Early Career Spotlight

The NASP Early Career Committee spotlights one early career member’s professional work and personal experiences during their first few years of practice. The Spotlights are featured 8 months out of the year (September–June) to coincide with the Communiqué. Click each person's name or photo below to learn more about them. View past spotlights from previous years.

If you or an early career school psychologist you know would like to be featured in the Early Career Spotlight, please complete this form to nominate them. Please note: Nominee must be a current NASP member.

December 2023: Adrika Ganaishlal

EC Spotlight - Adrika Ganaishlal

Adrika Ganaishlal, NCSP
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL

Adrika services grades pre-k–12 within three different schools in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the fourth largest school district in the United States. By developing a deep understanding of special education, Adrika is working to address disproportionality while also supporting her school psychologist colleagues as a union representative.

November 2023: Yomna Bendary

EC Spotlight - Yomna Bendary

Yomna Bendary, NCSP
East Side Union High School District, San Jose, CA

After starting her career as a bilingual school psychologist at a middle school in Hempstead, New York, Yomna took advantage of an opportunity to move across the country to Northern California to work as a travel school psychologist for Pioneer Healthcare. She now serves high school students, conducting group and individual counseling sessions.

October 2023: Lidiya Badalyan

EC Spotlight - Lidiya Badalyan

Lidiya Badalyan, EdS, PPS
Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento, CA, and Nevada County Charter Services Authority, Nevada County, CA

Before becoming a school psychologist, Lidiya held positions as a behavior interventionist and substitute teacher. She shares her breadth of experience, passion for trauma-informed care, and past local and state leadership roles in her Q&A.

September 2023: Antonia Edelstein

EC Spotlight - Antonia Edelstein

Antonia Edelstein, MEd, CAS
Clarkstown Central School District, New City, NY

Antonia is currently balancing competing demands as an elementary school practitioner in suburban New York and a doctoral student pursuing a PsyD degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. In her Q&A, she shares her passion for serving children with disabilities, her dedication to staying organized, and how she integrates art into her work with children.

May 2023: Haley Gard

EC Spotlight - Haley Gard

Haley Gard, EdS, NCSP
Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation, Granger/Mishawaka, IN

Haley works at two elementary schools within the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation in Granger/Mishawaka, Indiana. She also serves on the early childhood assessment team. In her Q&A, she discusses her roles and responsibilities and her experience growing her skills around evaluations, report writing, and data-based decision making. She also writes about relationship-building and developing confidence.

March 2023: Amy Izuno-Garcia

EC Spotlight - Amy Izuno-Garcia

Amy K. Izuno-Garcia, PhD, NCSP
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Amy’s area of expertise is in autism spectrum disorder across the lifespan. In her Q&A, she shares more about her autism training experiences and what her current role looks like. She also shares her NASP leadership experience and why she would recommend that early career professionals seek out volunteer opportunities.

January 2023: Candace McFann

EC Spotlight - Candace McFann

Candace McFann, EdS, NCSP
Covington Independent Public Schools, Covington, KY

Candace is a school psychologist at a high school in Covington, KY, where she conducts psychoeducational evaluations, provides counseling services, executes school-wide suicide training for students, and serves on numerous teams. In her Q&A, she writes about her passion for supporting students with autism, which led to her research project on mentoring programs as an intervention for students with ASD.

November 2022: Abigail Dixon

EC Spotlight - Abigail Dixon

Abigail Dixon, EdS
Richland-Bean Blossom Community School Corporation, Ellettsville, Indiana

Abigail is a school psychologist at Richland-Bean Blossom Schools where she serves as part of a grant-based team engaged in MTSS implementation in her district. In her Q&A, she shares more about this opportunity and how it has allowed her to gain a breadth of experience, as well as what it was like to have her internship year cut short by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 2022: Kathryn Kurtz

EC Spotlight - Kathryn Kurtz

Kathryn Doherty Kurtz, PhD, NCSP
University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston Public Schools, Boston, MA

Kathryn is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts – Boston and also provides services to Boston Public Schools. In her Q&A, she discusses how she came to these roles, how she hopes to use her research to prioritize the voices of those who have been historically marginalized, and how she serves as an advocate for students.

September 2022: Sandy Flores

EC Spotlight - Sandy Flores

Sandy Flores, PhD, LCP, NCSP
Maine Township District 207, Park Ridge, IL

Sandy is a school psychologist at a high school in Des Plaines, IL, as well as an adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In her Q&A, she writes about her primary role as a practitioner, her passion for expanding culturally responsive practices in schools and how it intertwines with systems-level change and data-based decision-making, and her advice for other school psychologists looking to develop their expertise in working with diverse student populations.

Nominate an Early Career Spotlight

If you know an early career school psychology professional whom you'd like to see featured as a future Early Career Spotlight, please complete the nomination form to provide information about the person you are nominating. Nominee must be a current NASP member.

Early Career Community

Seek advice and support from your peers or share your successes in the NASP Early Career Professionals online community. Join the conversation today!

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