Our mission is to serve children, their families and the school community by promoting psychological well-being, excellence in education, and sensitivity to diversity through best practices in school psychology.

President-Elect - Beth Rizzi

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I am honored to be nominated for the position of President-Elect for the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP). My identity as a school psychologist is one of the most important things in my life. NYASP has offered me so much in the way of support that I feel fortunate to possibly have the ability to give back in some way.

My service to NYASP began when I was a graduate student. In that capacity, I worked with the Executive Board to ensure that the professional needs of our school psychology graduate students were addressed. Upon finishing my graduate education, I served as an Alternate Chapter Representative for my region (Chapter K), creating opportunities to serve the school psychologists in my region. While supporting my school psychologist colleagues in the same way that NYASP supported me, I wanted to focus my skills in helping to inform policy in New York. Through lobbying activities, honing my legislative skills at the Public Policy Institute in Washington D.C., and working with my legislative committee co-chair, Dr. John Kelly, I was able to be involved in important activities, such as stopping the removal of the school psychologist as a mandated member of the Committee on Special Education. My work for NYASP has been recognized twice and I am honored to have been the recipient of both the Ted Bernstein Award for Excellence in Graduate Education and the Presidential Service Award.

Finally, there was an opening as Newsletter Editor. It was difficult to leave my role as Legislative Co-Chair, but I always knew the Newsletter was one of the most important tangible member benefits. Whether I was learning about technology techniques to streamline my practice or being updated on the latest with legal and ethical issues, the Newsletter was my mini “Best Practice” guide that I received three times a year. The importance of putting out the Newsletter cannot be understated, and it has meant so much tome to be able to serve the membership in this capacity.

While I value my service to NYASP, it is truly my role as a school psychologist that, again, brings much to my professional identity. I entered the field after spending some time in what I see as my most important calling…being a mom. After serving as Vice President of my children’s PTA, serving on the Board of Directors for my children’s Nursery School, and attending graduate school, the multi-tasking realty of being a school psychologist became second nature. To that end, I have been serving the students at John Jay High School in the Wappingers School District. For the past nine years, I have been working as a school psychologist “in the trenches.” I have participated on the Building Safety Team, District and Building Level RTI Teams, and as Senior Class Advisor, as well as on the full day kindergarten transition team.

I know the realities of being a school psychologist and that means dealing with the stressful nature of what we do each day. Each day, we are called upon to help solve big problems…problems that our students, parents, teachers, and administrators, may feel are “too big.” I would not be able to do what I do each day if it weren’t my commitment to both physical and emotional wellness. Too often, I talk with school psychologists who are burning out, trying to help with big problems. If I have the good fortune of serving as your President-Elect, I aim to focus on physical and emotional wellness…of our school psychologists and the people whom they serve, as well as the wellness of our organization.

A dear friend reminded me today that one of my strengths lies in making the personal connections so needed for our profession. It is these personal connections that keep me going on a day-to-day basis. Around the holidays I reached out to the family of one of my students on the Autism Spectrum to thank them for allowing me the gift of working with their son. The email I received in return brought me to tears as they thanked me “from the depths of our souls for the work you are doing with …” It is moments like that one that mean the most. It was an honor to serve this family and I hope to have the honor to, once again, serve all of you. Thank you for your consideration.

President-Elect Chris Van Houten

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Dear NYASP Family,
I am deeply humbled and filled with great pride to accept my nomination and announce my candidacy for the position of President-Elect of the New York Association of School Psychologists. Life is all about timing, and I have never felt more prepared, inspired, or excited to have the opportunity to lead this great association then I do right now. I wish to thank the NYASP Board for the lifelong friendships and support over the years to put me in this most noble position. I believe in the power of reflecting on experiences, taking advantage of opportunities, and the importance of building relationships, all of which I will highlight for you below. I will never stop trying to be qualified for this position and that is my promise to you. We have a world of possibilities to explore together!!!

