Who Are School Psychologists?
We are here to help your child achieve their best.
School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. We have specialized training in both education and mental health and know how to identify and lower barriers to learning. These barriers can include developmental or learning disabilities, behavior difficulties, teaching styles, school or classroom climate, problems at home or with friends, substance or alcohol abuse, violence, and mental health problems such as anxiety or depression.
Our goal is to collaborate with parents, school staff, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments so that all students can learn.
What School Psychologists Do
School psychologists work with students individually and in groups, as well as address school- and district-wide issues such as bullying prevention and positive behavioral supports. We use many different approaches, but generally provide these core services:
- Design programs for children at risk of failing at school.
- Promote tolerance, understanding, and appreciation of diversity within the school community.
- Develop programs to make schools safer and more effective learning environments.
- Provide crisis prevention and preparedness information and training.
- Collaborate with school staff and community agencies to provide services directed at improving mental and physical health.
- Develop partnerships with parents and teachers to promote healthy school environments.
- Collaborate with teachers, parents, and administrators to find effective solutions to learning and behavior problems.
- Help others understand child development and mental health and how they affect learning and behavior.
- Strengthen working relationships between teachers, parents, and service providers in the community.
- Evaluate eligibility for special services.
- Assess academic skills and aptitude for learning.
- Determine social-emotional development and mental health status.
- Evaluate learning environments.
- Provide psychological counseling to help resolve interpersonal or family problems that interfere with school performance.
- Work directly with children and their families to help resolve problems in adjustment and learning.
- Provide training in social skills and anger management.
- Help families and schools manage crises such as death, illness, or community trauma.
Research and Planning
- Evaluate the effectiveness of academic and behavior management programs.
- Identify and implement programs and strategies to improve schools.
- Use evidence-based research to develop and/or recommend effective interventions.
Where School Psychologists Work in Our District
Misty Lay: Mt. Washington Elementary School, Roby Elementary School
Misty Lay has worked as a school psychologist for Bullitt County Public Schools since 1997. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) in 1998, with her Specialist degree in School Psychology and her Rank I. She began her work with Response to Intervention in 2003 and has become a state-wide resource for RTI, CBM, interventions, assessment, and disabilities. Misty is an advocate for children and youth and mental health services in the schools. She has presented on the national, state, and local levels on topics such as bullying, RTI, children's mental health, positive behavioral supports, advocacy, and specific learning disabilities. Misty’s work was recognized by her peers around the state as she was awarded the 2005 and the 2008 Kentucky School Psychologist of the Year award by the Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools (KAPS). Misty is also the three-time president of KAPS and a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). She is currently serving as Kentucky's delegate to NASP. She has special interests in mental health, behavior, data-based decision-making, and technology. Since 1998, Misty has held both state and national certification in school psychology. In March of 2010, her body of work was recognized by NASP as she was honored as the 2010 National School Psychologist of the Year.
Jennifer Reece: Crossroads Elementary School, Old Mill Elementary School
Jennifer Reece is a native of Glasgow, Kentucky. She earned her Bachelors Degree from Transylvania University and her Education Specialist degree from Western Kentucky University. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys philanthropic activities and is a member of the Junior League of Louisville and the Younger Woman’s Club of Louisville.
Lisa Potts: Hebron Middle School, Bullitt Central High School
Lisa has been a psychologist working with children in a variety of school and clinical settings for 26 years. This is Lisa’s sixteenth year at BCPS. She enjoys assisting students and consulting with educators regarding assessment, emotional and behavioral concerns. Lisa is a graduate of WKU and Spalding University. She enjoys continuing her own education in the area of mental health and emotional disabilities. Lisa currently provides psychological services for Bullitt Central High, Bullitt Alternative Center and Bullitt Lick Middle.
Allison Graven: Overdale Elementary School, Maryville Elementary School
Allison has worked as a school psychologist in Bullitt County since the 2003-2004 school year. Currently, she serves Brooks, Maryville, and Overdale Elementary Schools. Allison earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1999. Prior to enrolling in graduate school, she worked in a psychiatric group home for children and adolescents and as a job placement specialist with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. She earned her Masters and Specialist degrees in School Psychology from the University of Kentucky in 2004. She holds state and national certifications.
