New Jersey Association of School Psychologists

NJASP Spring Conference 2017

  • Friday, May 05, 2017
  • 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Holiday Inn East Windsor 399 Monmouth Street East Windsor, NJ 08520


  • Affiliated organization includes state school psychology associations as well as NJ related state associations such as Learning Consultants and Counselors associations. It does not include NJEA.
  • For prize winners and award recipients. Must be approved by conference committee.
  • This is NJAP members only; however students are should register under the student rate. Early Bird registration is available to members registering by April 3, 2017.
  • For NJASP members paying by Purchase Order. Early Bird registration is available to members registering by April 3, 2017.
  • This is only available to new members (not renewing members). It includes NJASP membership for the 2017-2018 school year and the winter conference.
  • For current or renewing NJASP members paying online. Onsite registration is required after April 28, 2017.
  • For NJASP members or renew members paying by purchase order. Onsite registration is required after April 28, 2017.
  • NJASP Student Affiliate Members - for non-certified students currently enrolled in a school psychology program. Onsite registration is required after April 28, 2017.
  • For non membes paying by purchase order and registering before 4/28/17. Onsite registration is required after 4/28.17.
  • For non-members registering before 4/28/17. After 4/28/17, onsite registration is required.


Small Steps to Change Lives:  How School Psychologists and NASP Help Make a Difference

Melissa Louvar Reeves, Ph.D., NCSP, NASP President

School psychologists are instrumental in making a difference in the lives of students and teachers.  While we often face many challenges, it is important to remember the small steps we take each day make a big difference. Current NASP updates will be provided followed by an overview of NASP key initiatives and resources that can help school psychologists promote positive change in the lives of students.

Dr. Melissa Louvar Reeves is a nationally certified school psychologist and licensed professional counselor and special education teacher. She is an adjunct instructor at Winthrop University, school psychologist at a pre-K-12th grade school, and a Crisis Management and Psychological Recovery expert. Dr. Reeves is a co-author of the NASP PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum and 2016-17 President of the National Association of School Psychologists. 

Full Day Workshop

9:45 AM - 3:30 PM

WORKSHOP A:  Developing Healthy Classrooms:  The ACT Matrix for Counseling and Intervention

Phil Tenaglia, Hamilton Township Public Schools

This workshop is a full day workshop

The ACT Matrix will be presented as an engaging, research based tool designed to enhance psychological flexibility that quickly “loosens up” stuck or struggling learners for collaborative, creative problem solving, both individually and in groups. The matrix point of view leads learners toward self-monitoring and self-regulation, leaving more time for learning and discovery. It quickly engages all learners in a process of moving toward what is important for whatever learning situation they find themselves in.

This experiential workshop will focus on enhancing your creativity, flexibility, and problem solving in approaching the challenges of our day to day involvements with learners and teachers and other professionals. The Matrix is based on the evidenced-based practice of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Training (ACT) as developed by Dr. Kevin Polk. ACT focuses on increasing valued, vital living while decreasing the struggle with problems and suffering. 

The Matrix is being used successfully in many school and educational settings.

Teachers using it report less disruptions and greater cooperation from students. They also report a lessening of their own stress!

This session will help participants:

  • How to establish the ACT Matrix point of view to engage learners in conversations that get results and promote self-directed learning.
  • How to use the matrix to help teachers influence troubled students in groups and classrooms.
  • Practice how to apply the matrix as unifying psychological intervention you can adapt to your setting.
  • Develop an understanding of the theory and philosophy of ACT and the Matrix.
  • Leave the course with a functional tool that you can use immediately.
  • Enhance your own psychological flexibility and creativity while reducing stress!

Phil Tenaglia, M.A. is a school psychologist in Hamilton Township Public Schools and family therapist at the Growth Opportunity Center in Southampton Pa. He has worked in schools and educational settings for many years focusing on assessment, academic and behavioral interventions with at-risk students in regular and special education, consultation, and counseling. 

He is also a Master’s associate with the Crisis Prevention Institute and provides training in nonviolent crisis intervention and debriefing within Hamilton Township Public Schools.  Phil works privately with families to promote psychological flexibility and help them navigate through the inevitable difficult life experiences.

Phil came to ACT and the Matrix via an unending quest for effective interventions for teachers, students and parents. He developed the Matrix Goes to School website where he regularly blogs and conducts monthly online webinars to share and collaborate. Phil presents the matrix at professional conferences , conducts matrix teacher trainings, and holds in-service professional development meetings. It was his privilege to author the chapter on education, “The Matrix Goes to School: Promoting Psychological Flexibility in Education” in “The ACT Matrix” book published by New Harbinger in 2014.  Phil is a member of NJASP, NASP, Contextual Behavior Science and the Crisis Prevention Institute.