I am in my 7th year as a practitioner and I love it just as much now as I did walking through the door on my first day. I am truly doing all that I have ever wanted to do professionally. Our profession is a calling and our work carries the awesome responsibility of impacting the lives of our most vulnerable population, our children. I lead and am involved with many district and building level committees outside of my daily responsibilities. I am a NASP PREPaRE Trainer and a Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools (TCIS) Trainer. I am a regular attendee at both the annual NYASP Conference and the NASP Convention, which gives me the excellent opportunity to network with many of you, expand my skillset, and stay committed to be a lifelong learner.

I have had the absolute pleasure of serving on the NYASP Board for the past 5 years. I have served in the capacity of Chapter B Representative and worked diligently to revitalize the chapter and reestablish a network of school psychologists who can depend on each other. My greatest accomplishment is being part of the team that is bringing the annual NYASP Conference to the North Country for the first time ever!!! I am honored to be Co-chairing our NYASP Conference 2018 in Lake Placid, NY taking place October 18-20, 2018 and showing off our beautiful area of the state. We have a very exciting schedule planned for you folks and hope that you can join us!!! In addition, I am proud to serve on the machine that is the NYASP Legislative Committee. NYASP sponsored me after my 2nd year on the board for the NASP Public Policy Institute in Washington DC, which gave me the advocacy and leadership tools I needed to effectively and efficiently lobby. I brought these skills back to the state level and use them at our annual NYASP Lobby Day in Albany, throughout the year in meeting with local legislators, and in representing school psychologists at local events and forums. Our Licensure Bill has been the main area of focus, but there are also other areas of advocacy important to school psychologists, such as ESSA and the new mental health education law that takes effect in July 2018 and requires mental health to be included as part of the school health curriculum in K-12. I have also represented NYASP at many events around the state, including: NYSED’s ESSA Thinktank, NYSUT’s Professional Issues in Healthcare Conference, and NYSSBA’s Mental Health Summit. I continue to be a rater of the final project for NYASP’s Bullying Prevention Specialist Program.

One of my greatest joys has been representing NYASP at the national level at the NASP Regional Leadership Meetings, which I have been privileged to participate in the past 5 years. These annual meetings offer opportunities for leaders of state associations from across the country to gather together to collaborate on issues facing the field and gain insight and understanding from each other. NYASP is often a leader in these conversations and we have been able to share a lot of information to other states to improve their state associations, but we have also learned a lot to bring back to NYASP and grow our association even further. Over this time, I have established a close rapport with leaders from across the country and set the stage of collaboration for years to come. It is important that we work to continue to foster these relationships. This opportunity has also allowed me to continue to develop my leadership skills and expand my knowledge of effectively leading a state association.

Finally, I would like to offer my vision for the future of NYASP. I have a deep respect for past NYASP leaders who have paved the way to make NYASP THE greatest state association in the country. NYASP is a brand and I always aim to represent that brand well. Whether it be representing NYASP at an event or wearing NYASP store apparel, it is important to let people know who we are and what we stand for. Because if we do not advocate for ourselves, no one else likely will. If inviting ourselves to have a seat at the table is not an option, then we need to bring the table and invite others to join us. To this end, we must continue our excellent relationships and collaborations with organizations sharing our mission, such as with the NYSSBA, SAANYS, and MHANYS.

We must drive our future work by reflecting on our NYASP Mission Statement. NYASP is currently in the phase of working on a Vision Statement. Mission Statements drive what we want to do now and Vision Statements drive what we want to be in the future. These two vital cornerstones, along with our Core Values, must then drive our Strategic Plan, which we have identified areas of focus and made objectives and goals, that set into motion an Action Plan of how we are going to meet both short-term and long-term goals. NYASP is well-primed to take these next steps because recent leaders have offered a sustainable template for our Strategic Plan, overhauled our Operations Handbook to reflect current practices, and collected ideas for a Vision Statement that connects with our Mission Statement. I wish to also add our Core Values to the equation to make our model complete.

