Awards & Grants

ISPA recognizes our members' talent, perseverance, and contributions of time and energy through various awards and scholarships.

Practitioner of the Year

  • The Ted Smith Practitioner of the Year Award (POTY) recognizes the ISPA member who is most outstanding in the practice of school psychology. Nominees will be recognized during the ISPA Annual Winter Convention in the winter. The overall Practitioner of the Year Award winner will be announced at that time. 

    General qualifications for award nominees:

    • Have at least three years' experience in a school setting as a practicing school psychologist practitioner

    • Be a current member of ISPA

    • Don’t be humble, please share with your admin and colleagues! 

    • Click Here to nominate a colleague today!  


    First round submissions are due by November 17, 2023.

          Deadline for submissions of select round two nomination materials is 

    due by January 5, 2024.


    Congratulations to the 2022-2023 winner, Susan Whitney! 

    Previous Winners and Nominees

Practitioner of the Year Award winner Presentation


Minority Scholarship Program

The Illinois Fund for Careers in School Psychology (IFCSP) was founded in 1991 to further the education of school psychologists, support scientific research in the field, promote public awareness of the important role school psychologists play in schools, communities and society. The purpose of the fund is to increase the representation of cultural and ethnic minorities within the profession. The scholarship winners are now helping minority children and youth reach their potential. These scholarships are offered every year and will be presented to the winners during the ISPA  Convention . Information about the Illinois Fund for Careers in School Psychology can be obtained from the Director of the School Psychology Program at the university one attends.  

Winners for 2022 will be notified by January 5, 2024. Certificates will be presented to the winners at the ISPA Virtual Convention

         IFCSP Scholarship Blogspot

Research Grant Award

The Research Grant Award provides grants of $500 to $2,000 to practitioners or students conducting research relevant to school psychology. 

Other Awards

Other awards are given to ISPA members to acknowledge their contributions to the field of school psychology and in service to the children of Illinois. These awards are not annual awards; they are given periodically at the discretion of the ISPA president, with input from other ISPA leaders.

President's Award

Given to individuals of whom the President has become aware that their involvement and influence is unique and exceptional through the individual's venerable contributions and honorable testimonies of others. This prestigious award cannot be applied for and is not given annually but is determined based on the President's discretion.

Distinguished Service Award

Reflects the memorable contributions and talents the individual has provided ISPA and the field of school psychology. Again, this award is not presented annually but based on events of the tenure of the President.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Presented to those rare individuals who have exemplified in their careers as school psychologists the qualities most admired by other professionals.

Life Membership Award

To be recommended for this honor, a person must been a member for at least 10 years and have made notable contributions to the field of School Psychology.

Legislator of the Year Award

This award is determined by the President in coordination with the Governmental Affairs Chair, and is typically given when the legislation has impacted the field of school psychology. While many legislators impact education and services to children, this award is reserved for particular events.

Mentor of the Year Award

Given to an individual that best exemplifies the role of a mentor whether it is in an official or unofficial capacity. The recipient of this award has consistently demonstrated and promoted professional growth and exemplary professionalism in those he or she has mentored. The recipient continually strives to create a sense of positive collaboration and a promotion of the field of School Psychology.

Special Friend of ISPA Award

Given to individuals who have gone above and beyond in supporting the efforts and forwarding the goals of our association.

Spirit Award

Given to groups who have made significant contributions to the association.