Rosalinda BarraganPresidential Perspective 2017-2018 #3

Dear ISPA Members,


I hope your 2018 is off to a great start.  We are almost done with this wacky winter season and moving on to spring.  These past couple of months have been extremely busy, yet exciting and fulfilling.  Let’s start with our successful Winter Convention. I would like to thank all of our attendees and presenters, especially Dr. Lisa Kelly-Vance, who is our NASP President-Elect, for attending and contributing towards our 39th year (January 18-20) in Springfield.  It was an opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and to create new connections while expanding our knowledge.  We look forward to this time of year to also acknowledge and recognize stellar school psychologists. Congratulations to all of our award recipients: Dr. Victor Fuller (Practitioner of the Year), Bilingual/Bicultural Workgroup (Distinguished Service), Dr. Meghan Meyer (Power of One, Creating Caring Connections), Dr. Norma Jean Havlin (Leading Lasting Learner), Loyola University Chicago(Spirit Award) and Don Sibley (Lifetime Membership Award). With our focus to be approachable and visible, ISPA Leadership hosted a social event at Obed and Isaac’s Brewery on Friday evening to provide another opportunity to meet our team and network.  We will definitely make this a tradition to close our Winter Convention. Next year will be our 40th Anniversary!


Next, the NASP Convention (February 13-16).  It was an honor to give opening remarks on behalf of ISPA in front of 6, 600 attendees, record breaking numbers!  It was an experience I will NEVER forget. Before the convention, I attended the Regional Leadership Meetings. Shortages of school psychologists across the nation was the recurring theme.  Everyone is taking steps to improve this situation. In Illinois, one of our Governmental Affairs Co-Chairs, Brenda Huber, submitted two letters to our general assembly regarding shortages and offered a testimony at a school safety and mental health hearing.  Further, HB4409, which states the following: Amends the School Code. In the Article governing children with disabilities, provides that, amongst other meanings, a "school psychologist" means a person who holds a valid Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential (rather than certificate). Removes from the definition of "school psychologist" the requirement that a psychologist have additional qualifications as may be required by the State Board of Education, passed unanimously out of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.  ISBE has indicated that it it supportive of the bill. The current sponsors in the House are Representatives Robert Prichard (primary sponsor) and Fred Crespo (Chief Co-Sponsor) and Katie Stuart (secondary sponsor). The bill passed three readings and another co-sponsor was added - Representative John Cavaletto. The bill will now be be sent over to the Senate and assigned to committee for testimony.  If there are no issues, the bill will move to the floor of the Senate for three readings. If it passes the third reading, the bill goes to the Governor for signature. He has 90 days to sign it. Don Sibley (Governmental Affairs Committee Co-Chair) and Brenda review many bills that are brought to their attention by work our lobbyist, John Carr. Thank you for all of your advocacy efforts.


Other initiatives include the creation of a Sexual Harassment Policy for our state organization and we endorsed the following position statement, “Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America.”  It was prepared by a group of 19 prominent experts in violence prevention. About 200 universities, national education and mental health groups, school districts, and more than 2,300 individual experts have signed on to support this document.  Click here to view the position statement: Call for Action.


In regards to our Charity Drive, we successfully raised $2,500! Thank you to my subcommittee who helped create our fundraising page: Keeshawna Brooks, Kathy French, Sharon Gwaltney, Jennifer Jones, Lynae Maciel and Rachel Losoff.  The largest donation was received from Northern Illinois School Psychologists Association (NISPA) - $500!  Way to go NISPA. Thank you so much. There is still time to contribute towards our cause. Please show your support: ISPA Charity Drive.




Rosalinda Barragan, Ed.D NCSP

ISPA President 2017-2018