My main focus over the next 6 years is to work collaboratively with our NYASP Board in achieving the goals of our Strategic Plan, but also in empowering YOU!!! You all are the lifeblood of our association and I really want to aim to get the membership more involved, whether it be through surveys or participation on one of our many committees. Our board is fantastic but growing new leaders and providing opportunities to our membership for involvement in initiatives is a sign of strength for any successful and healthy organization, and NYASP has one of the strongest memberships in the country. It will help take NYASP to the next level. Issues surrounding social justice, mass violence, shortages, mental health, and the opioid crisis will be paramount in the coming years. Giving members resources and access to tools and professional development will be vital towards meeting these demands, and it will help school psychologists serve children, their families, and school communities to the best of their abilities. NYASP is working towards providing a NYASP Academy, which will be a virtual platform for these kinds of opportunities, in addition to opportunities at our annual conference. NYASP also just launched our NYASP Mentorship Program, which will be key in supporting students coming into the profession and early career professionals. Personally, I have been doing research and working on resources for self-care and avoiding burnout, which just so happens to be the theme of NYASP Conference 2018. It is so important that we take care of ourselves and each other to sustain the future of our field.

In conclusion, I wish to leave you with the following quote from the movie Black Panther that I felt especially moved by and believe sums up our personal and professional responsibilities towards ourselves and one another. “In times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” I appreciate your consideration and I am excited to be the next potential leader of NYASP’s Tribe!!! It would truly be one of the greatest joys of my life. Be well, CVH.

Treasurer-Elect Don Merriman

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I am honored to accept the nomination for Treasurer Elect. I have been actively involved with the NYASP board for the past 3 years serving the organization as Conference 2017 Co-Chair. My co-chair, Jennifer Turetsky, and I coordinated and led an amazing local conference committee to a successful and profitable conference in White Plains this past October. I enjoyed my time serving the NYASP organization as Conference Co-Chair and the experience has inspired me to continue to take an active role in this amazing organization. Fiscal responsibility and well-managed finances are at the core of any successful organization.

As an organization, NYASP has been an enduring advocate for the profession of school psychology and the outstanding practitioners that the organization represents. The great work of previous and current treasurers have enabled the organization to achieve its goal of advocacy and continued growth of the organization and profession as a whole by overseeing the organization's finances. I believe my background, experience, and attention to detail would enable me to successfully carry on this tradition.

In addition to my role as school psychologist at Pequenakonck Elementary School (North Salem School District), I also own and manage a successful and growing group private practice with offices in Westchester and Putnam Counties. I manage all aspects of the practice's finances including budgeting, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll using QuickBooks, the same accounting software used by NYASP. As such, I not only have experience successfully managing finances, but have a high degree of familiarity and proficiency with the accounting software that is currently used by the organization. For these reasons, I believe I am well suited for the position of Treasurer Elect.

Thank you for considering me for the position of Treasurer Elect. I look forward to serving the members of the organization to the best of may abilities if elected.

Donald Merriman, Ph.D., NCSP

Treasurer-Elect Mitch Samet

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NYASP Treasurer-Elect: Personal Statement for Dr. Mitch Samet

It is with great pleasure that I graciously accept a second nomination for the NYASP Treasurer-Elect/Treasurer position. For those of you who do not know my background, I have served as a School Psychologist for over 30 years, in urban, rural and suburban school districts, spending the bulk of my time in the Hastings-on-Hudson UFSD as a
School Psychologist and Clinical Team Leader. After semi-retiring from full-time work a few years ago, I have maintained a busy private practice, continue to run tutoring centers in Westchester, and have most recently completed a second leave replacement position in the Scarsdale Public Schools.

I joined the NYASP board in 2011 as Conference 2013 Co-Chair. I am particularly proud of the Westchester 2013 Conference, which was not only extremely well-attended and educationally sound, but also was quite successful, financially, for the organization. As a board member, I have authored quite a number of timely newsletter articles, served as a reviewer for the NYASP research grant, participated in multiple lobby day activities, helped organize the recent 2017 conference in White Plains, and recently co-lead the NYASP workgroup on suicide prevention. In addition, I was invited to lead the NY State Suicide Prevention Council workgroup on School-Youth Initiatives, and am helping develop and present a statewide training program for school clinicians, entitled “Helping Students At-Risk for Suicide.” In addition, I will be Conference 2020 Co-Chair at the Long Island Marriott, our first Long Island conference in many years.

