Presidential Perspective


June 2024 

The POWER of UNITY: School Psychologists Inspire, Empower, and Propel Students to Greatness

ISPA Presidential Perspective

My final message as President of ISPA is just to say THANK YOU for a wonderful opportunity to serve in this seat. 

I would like to start with thanking all of the members of ISPA for the phenomenal opportunity to serve in the capacity of President of THE Illinois School Psychologists Association. ISPA is and will always be a member association. As President, we are given the generous privilege to sit in this seat to represent the membership. We all collectively are ISPA. I would like to thank all the volunteer leaders, both elected and appointed, for their dedication and commitment to leading ISPA to higher levels of excellence. My theme focused on UNITY and the power that we have as leaders and school psychologists to inspire children and youth, empower them to achieve the unachievable, and to propel them to heights beyond anything they could possibly imagine. The job placement in Bloomington was a great success. A bonus for me was that I was able to attend, given that it was not in conflict with the convention. The virtual world provided us great opportunities to host a well-attended fall conference and winter convention. Some attendees were new to ISPA sessions, while our faithful attendees joined to continue the strong support of the excellent sessions that ISPA offers for professional and personal growth. These virtual conferences helped to propel ISPA into a level of fiduciary standing that allows us to continue to do great work on behalf of our membership. The monthly ISPA Now, as well as the rebirth of the ISPA School Psychologists in Illinois have taken off and have shown to be a force to reckon with. 

It was an honor to represent ISPA by speaking at the IL House Committee hearing on shortages in our great field of School Psychology and our sister professions. I was also blessed with the opportunity to sit on a discussion panel with the Illinois Attorney General around safety matters involving social media and the implications on the mental health of children. I worked on the panel to oversee the development of the state guidance on Faiths Law, as well as work on literacy strategies. It has indeed been a busy year in the life of ISPA. 

Our work with our Lobbyist continues, who has grown with us as an association and who will continue to work with us for the unforeseeable future. That is important due to the legacy knowledge that has been established around governance work. We must continue the fight to promote work around matters in mental health and education. So, if you receive a notice to reach out to your state governing officials, please respond. We need all voices to make an impact in the state. This work also informs and/or reminds our representation in the House and Senate of our great profession. 

If you have not done so, please check your email for the voting link for the ISPA Constitution and Bylaws. The document was approved unanimously by the Governing Board during the April Governing Board meeting. Voting will close at the end of day August 3, 2024. 

Finally, since January 2022, the Governing Board has received training on Key Responsibilities for Association Boards and Board Members. The training sessions have focused on Legal Roles and Responsibilities of Individual Board Members and the Collective Board, which includes the Duty of Care, the Duty of Loyalty, and the Duty of Obedience. Another tenet is the Key Roles of Association Boards. These include setting the direction of ISPA, to ensure and protect the resources of the association; to engage in outreach to membership and relevant stakeholders, and to provide oversight of the structural and financial matters of ISPA. 

Another component that I want to mention is regarding the Characteristics That Distinguish Great Boards. They include to have a culture of candor, respect, and inquiry. We can’t focus on feelings when we don’t agree about significant decisions, but we can be respectful in our message of discourse.  We also need to have an appetite to continually learn and improve as leaders, as there is always something new to learn. Even experts in billion-dollar industries are seeking more data and knowledge to continue to grow.  We also need to think and act strategically, which is where collaboration comes into play. 

Four tenets that I will leave you with today are:

Oversight-the board is legally required to oversee the financial, human, physical (storage) and reputational assets of ISPA. 

Insight-We are all positioned to provide expertise and experience in the profession that ISPA serves. 

Foresight-It is important to use our Board to identify and discuss the impact of emerging issues and trends on ISPA, members, and the field of School Psychology. We must dedicate sufficient time to this work. We need to consider game-changes in the field. 

Hindsight-We need to look back in order to move forward. We need to consider past performance. This is where historical knowledge is critical. Setbacks and failures need to be discussed so that we propel to greater heights. 

We can always grow as an Association, but we only do that TOGETHER! 

An aspirational goal is to see leadership training for all ISPA leaders and members who are interested in leadership. 

I am thankful to the committee chairs, co-chairs, committee members, all elected and appointed leaders, all members, and a special recognition to Victoria who maintains a gracious and humble demeanor despite whatever is before her.

 Thank you for allowing me to experience this seat. Let’s have a strong 2024-2025 fiscal year.

Best to you all, 

Dr. Katherine Campbell

ISPA President, 2023-2024