Montana School Psychologists work tirelessly, and often anonymously, to better the lives of children and youth. Every day, in settings as diverse as a preschool setting, a tiny K-12 rural school, or a large urban high school, school psychologists can be found discovering what turns a student on to learning, building a better behavior plan, contributing helpful ideas to an RtI team, guiding colleagues through data-based decision making, and more.
Every year, MASP acknowledges one individual, nominated by peers or colleagues, who stands out as a shining example of the best of the profession. This person is publicly acclaimed as the School Psychologist of the Year.
This year’s recipient of the Montana Association of School Psychologist (MASP) School Psychologist of the Year was Jessica Carranza. As always it is clear Montana has some amazing School Psychologists. The nomination packet for Jessica showed she is one of those amazing school psychologists. She is a full time school psychologist employed by Great Falls Public Schools. Jessica is involved in her schools in every part of the way; working with teachers, assessing students, running groups, working with outside agencies, RTI/MTSS, and brainstorming with her school teams. She builds relationships with those that she works with, adults and students. She has a can-do attitude. She is supportive to those around her. Jessica has outstanding qualities which is why she was chosen to be the 2017 MASP School Psychologist of the Year.
Marit Waldum of Missoula County Public School District was named 2017’s School Psychologist of the Year at the MASP 2016 Fall Conference in Helena, MT. Marit has supervised numerous School Psychology students. In providing guidance and structured learning, Marit allows her students to teach and collaborate with her. She is an expert in preschool and autism evaluations. She is a multifacted school psychologist who serves students preschool through elementary ages. Marit is always friendly, optimistic, and open. Her peaceful, level-headed, kind, warm, and engaging spirit allows her to continually contribute to conversations in a productive, meaningful manner. Marit is well respected by her peers and continues to make a positive, lifetime impact on many, many people.
Shawna Rader Kelly of Bozeman School District was named 2015’s School Psychologist of the Year at the MASP 2015 Fall Conference in Bozeman, MT. Shawna has been an active force not only in her district, but at the state and national levels as well. Shawna is a PREPaRE Trainer and the leader of MASP’s Crisis Response Committee. She actively works with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction to advocate for school psychology and serves as the chair of the MASP Credentialing Review Board. Shawna is also an incredibly active member in NASP serving as Montana’s NASP delegate as well as a regional leader. Shawna’s expansive breadth of expertise, her impressive skill set, and her tireless dedication make her a standout school psychologist.
Julie Parker of Big Sky High School in Missoula was named 2014’s School Psychologist of the Year at the MASP 2014 Fall Conference in Helena, MT. Among many professional roles and duties, Parker received this award due to over 15 years of outstanding service. Over those years, she has served on the MASP executive council, supervised University of Montana School Psychology graduate students, and participated in union work for her rural cooperative. She was further honored for her years of service on the Flathead Indian Reservation and in other rural Montana schools. Julie is a wonderful asset to our state and profession!
You can nominate a deserving colleague for MASP School Psychologist of the Year for 2016-17. Candidates must be practicing school psychologists who spend the majority of their time providing direct services to students, teachers, and parents.