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WSPA President’s Message by Rene Staskal

September, 2018

I am grateful to be writing my first president’s message after receiving such excellent and supportive mentoring from Linda Servais over the past year. During the next two years I look forward to continuing the mission of WSPA. We have a truly excellent board consisting of school psychologists at every level of the profession, including new practitioners, university trainers, and seasoned veterans. It is wonderful to serve on board with people who have such a breadth of knowledge, perspectives, and experiences. Please, email me if you are interested in joining us!

As a board we continue to advocate for the profession of school psychology and our role as mental health professionals. This summer Kisten Gillespie hit the ground running as the head of the legislative committee. She attended NASP’s public policy institute in Washington, DC last month and is continuing to foster WSPA’s relationship with the WI Department of Public Instruction and the Department of Justice.  Kisten and Travis Pinter, WSPA’s crisis committee chair, will participate in the advisory committee to the office of school safety in the DOJ this coming fall.

Thank you to Tammy Stowers-Tonn and the rest of the convention planning committee for your work preparing the Fall Convention. The convention is October 24-26 in Manitowoc. Providing high quality, relevant continuing professional development is a key mission for WSPA. It is vitally important we continue to seek this out independently as professionals, given the recent changes in required professional development.

I encourage you all to “like” our facebook page. Our public relations co-chairs, Jennifer Vogelsberg and Jamie Ghere are doing a great job maintaining the page. Connecting with other school psychologists in the state through this forum is a great way to build community particularly if you practice in smaller, more rural district. We will also be featuring the great work our members are doing throughout the state this year, so, be sure to check that out!

The beginning of the school year is always such an exciting time, both good and bad. I personally feel recharged and ready. At the same time, I know what is in store for me: another challenging year. I have never gotten to the end of October and thought, “Oh, this year is a piece of cake.” I wish everyone a great start to the school year and offer a reminder to practice good self-care through the challenging times.


The Wisconsin School Psychologists Association endorses the position that child migrant separations from their parents at the southern border of the United States  must cease and that separated families must be reunited expeditiously in order to minimize the risk of trauma reactions among vulnerable children. The rationale for the position is adopted from the position paper authored by the National Association of School Psychology Association and other colleague organizations, found here:  http://www.nasponline.org/about-school-psychology/media-room/press-releases/nasp-calls-for-end-to-policy-separating-families-at-the-border

WSPA Fall 2018 Sentinel Newsletter is now available on-line for members.  Click on Resources, then choose WSPA Sentinel.

For Members, Click This Link:   Fall 2018 vol 18.pdf

Attention Job Seekers
Use this link to register for the WSPA Employment Fair:


15 Feb 2019 10:00 AM • Chula Vista, Wisconsin Dells, WI

To Donate to the Children's Fund, Minority Scholarship, or the Elizabeth Lindley Woods Scholarship, use this link:  https://wspa18.wildapricot.org/Donate

Who Are School Psychologists?

School psychologists have specialized training in both psychology and education. They use their training and skills to team with educators, parents, and other mental health professionals to ensure that every child learns in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. School psychologists understand school systems, effective teaching and successful learning. Today's children face more challenges than ever before. School psychologists can provide solutions for tomorrow's problems through thoughtful and positive actions today.

The training requirements to become a school psychologist are a minimum of 60 graduate semester hours including a year-long internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning, behavior and motivation. To work as a school psychologist, one must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which services are provided. School psychologists also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB).  

Read more about School Psychology


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Wisconsin School Psychologists Association
WSPA Manager-Don Juve
Onalaska, WI 54650
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