In 2014, I successfully ran for Treasurer-Elect and became a member of the NYASP Executive Council, serving as Treasurer-Elect for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 terms, and as Treasurer for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 fiscal years. During my years as Treasurer- Elect and Treasurer, NYASP has enjoyed unprecedented fiscal growth and improvement. At my suggestion, the EC retained a consulting CPA I recommended, to help bring our bookkeeping and accounting system into the 21st century. Under my direction, NYASP changed our credit card processing to a system that is less expensive and works more seamlessly with our bank, so that we can finally trace our fees and expenses with accuracy and certainty. I modified our bank accounts to eliminate all banking fees, thus saving the organization hundreds in unnecessary expenses. Under my leadership, NYASP then shifted from an inaccurate Excel spreadsheet, done by hand, to QuickBooks, which allows for seamless reconciliation between Wild Apricot, our credit card processing and our bank statements. As a result, at every board and EC meeting, I have provided up-to-date and accurate accounting “snapshots” that drive better decision-making and is completely transparent to our board and our membership. Finally, NYASP’s yearly tax returns are finally being completed and filed in a timely manner, without need for multiple extensions.

While so many improvements have been accomplished during my time as Treasurer- Elect and Treasurer, there is still much to be accomplished, including our shift to a new accountant who specializes in not-for-profit organizations. I hope to continue leading NYASP as Treasurer-Elect and Treasurer for a second term, so I would ask for your vote. Thank you.

Treasurer-Elect Stacy Williams

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Stacy A. S. Williams, PhD., NCSP

I am honored to be nominated for Treasurer - Elect, an important role in our state professional organization. My journey with NYASP started three years ago as Chapter K Representative Alternate working closely with Chapter Representative Dan Hurley. In this role, we delivered professional development workshops to practitioners in the domains of assessment and case conceptualization. After a year, I was invited to serve as Student Liaison and Job Bank Coordinator. I have since worked closely with the conference committee, student representatives and representatives-elect, and board members to create, deliver, and manage professional content for students and early career professionals at our annual state conference. I am proud of the interactive resume boot camp, job skills seminar, and social justice strand that was introduced at the most recent conference. My team and I worked to improve our online presence and streamline the election process for student reps. In addition, I have contributed articles focused on diversity, inclusion, and self-care to the NYASP newsletter; and I curate and manage the organization’s online presence for the NYASP grad group and Instagram page.

Given my experiences with NYASP, I am confident I have the working knowledge of the organization to fulfill and advance the role of Treasurer-Elect. I have curated several interests that speak to my dedication to serving children and their families, including social justice, mentorship, and organizational leadership. At the national level, I serve as membership coordinator for Trainers of School Psychologists (TSP) and co-chair of the Social Justice Task Force (SJTF). In my role as membership coordinator, I was instrumental in upgrading the membership database to an online platform. As co-chair of SJTF, I created and delivered PD to trainers at our annual conference, solicited members to participate in the task force, and curated social justice content to share with membership. My role as a NASP mentor allows me to connect with practitioners, scholars, and students of color. As an assistant professor, I also serve on several committees at the department, school and college levels. As co-chair of the Creating Inclusive Communities (CIC) group, I develop, consult and provide training to faculty seeking to create inclusive classrooms. In addition, using community based learning (CBL) strategies, I have partnered with NYASP Chapter K and the Dutchess Psychology Round Table to produce responsive professional development materials to psychologists in the area.

I am confident that my significant experiences serving in non-profit professional organizations have prepared me to adequately serve children, their families and school communities by promoting sensitivity to diversity through best practices in school psychology. I bring enthusiasm, organizational leadership, insight in training, and a passion for recruiting and retaining practitioners of color to the role of Treasurer- Elect. I am eager to learn and work towards the sustainability and growth of the organization. Thank you in advance for your vote.

Secretary-Elect Jen Arroyo

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Jennifer Arroyo M. S. Ed.:

Jennifer Arroyo is a Bilingual School Psychologist with the Newburgh Enlarged City School District in Newburgh N.Y. She also holds the position as Head School Psychologist in the district where she is responsible for coordinating professional development for the school Psychologists and the special education teachers. Ms. Arroyo also oversees ordering all the testing and counseling materials for the 19 Psychologists in the district.

