April Turner, an alumnus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s school psychology program, has been named the 2022 School Psychologist of the Year by the National Association of School Psychologists. She received the award on February 16 at the NASP 2022 Annual Convention in Boston.
Turner holds multiple degrees from Nebraska. She received a master’s degree in educational psychology in 2006 and a doctorate in school psychology in 2012, both from the Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Humanities. The award recognizes Turner’s commitment to the profession not only through her advocacy efforts to meet the needs of children, families, and schools, but also through her work to broaden the pathways of future school psychologists.
“This award represents the collective work of so many mentors, teachers, professors and colleagues who have mentored and supported me throughout my career, from graduate school to ONE to the present day,” Turner said in a statement. “I hope to continue to amplify the skills, knowledge, and expertise of school psychologists while advocating for school psychology practices that support social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.”
NASPThe School Psychologist of the Year is awarded for excellence in providing school psychological services and is selected from nominations from states across the country. Turner is currently the Supervisor of School Psychological Services at the Maryland State Department of Education in Baltimore. Prior to this position, she served as a school psychologist in the Baltimore City Public Schools for nine years. In her practitioner and administrative leadership roles, Turner has focused on evidence-based service delivery and the effective use of data collection and decision-making systems to support student success. Additionally, his commitment to professional advocacy has helped create and strengthen lasting pathways to leadership for school psychologists.
“The past year and a half has been difficult on many levels,” said NASP President Laurie Klose. “Despite all the challenges we have seen in schools, April’s tireless dedication to the field of school psychology, her desire to support students, and the encouragement of her colleagues have secured her a place as NASPSchool Psychologist of the Year 2022. I am proud that we have someone as committed as Dr. Turner working in the field.
Turner has played an integral role in Baltimore City Public Schools, working with general education and special education students while addressing individual and systemic barriers to student success through interventions. academic, mental and behavioral health. Turner has also worked to increase family engagement and involvement by focusing on communication and community buy-in. Faced with the double struggle of covid-19 and racial injustice, Turner was instrumental in organizing an affinity support group for school psychologists of color to navigate virtual work and manage racial inequities and stressors.
Turner’s contributions to the profession, her commitment to developing leadership and championing the success of all children are evident in the programs, services and collaborations in which she has engaged, as well as in the accolades of these partner’work.
“The record of his accomplishments is long, but even so, it pales in comparison to the personal impact Dr. Turner has had on our careers as a mentor, colleague and friend,” a colleague said. Another said the reason Turner is a successful leader is clear because she “leads with integrity and compassion.” Others echoed those sentiments, saying she “stands out as a brilliant, engaging and strategic thinker who consistently uses her voice to speak on behalf of those who may not have the power or privilege to do so” and is a “tireless advocate for the field of school psychology.
The National Association of School Psychologists represents 25,000 school psychologists in the United States and abroad, empowering them to improve student learning, behavior, and mental health.