Two early career school psychologists, Adriana Valdes, LSSP and Jacy Warren, LSSP, give us a behind-the-scenes look at how the pandemic played out in the schools.
We tackle some real brain teasers: How will COVID impact academic expectations, disability evaluations, special education eligibility decisions, and access to school-based academic support and mental health services?
If your kid is school-aged or if you work in a school, you’ll find some good food for thought in this one.
And if you’ve ever considered a career helping kids, this episode will give you the inside scoop on being a real, live school psychologist.
-“You take away the school, the brick and mortar, and you’ve really taken away a giant piece of society.”
-"School is more than just education...and always has been."
-“Educators really do love kids.”
-Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
-Panic Attacks Workbook: https://tinyurl.com/sha9vyxc
-Gill’s school-based motivational interviewing research/training: https://studentcheckup.org
Adriana Valdes is a licensed specialist in school psychology in Clear Creek ISD. Adriana received her Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Mexican American Studies at the University of Houston in 2017. Adriana graduated from the UHCL SSP program in 2020 and began her career in the middle of a pandemic. Professionally, Adriana is passionate about ensuring accessible education and mental health services to all students. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, taking photos, and eating good food. Adriana recently married her long term partner, and best friend, Solomon Scurry. This past year, in addition to navigating how to be a LSSP during a pandemic, Adriana is also navigating newly married life, and how to be a full time “adult” for the first time.
Jacy Warren is a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology in Tomball ISD. She received her Bachelors degree in 2013 from the University of Phoenix. Jacy graduated from the UHCL SSP program in 2020. Her favorite part of the profession is building relationships with students and being a consistent presence in their lives. Jacy prefers working with adolescents, particularly in the junior high age range because their type of weird matches her own. In her free time, Jacy enjoys rewatching Schitt’s Creek and Golden Girls, painting, spending time with family and friends, and recently she’s learned that she enjoys working out! For now, Jacy is looking forward to enjoying her first summer where she is not working, going to school, or trying to stay alive, and beginning in a new district in August.
Gill Strait PhD and Julia Strait PhD are both Licensed Psychologists (TX) and Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs, TX). They are alumni of The University of South Carolina School Psychology Doctoral Program (Go Gamecocks).
Gill is a teacher, researcher, and supervisor at a university graduate psychology training program.