She began her career serving the Early Intervention and C.P.S.E populations in the Bronx. She then moved on to work with the school age population at Greenburgh 11 in Dobbs Ferry, the New Rochelle School District, the Pearl River School District, Rockland BOCES, and finally at the Newburgh Enlarged City School District. She continues to work with the Pre-K to 12 population conducting bilingual psycho-educational evaluations with Putnam and Northern Westchester BOCES. She is specifically involved in psycho-educational evaluation, the classification of disabilities, 504 accommodation plans, RtI, and counseling. Ms. Arroyo completed her undergraduate degree at Syracuse University (B.A), and both her Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed) and Advanced Professional Certificate / Bilingual Extension at Brooklyn College of C. U. N.Y.

Ms. Arroyo has served on the Board with NYASP for nine years serving as a resource for multicultural and diversity issues to the different chapters, and for legislative issues related to the ELL population in NYS. At this time Ms. Arroyo’s focus with NYASP is to develop the Early Childhood board position to keep the organization abreast of relevant issues with this population.

Secretary-Elect Amy Fisk

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My name is Amy Fisk, and I have accepted the nomination for Secretary-Elect. I received my Master’s degree in School Psychology from Alfred University in May 2015, and I expect to complete the requirements for a doctorate degree in School Psychology by May 2018. I have worked in the K-12 setting, and have three years experience in higher education. Currently, I am working with the Office of Disability Resources at Purchase College as the Program Coordinator for the Cornerstone Program, a comprehensive support program that provides academic, executive functioning, social, and career supports for college students with an autism spectrum disorder. I have been an active member of NYASP since entering my graduate program, attending conferences annually and presenting on a variety of topics including promoting wellness in schools, animal-assisted therapy in schools, and college readiness among students with disabilities, my primary research interest.

I have served on the board for two consecutive years as a student representative (2016 – 2018), triaging communication between the field and the board, communicating board initiatives via student liaisons and program directors, facilitating professional networking for students and early career school psychologists, managing applications for student representative-elects, writing for the student section of the newsletter, and collaborating with other student representatives and board committees to plan Student Strand for the 2016, 2017, and 2018 NYASP annual conferences.

Since entering the student representative position in 2016, I have worked to better organize materials and develop more concrete definitions of student representatives’ roles and responsibilities. Further, my colleague and I increased social media presence to connect with graduate students to advertise the annual conference, as well as the student representative position. Additionally, for the 2017 NYASP annual conference in White Plains, NY, my colleague and I created a social justice theme for student strand titled, “Race, Poverty, and Identity: Diversity in Advocacy.” It was imperative to us that given the current sociopolitical climate, trainees of school psychology had the opportunity to discuss issues related to diversity and learn best practices in helping to create a safe, inclusive environment in their schools.

In addition to my primary duties as secretary of NYASP, I would work with other committees to identify methods for increasing new memberships and sustaining longevity of current members across the state. As a school psychologist currently working in higher education, I have a unique perspective in the field, and believe that this is an overlooked niche for potential new NYASP members. School psychologists working in a variety of non-traditional settings including university disability services and counseling, trainers of school psychology, private practice and consulting, educational research, and hospitals and treatment centers also require support, professional development and networking opportunities through NYASP. My passion for this organization, coupled with my experiences on the board has prepared me for the position of Secretary-Elect.

Thank you for the nomination and I look forward to your vote.

Secretary-Elect Courtney Huguenin

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I am honored to accept the nomination to the Secretary position on the NYASP Executive Council. For the past two years I have acted as the NYASP Chapter P Representative serving Suffolk County. I have had the privilege of working as a school psychologist at Connetquot High School on Long Island for the past three years. Collaborating with other professionals to support school psychologists, children, and families in this dynamic field is something I value greatly.

My path to school psychology began in my hometown of Manchester, NY, where I worked as a substitute teacher while pursuing my undergraduate education at Nazareth College. I earned my Masters in Psychology in Education at Teachers College at Columbia University. While at Teachers College, I interned with a forensic psychologist at Kings County Courthouse. My internship entailed completing competency evaluations to determine whether defendants could stand trial. Sitting across the table from defendants renewed my interest in prevention practices, which led me to begin teaching special education in the New York City Department of Education. I was drawn to the idea that early intervention would lead to more positive outcomes.

