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 eight 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.
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.
Julia Martin, EdS, NCSP
Spokane Public Schools, Spokane, WA
Julia works at Spokane Public Schools in Spokane, WA, where she grew up. In her Q&A, she writes about joining her state association’s social justice task force and why she recommends other early career school psychologists get involved in this way, too. She also writes about the importance of establishing relationships with staff and the students you serve when starting out, especially in a large district.
Jamie Ryland, EdS
Richmond Public Schools, Richmond, VA
Jamie works at two elementary schools in Richmond Public Schools, an inner-city district in Richmond, VA. In her Q&A, she writes about how she switched careers to become a school psychologist and how the skills she learned in her previous career translated into some of the work she does now. She describes her work developing a social–emotional learning training for teachers and how she established herself as a resource for her teachers.
Ranga Atapattu, MA, AGS
Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, MD
Ranga works at two schools in Baltimore, Maryland: a K–8 school with a high English language learner, Latinx, and immigrant population, and a K–5 school that is predominantly African American. In her Q&A, she shares why she wanted to work in Baltimore, what she considers her current areas of expertise even though she is still learning, how she handled a challenge with a parent who was suspicious of the school system and of her personally, and more.
Katie Sebo, MEd, EdS
Syracuse City School District, Syracuse, NY
Katie is a school psychologist at a pre-K–8 building in the Syracuse City School District in New York. Her district is incredibly ethnically and linguistically diverse and she works with many refugee families and those from low-income households. In her Q&A, Katie talks about why it’s so important to her to live in the same community as her students, how she combats challenges, how the pandemic has affected her opportunities for community involvement, and what she considers her expertise at this point.
Julie A. Grossman, PhD, NCSP
Prince George’s County Public Schools, Adelphi, MD
Julie works at three elementary schools in a large, diverse district of over 130,000 students. In her Q&A, she shares more about her broad role both in the schools and in doing activities to support children’s mental health within the community. She shares all the ways she is more involved in the community, why that is so important to her work, and how she learned just how important it is to learn more about school climate and culture before proposing changes to protocols.
Elizabeth Williams, PsyD, NCSP
Darien Public Schools, Darien, CT
Elizabeth works as one of two school psychologists in a K–5 elementary school with approximately 500 students. She also works as adjunct faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey. In her Q&A, she shares how her expertise lies in analyzing assessment data and relaying it to parents in a jargon-free way and how she's overcome nervousness about meetings with parents by forming more personal connections from the beginning of the evaluation process.
Brittany Johnstone, EdS, NCSP
Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, MD
Brittany works at two different schools in Baltimore City Public Schools, one of the largest urban districts in Maryland. She is particularly well-versed in issues related to social justice, equity in education, and the reduction of under-representation for certain demographics in need of special education services. In this Q&A, she talks about her struggles in choosing the appropriate methods of intervention and assessment for the students whom she serves.
Laura Bitzer, MA, EdS, NCSP
Red Clay Consolidated School District, Wilmington, DE
Laura works at a public school in Delaware, primarily serving kids from kindergarten through fourth grade. She is the Tier 1 leader in her school. In this Q&A, she shares how excited she is to get more involved with her state school psychology association as its Communications Chair, as well as how she uses social media to connect school psychologists, counselors, and families to much-needed resources.
Lyndsie Erdy, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D
Devereux Center for Effective Schools, King of Prussia, PA
Lyndsie is a training and consulting specialist at the Devereux Center for Effective Schools (CES), located just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Most of her work indirectly supports students. Her work is primarily in supporting staff from alternative education settings who are aiding students with emotional and behavioral disorders. In her Q&A, she identifies her areas of expertise, how she's come to get involved with high school students in the community since her role is not directly working with kids, and how she handles the urge to compare herself to others.
Tiara Bland, PsyS, NCSP
Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore, MD
Tiara works for two schools within Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS): an elementary school and an all girls middle/high charter school. BCSP is a large urban distict serving approximately 80,000 students, of which 52% are low income. She considers her area of specialty to be suicide prevention and has worked with teachers to better identify early warning signs. She also is an active volunteer within the community and takes pride knowing her volunteer work is serving the same students she supports in schools on a daily basis. In her spotlight, she addresses how she handled a situation where an administrator doubted her skills because of her age.
Brittany Greiert, PhD, LP, NCSP
Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, CO
An early career school psychologist in Aurora Public Schools (APS) in Aurora, Colorado, Brittany works full-time at a linguistically and culturally diverse Title 1 school of 400 students ("I am so lucky to have this ratio!"). In addition to conducting special education evaluations, she is also a member of her building’s MTSS, Exceptional Student Services (ESS), mental health, and administration teams; she helps develop tiered behavioral interventions; she provides small group and counseling services to students with IEPs; and she consults and collaborates with teachers and staff.
