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Severin named 2022 Kansas School Psychologist of the Year

Severin named 2022 Kansas School Psychologist of the Year

Susan Severin, a former school psychologist at Emporia USD 253 and a specialized learning services support consultant for Greenbush Education Service Center, was recently named the 2022 Kansas School Psychologist of the Year. 

The Kansas Association of School Psychologists (KASP) made the announcement during the organization’s fall conference last week. 

Severin has been a practicing, nationally accredited school psychologist for nearly 17 years. 

During summer 2022, she began working for Greenbush as a consultant with the Specialized Learning Services team, still utilizing her school psychology background to serve and support students and schools across the state. 

“In my role with Greenbush, I've been able to work with schools and teams to build systems of support (both for general and special education) and have trained on crisis prevention, preparedness and suicide prevention; have worked with teams to better understand brain science and stress; and have trained on best practice in special education law and ethics,” Severin said. 

She began her career as a school psychologist with Flint Hills Special Education Cooperative, first as a paraeducator during graduate school, then as a certified practitioner serving Emporia and the surrounding area. She also teaches at Emporia State University and works closely with ESU’s school psychology interns within their first year of practice. 

Severin lives in Emporia with her husband, Brian, and their three children, Jovie, 10, Cora, 7, and Abbott, 5. 

She was born and raised in Dodge City. Her mother worked 39 years as a teacher, and her father worked within the mental health field. 

“My grandmother was incredibly influential in my career path, as an educator herself,” Severin said. “With two parents in service professions, I was raised in a home where education, leadership and service back to the community were valued.  I initially attended Washburn University in 2000 in pursuit of veterinary science, then fell in love with my psychology, sociology and art coursework.  On a trip back to Dodge City, my mother suggested that I shadow their elementary school psychologist.  After that day, I knew that I had found something special - a career that I had not otherwise known existed.” 

She completed undergraduate coursework in 2004, studied abroad in Italy and majored in psychology with a minor in art. She then attended Emporia State University, completing her undergraduate degree in 2006. Severin also obtained an ELL endorsement from Kansas State University. 

The State School Psychologist of the Year award is intended to honor and recognize a KASP member who is an outstanding practicing school psychologist, according to the KASP website.  

The nomination was “incredibly unexpected,” Severin said. 

“I feel overwhelmed by the honor,” she said. “I am a product of the educational professionals (fellow school psychologists, teachers, paraeducators, administrators, mentors, affective staff, related service providers) that I have encountered and worked with and the opportunities that our school district and community have provided. I am also a product of incredibly supportive family members, excellent trainers and visionaries in my field. This award is not just validation of the hard work but is a reflection of support and the collaboration of those around me.” 

Being a school psychologist offers a world of possibilities, she said. Every day is different and is full of potential and experiences. It provides an opportunity to develop relationships with people and support so many who serve under the umbrella that is education. 

“School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams,” Severin said. “We have such an opportunity to provide director consultative support to students, families and school staff in a variety of domains – intervention; crisis preparedness and recovery; data collection and analysis; professional ethics and school law; consultation; mental health; academic and behavioral support. Over the years, the roles and responsibilities of school psychologists in our state and nation have grown, not only out of need, but as a result of fellow professionals advocating and supporting children and the systems around these children. We can do so much!” 

Posted: Oct 27, 2022,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush

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