Employer: Richmond (VA) Public Schools
Title: I have worked in public education for over 28 years and I continue to discover how much I still have to learn regarding our profession. I began my career as a teacher assistant and gradually rose on the career ladder as an elementary teacher, assistant principal, principal, and currently I serve as Manager for the Pupil Placement Services Department for Richmond Public Schools.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
Some of the previous initiatives I have been asked to lead include:
- Division chair of school calendar committee
- Division chair for student code of conduct
- Supervision of over 100 employees
- Management of nearly million dollar departmental budget
I believe the most rewarding aspect of my work centers around helping students and families choose the appropriate educational placement that meets the academic, social, and emotional needs of the student. In order for any student to learn they must first have their most basic needs met. If students are secure both socially and emotionally then the academic piece will likely fall into place. Many of our students are seeking guidance and boundaries and look to their teachers, principals and staff members to provide a nurturing learning environment so that they can reach their maximum potential.
What is the greatest benefit of being a NAPSA member?
I am grateful that there is an organization such as NAPSA to have other pupil services professionals that can share experiences and provide support when facing similar challenges in public education. I firmly believe that this organization is currently and, in the future, will be a crucial piece in elevating the position nationally, but more importantly the organization can demonstrate and advocate why Pupil Services is so important to the success of a school division.