Morning Workshops

8:45 -11:30 AM

WORKSHOP B: Cognitive–Behavioral Therapy Strategies With Students Who Are Depressed 

Melissa Louvar Reeves, Ph.D., NCSP, NASP President

This session will highlight a variety of cognitive–behavioral strategies that can be used successfully in school settings with students who exhibit symptoms of depression. Key components underlying CBT will be reviewed. In addition, participants will learn to use and teach CBT strategies and will explore ways to integrate these skills in an educational setting. Case study examples will be featured, and specific examples of practical techniques and activities will be shared.

This session will help participants:

  • How to utilize and teach cognitive-behavioral strategies for depression in a school setting
  • Learn specific types of activities that can be conducted with students to help decrease depression
  • How to integrate and generalize skills to the educational setting and academic instruction

See above for bio

WORKSHOP C: A Multi-Tiered Decision Making Framework for Emotional and Behavioral Health

Nate von der Embse, Temple University

This workshop is a half day workshop with the same session running in the AM and PM

This workshop presentation will describe the Solution-focused Emotional and Behavior Assessment (SEBA) model through (1) universal screening to establish base rates of behavioral risk, (2) problem identification to specify function and skill deficits, (3) understanding the decisional process to inform Tier 2 intervention, and (4) model implementation processes, including teacher training. A case example will be presented of a two-year implementation in a large, urban district that incorporated universal screening procedures to inform intervention selection. 

This session will help participants:

  • Integrate behavioral and emotional assessment within multi-tiered frameworks
  • Understand decision-making processes across tiers
  • Describe implementation processes

Dr. Nathaniel P. von der Embse is an assistant professor of school psychology at Temple University and co-chair of the Government and Professional Relations Workgroup of the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. von der Embse examines the intersection of education policy and school mental health. His research is focused in three primary areas including: (1) an examination of teacher stress and student test anxiety surrounding high-stakes exams, (2) the creation and validation of internalizing behavior and socio-emotional wellness screening assessments, and (3) the training of teachers and schools in population-based assessment methods (e.g., mental health screening) to inform tiered and targeted intervention. Dr. von der Embse has authored 29 peer-reviewed publications and has presented nationally and internationally on high-stakes testing and internalizing disorders. Dr. von der Embse has served as principal investigator, senior study personnel, co-principal investigator, and project evaluator on funded research from the Scattergood Foundation, National Science Foundation, William Penn Foundation, and the Society for the Study of School Psychology. He is on the editorial boards of School Psychology Review, Journal of School Psychology, and serves as an Associate Editor for School Psychology International. 

WORKSHOP D:  The Elephant in the Room:  Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk (this workshop meets the New Jersey sate requirement for 2 hours of PD in suicide prevention)

Terri Erbacher, Ph.D. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

This workshop is a half day workshop with the same session running in the AM and PM

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10-14 year olds, the second leading cause of death for those ages 15-24 years, and risk becomes even greater in middle age. Over 42,000 individuals die by suicide each year, yet working with suicidal clients often presents as both a professional challenge and a personal fear. The ability to conduct an informed suicide risk assessment is a vital skill for clinicians. This session will focus on identifying often hidden warning signs and risk factors, building a therapeutic alliance, utilizing assessment tools, effectively conducting suicide risk assessment interviews, and determining level of suicide risk. Practitioners attending this workshop will gain an understanding of how to monitor suicidal behavior over time, plan for safety, and protect oneself from vicarious traumatization. Attendees will leave this workshop with many specific strategies and skills that can be implemented immediately. This seminar will conclude with a comprehensive case review to ensure practical understanding of the material presented. 

This session will help participants:

  • Conceptualize risk factors and warning signs of suicidal behavior
  • Conduct and document a comprehensive suicide risk assessment
  • Assess level of risk and apply strategies to monitor suicide risk over time
  • Employ practical strategies in treatment planning for suicidal clients
  • Relate concepts learned to actual case studies

Dr. Terri Erbacher has practiced as a school psychologist with the Delaware County Intermediate Unit for over 17 years and joined the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2007 as a Clinical Associate Professor. Dr. Erbacher is past President for the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative and is the Crisis Prevention Committee Chairperson on the Executive Board of the Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania. 

