Congratulations to our 2021 Grant recipient, Melissa Ozoria, of the High Bridge School District! Ms. Ozoria will be utilizing the $550 grant to promote a lunch bunch program, which will facilitate social-emotional learning, reaching over 300 students! We look forward to hearing how the grant assists in this program and helps to bring it to fruition!
NJASP School Psychologist of the Year Award
NJASP’s School Psychologist of the Year Award is given to a NJASP member who is a practicing school psychologist in a public or private school setting. It is given in recognition of outstanding performance in the delivery of school psychological services. These areas include, but are not limited to, assessment, counseling, consultation, prevention, crisis intervention, collaboration, diversity sensitivity, supervision, research, program planning and/or evaluation, etc. Candidates perform their jobs in an exemplary manner and have earned the respect of students, parents, teachers, school staff, administrators, and/or community members. Those who have benefited from this individual's efforts may include individual or groups of students, teachers, parents, administrators and/or the school system.
To make a nomination for the NJASP School Psychologist of the Year Award, please use the form below:
Dr. Irwin A. Hyman Service to Children Award
NJASP’S Service to Children Award is given to an individual or an organization whose efforts have benefited children. This individual or organization must provide services to children. This award is not given to a NJASP Member or a school psychologist. This award is in recognition of outstanding contributions to education, mental health, or the general welfare of children and youth of New Jersey and/or the nation.
To make a nomination for the Dr. Irwin A. Hyman Service to Children Award, please use the form below:
Jane Bostrum Service to School Psychology Award
NJASP’s Jane Bostrum Service to School Psychology Award is given to a school psychologist, general psychologist, someone in a related field, or any individual or organization who has contributed to the field of school psychology. This award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the profession of school psychology.
To make a nomination for the Jane Bostrum Service to School Psychology Award, please use the form below:
All nominations with completed form and supporting documentation must be mailed/emailed by December 15, 2021. The NJASP Awards Committee will review the applications and make a selection based on the materials received. Award winners will be announced at NJASP’s Spring Conference. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Leslie Miles, NJASP Awards and Elections Committee Chair at NJASPAwards@gmail.com
To view the Awards ceremony from the NJASP Spring 2021 Virtual Conference from May 14, 2021, please click the following link: NJASP 2021 Awards Ceremony
NJASP School Psychologist of the Year
Dr. Beth Hoffman
School Psychologist Hopewell Valley School District, Ph.D.
Dr. Beth Hoffman has worked as a School Psychologist at the Bear Tavern Elementary School in the Hopewell Valley Regional School District in Hopewell, NJ since September 2008. She earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Temple University in 2008, and her M.Ed. in School Psychology from Temple University in 2004. She is a certified School Psychologist in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Hoffman has worked as a therapist at the Preventing Relational Aggression in Schools Everyday (PRAISE) Program and Friend to Friend Program at the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP), where she ran a classroom intervention program on aggression prevention in urban Philadelphia schools and assisted in developing an observation system to measure classroom climate. Dr. Hoffman is passionate about working in her district to implement mindfulness and wellness initiatives. She has done this through implementing social emotional learning including a strong weekly mindfulness practice and mindfulness lessons, which culminate in a Wellness Day. Dr. Hoffman worked collaboratively to support a Virtual Wellness Day in her district that included almost 50 online sessions for children and families amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrators at Hopewell Valley Regional School District describe Dr. Hoffman as a leader, mentor, and collaborator who is viewed as a great listener, problem solver, and someone who brings support to everyone in the school community. Parents of families that Dr. Hoffman have worked with have also expressed support of her nomination as NJASP School Psychologist of the Year. They have described Dr. Hoffman as warm, genuine, and an ally and advocate for families and children. Dr. Hoffman prioritizes the needs of the whole child and goes far beyond her job role to ensure all students’ needs are met.
“While it is challenging every single day, we are an essential part of ensuring the safety and security of young people facing emotional, behavioral, and academic needs. We need to take care of one another and ourselves in order to support our respective school communities.” --Dr. Beth Hoffman
Dr. Irwin A. Hyman Service to Children Award
The Central Jersey Family Health Consortium (CJFHC)
North Brunswick, NJ
The Central Jersey Family Health Consortium (CJFHC) provides wrap-around collaborative services for families. They have established strong collaborations with schools and other youth servicing agencies to implement engaging and supportive programming. The many services the CJFHC provides are coordinated internally, enhancing each other's efforts, while having many medical/health/social service agencies and institutions as close partners. There is an emphasis on pediatric generalists and specialists, including hospitals, professional associations, and private practitioners. Among them are physicians, nurses, social workers, a pediatric neurologist, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and so on. The CJFHC works with the Department of Human Services Division of Family Development through the implementation of the Technical Assistance Centers and Child Care Health Consultant (CCHC) Program. The organization also assists in implementing Wyman's Teen Outreach Program to thousands of New Jersey teens, which promotes the positive development of adolescents through curriculum-guided, interactive group discussions; positive adult guidance and support; and community service learning.
