Misty Lay Is NASP School Psychologist of the Year

By O'Brien, Karen | National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, May 2010 | Go to article overview

Misty Lay Is NASP School Psychologist of the Year


O'Brien, Karen, National Association of School Psychologists. Communique


The Awards Committee is pleased to announce that Misty Lay, NCSP, is the NASP 2010 School Psychologist of the Year. The School Psychologist of the Year award recognizes excellence in the provision of school psychological services by a field-based practitioner.

Misty Lay is a practicing school psychologist for Bullitt County Public Schools in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. She is well known for her leadership at the district and state levels during her 12 years as a school psychologist and is recognized in Kentucky for her leadership in developing a response-to-intervention model for her district. Misty attended trainings on RTI and then worked with school district personnel to design and implement the district's model in their 23 schools. She has developed an RTI manual, parent guide, forms, and a progress monitoring system. Misty facilitates the district RTI leadership team and manages the universal screening and progress monitoring data system she designed for the district. She developed CBM probes for Grades K-9 in reading, math, and written expression; trained staff in the administration of the probes; and then developed district norms for these academic areas.

In addition, Ms. Lay provides direct services to students in her assigned buildings. She has developed and implemented social skills groups and has taught relaxation exercises to students with emotional and behavior problems. Misty designed a successful mental health program called Friend Factor for at-risk youth. The students were paired with volunteer adults who mentored the students weekly to work on social skills or individual interventions. Misty provided training for the mentors on confidentiality, behavior management, interventions, and progress monitoring. She provided support and supervision to the mentors in monthly group meetings and weekly individual meetings. The at-riskyouth showed improvements in their attendance, behavior, and grades.

Misty is well respectedby colleagues, staff, and parents alike. A colleague writes, "Misty treats everyone from students to the superintendent with the same amount of respect. She shows self-confidence without arrogance and always has an open mind, an open ear, and most importantly, an open heart."

After the September 11, 2001 events, Misty coordinated the crisis response and assisted students andfamiliesaffectedbythese events. She provided support to a fifth grader whose father was unexpectedly called to active duty and whose family had not prepared their children for this possibility. The support to this individual student blossomed into a schoolwide memorial project to honor those who had lost their lives. A parent states, "She is honest, helpful, caring, compassionate, and dedicated to all children that she has contact with. …

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