Jennifer Cárdenas, EdS, NCSP
Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson, AZ
Jennifer works for Ocotillo Early Childhood Center in Sunnyside Unified School District, a public school district in Tucson, Arizona. Approximately 92% of the student population identify as ethnically diverse, 80% qualify to receive free and reduced lunch, and 17% are English language learners. She primarily provides consultation, behavioral intervention, and assessment services to her district’s preschool population. In her spotlight, she addresses her struggle with job burnout and her advice for other early career professionals.
Erin Yosai, PhD, NCSP
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
Erin is a first-year, tenure-track associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado. Her strengths are in promoting a growth mindset and preventive intervention, understanding mindfulness-based interventions, and mental health services in both primary and post-secondary education.
Kimberly Trimble, EdS, NCSP
Gwinnett County Public Schools, Lawrenceville, GA
Kimberly works for the Early Childhood Program for Gwinnett County Public Schools northeast of Atlanta, GA. She splits her time between two pre-K assessment teams that complete multidisciplinary psychoeducational evaluations for children ages 2–5 years old. She also completes reevaluations for special education students before starting kindergarten and participated in over 130 assessments last year.
Jon Goodwin, PhD, NCSP
Belin-Blank Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
Jon is a postdoctoral research scholar at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa. Most of his time is spent providing psychoeducational assessment and counseling services to school-age children and adolescents. He also teaches the intellectual assessment course for doctoral school psychology and counseling psychology students in the University of Iowa's College of Education.
Leah C. Marks, PhD, NCSP
Postdoctoral Fellow, Kennedy Krieger Institute Behavior Management Clinic, Baltimore, MD
Leah works as a postdoctoral fellow at Kennedy Krieger Institute in the Behavior Management Clinic, an outpatient setting that services children from ages 2–12 for a variety of emotional–behavioral concerns. A large focus of her work is on parent management training with a behavioral focus, but she also works individually with children and provides CBT-based therapies. Additionally, she provides consultation to schools and other agencies to coordinate services to enhance clients functioning across multiple settings.
Kelsey Sumner, MEd
The Arch Community School, St. Louis, MO
Kelsey works for the Arch Community School in St. Louis, Missouri. The Arch Community School is located within the Promise Zone, defined as federally designated areas that have high unemployment, crime, and mortality rates; significant numbers of vacant lots and abandoned buildings; and homelessness. At her school, she relies heavily on the afterschool program to do most of the communication to parents, so she has learned to use her strong relationship and communication skills to create meaningful relationships with parents and students.
Sarah Flora, EdS
Santa Clara Elementary, San Xavier Mission School, San Miguel Catholic High School, Sunnyside Unified School District, Tucson, AZ
Sarah works for two private Catholic schools in Sunnyside Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona. She is versed in mindfulness, consultation, and supervision, and has worked closely with graduate students at the University of Arizona to bring social–emotional learning and mindfulness interventions to her schools and students. She also runs an afterschool program called “Crafting with Kindness,” where she integrates lessons on gratitude, mindfulness, and random acts of kindness with arts and crafts.
Alyson Mitchel, EdS, NCSP
Howard County Public School System, Maryland
Alyson works for the Howard County Public School System, a diverse suburban district that lies between the Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC metropolitan areas and serves approximately 56,000 students across 76 schools. She works full-time at Patuxent Valley Middle School in Jessup, MD. Her areas of expertise are cultural proficiency and crisis response. She is the Cultural Proficiency Liaison for her school and cochairs the Psychological Services Culture Club committee which raises awareness of provides resources for colleagues relating to the multitude of topics that impact school psychology practice.
Libby Malone, EdS, NCSP
Denver Public Schools, Denver, CO
Libby works for Denver Public Schools at West Early College, a 6–12 grade innovation school in Denver, CO. She is versed in teaching mindfulness to students in classroom settings, using culturally responsive interventions and assessments, and strives to explain assessment results in parent-friendly language. Libby struggled with anxiety about her caseload early in her career and advises other early career school psychologists to lean in to their support networks when transitioning to practice or dealing with challenges in practice.
Rodrigo Enciso, MA, LEP
San Diego Unified School District, San Diego, CA
Rodrigo is a practicing school psychologist in the San Diego Unified School District. He has had the privilege to work with linguistically and culturally diverse populations and is a bilingual and bicultural school psychologist himself. Francisco enjoys assessments and considers it an expertise of his, particularly assessing for learning disabilities in culturally and linguistic diverse students.
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.
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