To learn more about the services provided by The Central Jersey Family Health Consortium (CJFHC), please visit their website at: https://cjfhc.org
Jane Bostrum Service to School Psychology Award
Dr. Maurice Eilas
Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University and Director of Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, Ph.D.
Dr. Maurice Elias is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University and directs the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development (SECD) Lab. The SECD Lab assists school districts, through research in action, with developing school-wide targeted efforts to build character using empirically-supported, evidence-based approaches. At Rutgers, Dr. Elias teaches a community psychology course and supervises practicum and dissertation students who carry out community psychology in the educational setting. Dr. Elias has been honored as a recipient of the Distinguished Contributions to Community Psychology Practice Award, which is one of the highest honors given by the Society for Community Research and Action. He has also been the recipient of the Joseph E. Zins Memorial Senior Scholar Award (CASEL), the John P. McGovern Medal from the American School Health Association, and the Stanford McDonnell Award (character.org). Dr. Elias is a Founding Member of the Leadership Team of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Dr. Elias’s research focuses on school-based promotion of social competence, prevention of problematic behaviors, and the development, implementation, evaluation, and diffusion of innovations designed to build students’ social and emotional skills and “emotional intelligence” in schools. Dr. Elias’s leadership with various projects and initiatives have clearly impacted the field of School Psychology. The “Developing Safe and Civil Schools Project” (DSACS) reached over 270 middle schools in New Jersey and supported culture and climate within the schools through social, emotional, and character development (SECD). The School Support Network and the School Culture and Climate Initiative have continued as a result of the DSACS project. Dr. Elias’s M.O.S.A.I.C. Program (“Mastering Our Skills and Inspiring Character”) is a collaboration between the SECD Lab and the Jersey City Public Schools to help students build social-emotional skills and make contribution to their school and community. The STAT Program (“Students Taking Action Together”) promotes social-emotional development and civil discourse in middle school social studies classrooms. Dr. Elias has worked with the NJ Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development (NJASECD) to train educators in the use of the “Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education,” along with his student interns to help schools become Schools of Character. Current projects include: Helping New Brunswick Schools become Schools of Character, The Ambassadors Youth Empowerment and Leadership Program for at-risk middle school students, Development of On-Line Certification Programs for Direct Instruction and School-Focused Coordination of Social-Emotional and Character Development and School Culture and Climate Improvement interventions in Schools (with the College of St. Elizabeth), Laws of Life and Sense of Positive Purpose in the Schools, Implementation and Sustainability in School-Based Interventions, Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving Curriculum and Computer Lab, Jewish Adolescent Identity/Jewish Education Project, Assessment and Improvement of Civic Engagement, and Social-Emotional and Character Development and Academic Achievement/Closing Achievement Gaps Project via Research, Practice, and Policy. Dr. Elias has been a member of the leadership team involved in the development and coordination of SEL4NJ and is Co-Director of The Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools.
To learn more about the Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab at Rutgers, please visit the website: https://www.secdlab.org
2021 Diversity Committee Scholarship Recipient
FRANK J. EPIFANIO MINORITY GRADUATE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT -
Taheera Wilcox - Kean University
It is with great pleasure that the NJASP Diversity Committee recognizes Ms. Taheera Wilcox as this year's Frank J. Epifanio Minority Graduate Student Scholarship. Ms. Taheera Wilcox is a first-year graduate student at Kean University, working toward her Professional Diploma Program in School Psychology and Masters' in Educational Psychology. Her recommenders speak highly of Ms. Wilcox as a student and professional; they describe her as thoughtful, compassionate, and hard working, constantly seeking to expand her knowledge base through research and insightful & professional dialogue with her peers and professors. As a school psychologist, Ms. Wilcox intends to dedicate her work to combating stereotype threat in her schools. She recognizes, through her own experiences, the damaging impact harmful views can have on young people, particularly as it relates to anxiety in the academic setting. Through counseling sessions tailored to her students' needs, implementing a schoolwide growth mindset, and cultivating an environment of safety to learn through making mistakes, Ms. Wilcox aims to foster individual potential for success for her students within the classroom and beyond.