KAPS Spotlight

District Name: Mason County Schools

Total Years Practicing School Psychology: 20 years (all in Mason County)

Prior Work: 9 years total – Teacher of the emotionally handicapped and guidance counselor in western North Carolina and Temple, Texas (moving from Massachusetts to North Carolina and then Texas after 1976 made a school psychology internship position difficult to obtain!)

Graduate Program: M.Ed. in School Psychology, Counseling & Guidance: Tufts University in 1976                          
Ed.S. in School Psychology: University of Kentucky in 1997

Meaningful experience with a student, family, staff member, or administrator: I have been touched by a lot of events, but one that stands out I experienced years ago when I was a teacher of the emotionally handicapped in Texas and had a class of 6 elementary age boys.  To provide these urban kids with a special experience two times during the school year, my principal, Calvin Whatley, took us all to his ranch, sang country songs to call the cows in, made me ride one of them to show the boys it could be done (since that particular cow happened to be a nice one ;-D) and let the boys play on the hay bales stacked in his barn. His love for and understanding of those boys as well as his wisdom amazed me and taught me first-hand the importance of making real connections with students. 

Hopes for the future of school psychology: Beyond eligibility determination, I would like to see an increased understanding of the importance and value of our ability to use the evaluation process as a means of better understanding the factors affecting a child’s ability to be successful in the school setting.

Personal goal: A graceful and happy transition to retirement…I have been resistant to it but recognize that time must come soon.

Favorite artist: Maya Angelou comes to mind. Her words and her heart…amazing. Soul music.

Favorite quote: My grandfather said, “Don’t take life too seriously…you’ll never get out of it alive anyway.”

Unique talent or interest: Hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with my husband slowly but surely is our motto. I have 9 mountains left out of the forty-eight 4000+ foot White Mountains to climb. Our tradition of the past 4 years has been to take a sip or two of bourbon at each summit—we typically share and spread Kentucky warmth wherever we go J.

Hero/most influential person and reasons why: Ever since my fifth grade year, Abraham Lincoln has been my hero. His strength of character and clarity of vision and commitment in the face of personal adversity as well as depression, responsibilities beyond imagination, etc. I honestly don’t know how he bore the grief and responsibilities and still managed to lead our country through a complicated era with such grace, wisdom, and humor.

“Spotlight” Reflections: I love that we, as school psychologists, are given never-ending opportunities to learn and grow. I also really love laughing and realize I need a balance of the two – another beautiful aspect of our work situation is that being with kids enables us to easily access both on a regular basis.

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