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President's Message

President’s Message
By Mikael Olson, Ed.S., NCSP

Can you believe that the New Year is already upon us? What happened to 2023? If you’re anything like me, you were just getting used to writing “2023” and now have to wrap your head around “2024”.

In my Fall President’s Message, I shared that although I start each year with mixed emotions (fear, anxiety, joy, excitement), I am also determined to start with a positive outlook and seek opportunities to fuel my passion for being a school psychologist. So far this year, I have found many ways to maintain that positive outlook and passion, much of which has come from professional development.

First, I did so by participating in our WSASP Fall Conference as a presenter, moderator, collaborator, and attendee. What an amazing conference! Your feedback from the conference tells me that you also appreciated the conference and the opportunities for professional development and networking it brought you. Second, I was afforded the opportunity by my district to travel to Chicago for the National PBIS Conference. That was also a great experience. Next, I am so excited to attend the NASP convention in New Orleans!

I am so lucky to have all of these opportunities this year to learn, improve my skills, and connect or reconnect with school psychologists from around the state and country. You all inspire me so much. I was especially inspired by this year’s WSASP award winners. What an amazing group of practitioners doing such important work around the state.

In the Fall, I encouraged you to find ways to become more involved and connect with other school psychologists, such as joining one of our virtual conversations, attending the conference, joining a WSASP committee, mentoring another school psychologist, attending your Area event, and keeping up to date on WSASP publications such as the PWN and SCOPE. These opportunities are ongoing, and I hope you’ll consider them as you continue your school year.

I also encouraged you to take care of yourselves while you find the time to do more of what brings you professional joy and fuels your passion. I am hopeful that the winter break brought you the opportunity to take a much-needed break, enjoy your friends and families, and celebrate the season, and that you also found time for some rest and relaxation.

Lastly, I encourage you to listen to your communities, families, and students who may be sharing their stories and experiences over the tragedies unfolding in the areas of and surrounding Gaza and Israel, as well as many other situations globally and locally that may result in associative trauma or anxiety in our students and families on any given day. This marks the importance of trauma informed and culturally responsive practices not only for school psychologists but for all school staff. We all need to build our awareness and skills in supporting students and each other.

Our students, families, and colleagues need us now more than ever to bring our unique areas of expertise to the table in support of their well-being. But this is also fatiguing at times and can drain our own buckets. So, as we move through the holidays and into the new year, I hope you do whatever it is that brings you personal joy so that you can greet the new year with renewed optimism and passion to provide school psychology services to others.

Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

Washington State Association of School Psychologists
816 W. Francis Ave #214
Spokane, WA 99205

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