Presidential Perspective 2018-2019 #2

Dear ISPA Members, 


How quickly a year goes!  For those of you who were victims of the polar vortex this year, those additional snow days tacked on to the end of your year may not allow you to feel that way, but from an ISPA perspective, I can say that this year has flown by!  I’ve always found that one of the most appealing aspects of working in schools is the definitive start and end points throughout the year.  We are lucky to have these beginnings and ends as bookends to the magic that is working to support children in schools!  To update you on the progress toward my presidential goals, our membership numbers are strong, and getting stronger. We are nearing 1000 members and our association is considered to be large and strong when compared to most state organizations.  Additionally, we exceeded our goal of attendees at our Convention this year, despite the polar vortex!  Thanks to all who braved the weather and contributed to a successful convention! 


During ISPA’s 40th year, I am reminded about how much our profession has changed just in the time since I’ve been in graduate school.  As I was recently purging my bookshelf of outdated books and resources, it further impressed upon me the importance of staying up to date with cutting edge research and evidence-based practices.  ISPA is aware of this need and we are here to ensure that we can support our members in these efforts.  As we review our strategic priorities and goals as an organization, we are looking for additional ways that we can provide strong member benefits, such as the ISPA Supervision Credential.  We continue to view school safety and crisis prevention and response as important priorities for ISPA, and we are happy to announce that ISPA now has a seat on the Illinois Terrorism Task Force.  We continue to weave advocacy into all of our priorities, and are working on additional ways to make new legislators aware of our profession and all we can do to support students.  Finally, ISPA continues to focus on the priority of combatting nationwide and statewide shortages of qualified school psychologists.  One way that we can move this work forward is to grow our partnerships with our universities and training programs in Illinois.  As the intern and practicum coordinator in my district, I’ve had the benefit of surrounding myself with enthusiastic and innovative students.  It reminds me of how wonderful graduate school is, and to go through a graduate program with peers allows you to forge relationships that will persevere for life. As a practitioner, consider ways in which you can surround yourself with interns and practicum students.  Their cutting edge knowledge in our ever-changing field will make you a better psychologist.  Conversely, as interns and practicum students, remember to learn from those who have the benefit of years of experience in this field.  There is so much to learn from one another, and we must embrace the concept of “giving school psychology away.”


As the bookend to my presidential year, I would like to challenge you all to make ONE resolution for yourself and for our profession.  Start small, start with one.  One phone call to a legislator, one reachout to a high school psychology classroom to discuss school psychology as an occupation, reach out to one committee within ISPA that interests you to see how you can get involved with this amazing professional organization.  One.  As we look forward to this much deserved summer, try to accomplish one goal that will move you and our profession forward.  Trust me, it feels great!  I wish you all a rejuvenating and relaxing summer!  


Daphne Perry, MA SSP


Illinois School Psychologists Association 2018/19