Working as a special education teacher laid the foundation for my values as a school psychologist. I became interested in factors that contribute to a child’s readiness to learn before even setting foot in the classroom. I went on to earn my Masters in School Psychology at St. John’s University while teaching for the NYC DOE. I was awarded the NYASP Ted Bernstein Award upon completion of my studies. School Psychology has provided me with not only a rewarding career, but also opportunities to co-author a chapter on writing disabilities in an international handbook and presenting research and techniques to work with children at the state, national, and international level.

Contributing to the field as a NYASP chapter representative requires one to be extremely organized and in tune with the needs of the region the chapter represents. I have worked collaboratively with board members to coordinate events in Chapter P, which is home to over 400 school psychologists who serve more than 200,000 school-aged children on Long Island. These events have been based upon needs assessment surveys to ensure that NYASP members in Suffolk County have a voice. Through my NYASP membership, I have also engaged in advocacy efforts related to the school psychologist licensure bill. I have attended Lobby Day in Albany, NY and participated in the Public Policy Institute (PPI) in Washington, D.C., sponsored by NASP and George Washington University. Both of these activities involved speaking directly to legislators and their staffers to advocate for the role of school psychologists within schools and advocate for issues related to children’s mental and behavioral health.

Being the NYASP Secretary requires excellent organizational and listening skills. While I believe I am more than capable of carrying out the duties of record-keeping, I see my responsibilities and efforts extending far beyond that of keeping impeccable records. As a member of the Executive Council, the Secretary must emulate the values of NYASP, which involve advocating for the mental and behavioral health of all children in NY, as well as supporting the needs of school psychologists. I believe my experience in rural, urban, and suburban areas has allowed me to view education from multiple lenses, but most of all, from a practical standpoint.

Thank you for your consideration. I am humbled to be recognized among such a stellar list of nominees. Regardless of the outcome, I look forward to continued involvement and service in NYASP.

Secretary-Elect Eliane Keyes

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Eliane Keyes

I am honored to have been nominated for the position of NYASP secretary, especially when I consider the excellent caliber of my fellow nominees. I am a graduate of Marist College’s Master’s Degree in School Psychology program and am in my eleventh year as a school psychologist in the Queensbury Union Free School District, working primarily with students in kindergarten, first, and second grade.

Since joining the NYASP Board as a Representative for Chapter F (comprising the counties of Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Saratoga, Warren, and Washington) I have reestablished a local network of school psychologists through regular communication. This includes written communication about local events of interest, fielding member questions about topics relevant to our practice, and providing personalized updates from NYASP Board discussions. For my entire time on the Board, I have tasked myself with compiling a recap of each board meeting and communicating it with members within my chapter. I took the additional step of sharing these summaries with the other Chapter Representatives so they would not have to duplicate efforts.

Maintaining the Chapter F Facebook page has also been a tremendous tool in sharing information and keeping NYASP work top-of-mind with our followers.  Over the years, Chapter F hosted several local networking meetings to celebrate School Psychology Awareness Week, and have hosted trainings related to web-based assessment tools. We have also proudly honored the 2015 New York State School Psychologist of the Year, Michelle Aleva, who is part of our Chapter F membership. On behalf of my Chapter, I have submitted several newsletter articles and book reviews for NYASP’s newsletter, New York School Psychologist. My roles on the 2014 Conference Committee in Albany, and as Co-Chair for the 2018 Conference in Lake Placid have underscored the importance of detailed record-keeping, teamwork and communications.

Outside of my professional and Board roles, I have created, and kept up-to-date, an online resource with links to additional resources available to all professionals in the field.  I named the resource #SPsychEverything, to highlight the multitude of roles that school psychologists play and supports we provide to our communities.