Leigh Ann Orner: Brooks Elementary School, Freedom Elementary School, Nichols Elementary School
Leigh Ann has worked as a school psychologist in Bullitt County since the 2003-2004 school year. Currently, she serves Hebron Middle School, Freedom Elementary School, Nichols Elementary School and Spring Meadows. Leigh Ann earned her B.S. in Psychology from Indiana University in 2000. She earned her Masters and Specialists degrees in School Psychology from Ball State University in 2002 and 2003, respectively. She holds state and national certifications. She is a member of the Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools (KAPS)
Pam Masters: Zoneton Middle School, North Bullitt High School
Pam Masters started her second year in Bullitt County. Undergraduate degree in psychology was from Northern Kentucky University. Graduate school was attended at University of South Florida where she obtained her masters and specialist degrees. Work experience has been rather diverse. Experience in school psychology includes specializing in kindergarten students in Florida, traveling between three districts in a rural county of Ohio, working with inner-city students in Cincinnati’s public and private schools. She has a total of 15 years of experience as a school psychologist. Additionally, Mrs. Masters was a conductor for a Class 1 in southern Ohio and northern Kentucky for three years.
Liz Janes: Bernheim Middle School, Eastside Middle School, Bullitt Lick Middle School
Liz Janes has been with BCPS since 2010. She is originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Liz attended both undergraduate and graduate school at Western Kentucky University. As an undergraduate she double majored in broadcasting and psychology. She went on to earn her Specialist in Education Degree (Ed.S.) and Rank I in School Psychology in 2009 and obtained her National Certification in 2010. She completed her internship in Indiana and moved on to work a year in Northern Kentucky before moving to Louisville to begin her work in Bullitt County.
Lebanon Junction Elementary School, Shepherdsville Elementary School
Leslie DeWitt has worked as a school psychologist in Bullitt County since the 2015-2016 school year. Currently, she serves Lebanon Junction Elementary School and Shepherdsville Elementary School. Leslie attended Eastern Kentucky University for both undergraduate and graduate level training. She earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice in 2009. She went on to earn a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology in 2011, a Masters degree in general psychology in 2013, and a specialist degree in School Psychology in 2015. Prior to her work in the schools, Leslie served as a Licensed Psychological Associate at a rehabilitation facility in Louisville, KY.
Mount Washington Middle School, Bullitt East High School
Laura earned her Bachelors degree, her Masters degree in School Psychology, and her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology from the University of Kentucky. She has 14 years of experience in education and service to children. Laura has worked in four school districts in Tennessee and Kentucky. She holds state certification and is a member of the Kentucky Association of Psychology in the Schools. Laura enjoys collaborating with other education professionals regarding addressing the individual needs of students.
Cedar Grove Elementary School, Pleasant Grove Elementary School
Mia Thomas began her work as a school psychologist in Bullitt County at the start of the 2017-2018 school year. She came to the district with 10 years of experience in the field, having worked in a variety of public school settings in the state of Kentucky. Mia attended Eastern Kentucky University for both undergraduate and graduate level training. She earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and Sociology in 2002. She went on to earn a master’s degree in General Psychology in 2006, and graduated with her specialist’s degree in School Psychology (Psy. S.) and her Rank I in 2008. Mia holds state certification and is a member of the Kentucky Association of Psychology in the Schools (KAPS).
School Psychologists work very closely with teachers, school social workers, school counselors, and other staff to coordinate services. This can be in the context of an IEP team, crisis response team, or general education support team.
School Psychologists Training and Credentialing
School psychologists must complete a minimum of a Specialist-level degree program (60-72 graduate semester credits) that includes a 1200-hour internship. Some school psychologists have a doctoral degree. School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which we work. They also may be nationally certified by the National School Psychology Certification Board (NSPCB), which is administered by the National Association of School Psychologists.
Adapted from: “What Is a School Psychologist,” Andrea Canter, Helping Children at Home and School II: Handouts for Families and Educators, NASP, 2004. The full handout is available online at www.nasponline.org/families.