. He has served as the school psychology program coordinator in the department of educational and psychological studies at the University of South Florida (USF) since 2011. Dr. Batsche has worked at the USF since 1989 as an associate professor. Later, he served as director of the institute for school reform at the university. Prior to USF, he was an associate professor in the department of psychology at Eastern Illinois University.

Dr. Batsche served as a school psychologist with Northwest Indiana Special Education Cooperative in Highland, Indiana from 1973 to 1975. He moved to the School Town of Munster, Indiana from 1975 to 1976 to serve as the director of testing and psychological services. From 1982 to 1984, Dr. Batsche was a consulting psychologist at the Scott Center Adolescent Day Treatment Program.

He has made significant contributions to the profession of school psychology through his research. His colleague said, “Reading the titles of the articles he has authored or coauthored is like a short course in the history of the field.” His research has covered assessments, evidence-based interventions, systems-level change, response to intervention, and much more. He helped with the creation of the National School Psychology Certification System. He has done a significant amount of work with legislation and education policy, which directly influenced the field of school psychology. Dr. Batsche's leadership in the field is unrivaled. He has served in many roles within NASP, including delegate, regional director, chair and cochair of countless committees, and president of the association.

His impact on the field is evident and the effect he has made in his lifetime is clear in his accomplishments and in the comments from his colleagues. One of his colleagues said:

I can't think of too many people involved in school psychology about whom one could say—if they had chosen a different profession to pursue—school psychology would not be the profession it is today. Writing this reminds of It's a Wonderful Life. Substitute George Batsche for George Bailey and school psychology for banking in Bedford Falls, and it's easy to see that our profession has been indelibly changed because George not only entered the field but chose to devote his professional life to strengthening it.

Dr. Batsche joins the ranks of a handful of school psychology leaders who have made substantive, lasting contributions that have helped to positively shape the school psychology profession over time.

Byron McClure, DEd, NCSP, is a school psychologist with Washington, DC Public Schools, in Southeast DC. Leah Nellis, PhD, NCSP, is a professor and dean at Indiana University Kokomo