Beyond the attention to detail and accurate record keeping that is essential to school practitioners, my qualifications for the Secretary position stem from my training years at Marist College. For three years I was secretary for the Marist chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. In that role, I was responsible for chapter record keeping and handling communications to members and leaders. I took great pride in keeping members informed of local updates. To me, the NYASP Secretary position is not only a record-keeping position, but also a communications position. As I look at our organization, I see the opportunity to share more of NYASP’s successes with our colleagues around the state. Good communication starts with detailed record keeping.

It is vital that chapter members are kept current on the issues relevant to school psychologists. NYASP works tirelessly to advocate on behalf of every school psychologist in New York State. As an organization that depends on membership dues, we must continue to communicate our work and advocacy efforts in order to retain existing members and encourage new members to join. If elected secretary, this would be my focus.

In my nearly six years as a Chapter Representative on the NYASP Board, I have learned a great deal about the role our organization plays in supporting children and families through advocacy on behalf of school psychologists across the state. I’m excited to take the next step in leadership and become more involved in all that we do. I thank you for your consideration.

Secretary-Elect Gary Schaffer

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Dear Fellow NYASP Members,

Central to my passions and interests is the advancement of the field of school psychology and expansion of mental and behavioral health care services for children and individuals with disabilities. Consequently, I joined the NYASP Board in 2014 to be at the forefront in leading and collaborating in efforts to bring further understanding to the field of school psychology and advocate for children and families. My efforts in advocating for the field of school psychology and preventative practices lead me to write a book in 2017 dedicated to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and preventative practices with 80 percent of the proceeds being donated to NYASP. Since that time, the book, Nuts & Bolts: Multi-Tiered Systems of Support A Basic Guide to Implementing Preventative Practice in Our Schools & Community has been a great success. My rationale for donating 80 percent of the book’s proceeds was to give back to the school psychology community in New York State and to further support NYASP in their advocacy efforts. As I continue to learn and grow in my role on the NYASP Board, I would be honored if you would consider me for the position of Secretary.

Currently, I am a school psychologist employed with New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and complete preschool evaluations for the Erie County Medical Center. Additionally, I am an Adjunct Professor of School Psychology and Counseling for Niagara University and am involved in collaborating with the NYS Office of Mental Health in developing state-wide suicide prevention and intervention training. Finally, I am currently leading a national study on high school, post-secondary, and college alumni with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Prior to holding each of the aforementioned positions, I was employed by the Frontier School District in Buffalo, NY, Jamestown School District in Jamestown, NY, Lansing School District in Lansing, MI, and Dysart Unified School District in Phoenix, AZ.

Through my broad experiences, I obtained extensive knowledge in school psychology practices and worked closely with the developmentally disabled, Hispanic, Native, and African American communities at the state and national level. My dedication in advocating for the advancement of school psychology and mental health services lead me to being elected to participate in critical discussions with members of the U. S. the House and Senate over the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA). During meetings, I worked with a team to encourage members of the U. S. House and Senate to consider including an explicit definition for “school psychologist” in ESSA, provided vital information over the services school psychologists offer, promoted the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support, and supported counseling initiatives to address the academic and behavioral needs of children. At the state level, I facilitated and assisted in securing legislative sponsorship for the school psychologist licensure bill and held meetings with school psychologists, parent organizations, and various media outlets over childhood mental health and developmental disabilities.

As Secretary, I hope to broaden my involvement with NYASP by providing further advocacy, support, and cohesiveness for school psychologists and school psychology practice. It is my goal to not only document NYASP initiatives but to continue to work collaboratively with other board members, legislators, and community members in creating safe and productive learning and agency environments for our children and individuals with disabilities. Through publishing and presenting, I have sought to build partnerships with childhood stakeholders to streamline support services for children at the school and state agency level. I believe my efforts show that I am collaborative, results driven, and highly dedicated in advancing school psychology practice and mental health services.

In closing, I am a diligent worker who welcomes challenges and thrives off of working in an environment that promotes school psychologists and the children we serve. With the help of your vote, I will have the opportunity to become more involved with NYASP and excel our advocacy efforts. Together we can further draw awareness to the important contributions school psychologists make every day and the children we serve. It would be my pleasure to be your NYASP Secretary and represent you. Thank you!

Gary Schaffer
Gary Schaffer
B.A. Special Education & English
M. S./C.A.S. School Psychology