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 Communique. 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 e-mail Angela Dobbins, chair of the Early Career Committee, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 psychologist whom you'd like to see featured in the Early Career Spotlight, or if you'd like to nominate yourself, please e-mail Angela Dobbins, chair of the Early Career Committee, at email@example.com.
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!
Follow Us on Social Media
Keep up with all NASP happenings, see the latest Early Career Spotlight, and more by following NASP on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@nasponline).