Dr. Terri is an author, distinguished speaker, guest expert in the media, and often consults and responds to local school districts in the aftermath of a critical incident. Her specialized expertise centers around crisis management in schools, suicide prevention and risk assessment, as well as grief and traumatic loss. She is the lead author of the important and innovative text Suicide in Schools released in 2015. Her passion for helping children in crisis and training school-based professionals has led to her receiving multiple awards for her service to the community from the Delaware County Suicide Prevention Task Force, Survivors of Suicide, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as well as her being named Pennsylvania's School Psychologist of the Year in 2011.

Afternoon Workshops

12:45 - 3:30 PM

WORKSHOP E: Every Student Succeeds Act: Implications for School Psychologists

Barry Barbarasch, Rowan University; Debra Keeney, Westampton Township Public Schools; Sol Heckelman, Retired; and Dale Starcher, Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which will be replacing No Child Left Behind, goes into effect in September, 2017. It has the potential to transform school psychology in New Jersey in a way the will allow school psychologists to provide comprehensive school psychological services to ALL children through a Multi Tiered Systems of Support framework.  This workshop will provide an overview of ESSA, with a specific focus on the impact it will have on school psychologists in New Jersey, including their role as Specialized Instructional Support Personnel, and school-based mental health service providers.  Participants will also learn advocacy strategies they can utilize in their districts to assist them in transforming their role in order to provide comprehensive school psychological services to all children.

This session will help participants:

  • Understand the impact ESSA will have on their role as school psychologists
  • Begin the process of altering their role to include services that involve all children, including prevention, early intervention, social/emotional learning, etc., as well as the provision of mental health services.
  • Advocate in their districts for comprehensive school psychological services.

Barry Barbarasch has been a school psychologist for over 35 years, in New York and New Jersey. In addition to consulting with public and private schools, he is currently Adjunct Professor in both the school psychology doctoral program at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Masters/Certification program at Rowan University. He has also served as adjunct professor at Rutgers University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and New Jersey City University. He is currently chairperson of NJASP Government and Professional Relations committee, and also serves on the Government and Professional Relationships committee of the National Association of School Psychologists. He is Past President of the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists, and is currently President-elect. Barry earned his Masters degree from Pace University, and his doctoral degree from Temple University.

Debra Keeney has been a school psychologist for over 20 years and a member of the NJASP Executive Board for more than seven years. Debra is a Co-Chair of the NJASP Government and Professional Relations Committee and is active in advocacy efforts. She is a former President of the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists (NJASP). Debra is a member of the NJ DOE Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee working on the revision of SEL curriculum standards and previously participated in the Media Violence Pamphlet Working Group. Debra is the Supervisor of Special Services/School Psychologist in Westampton Public School District in Burlington County. As a member of the New Jersey Principal and Supervisor Association (NJPSA), Debra participates in the Special Education Committee. Debra holds a Master of Social Psychology from the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research and earned her School Psychologist and Supervisor Certificates at Rider University. In addition, Debra earned her Principal/Director certificate through the NJ EXCEL program.

Sol B. Heckelman, PhD is Co-Editor of the Newsletter and a Past President of NJASP, and has been representing NJASP as a member of the NJDOE ESSA Stakeholders.  He has  spent over 30 years as a School Psychologist (SP) and Director of Pupil Personnel Services in NJ urban public school districts.  Among his interests are disproportionality and the roles of SPs in gen ed.

Dr. Starcher holds a doctorate in psychology and certified in school psychology.  Over the past 35 years, Dale has developed a wide-range of therapeutic programs for both educators and mental health counselors.  Currently, he is Director of Program Development at the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health, where he develops educational and clinical programs and consults to schools, clinics, and hospitals. Dale serves on the executive board of the NJ Association of School Psychologists, Co-Chair of the Professional Development committee and serves on the Government Relations committee.  He also serves on the NJDOE Social-Emotional Learning committee. He is author of Mindfulness-Based Counseling for Self-Regulation (2010), and “A Global Human Potential Movement and a Rebirth of Humanistic Psychology” (The Humanistic Psychologist, 2016).


A Multi-Tiered Decision Making Framework for Emotional and Behavioral Health

Nate von der Embse, Temple University

This workshop is a half day workshop with the same session running in the AM and PM.  See above for workshop description.

WORKSHOP G:  The Elephant in the Room:  Assessment and Management of Suicide Risk (this workshop meets the New Jersey sate requirement for 2 hours of PD in suicide prevention)

Terri Erbacher, Ph.D. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

This workshop is a half day workshop with the same session running in the AM and PM.  See above for workshop description.

NJASP Spring 2017 Conference Brochure.pdf

Spring Conference May 5, 2017!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software