2018 School Psychologist of the Year

Dr. Caitlin Gilmartin

Nominated by Dr. Terri Erbacher

Biography by Nicolas Kroger & Morgan Dutrow

The Association of School Psychologists of Pennsylvania (ASPP) honored Dr. Caitlin Gilmartin with the 2018 School Psychologist of the Year (SPOTY) Award at their annual fall conference this October in State College, Pennsylvania.  The conditions for choosing the SPOTY recipient require that the nominee “provides a full range of services, performs the job in an exemplary manner, is well respected by colleagues, students, and parents, is well informed about the goals and standards of the state professional organization, and represents school psychology well.”
 
Dr. Gilmartin is a full-time, nationally certified school psychologist for the Colonial School District.  Dr. Gilmartin is considered to be a valued leader in her district’s school psychology department and is described as a team player who goes above and beyond what is expected of her.  Dr. Gilmartin strives to be visible to the school by using her own time to coach an inclusive cheerleading squad and staffing various school and community events.   She has also designed and implemented a school motivation program while at the same time seeking funding to help her school become trained in the latest techniques and methods to support school motivation.  In addition, Dr. Gilmartin strives to provide knowledge concerning best practices in suicide intervention for all school staff.  Caitlin is described as an empathetic, honest person who does not seek to further herself, but to make the school better for staff, students, and the community.

Terri Erbacher, a certified school psychologist and clinical associate professor at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, describes Dr. Gilmartin as a passionate, diligent, hard-working, creative, knowledgeable, and compassionate professional who strives to fill in gaps in resources or services rendered.  Dr. Erbacher went on to praise Dr. Gilmartin for continually working to develop programs; striving to be visible to students, faculty, and the community; and effectively building rapport with everyone with whom she works.  Dr. Gilmartin is described as the type of colleague anyone would want in their school building, as she works to ensure she provides the best service possible with a kind, positive energy.
 
In her candidate statement, Dr. Gilmartin emphasized the issue of advocating for a greater understanding of the comprehensive model of delivery of school psychology services in both the school, community, and public in general.  She argues that a lack of understanding leads to fewer opportunities for psychologists to be involved in advocacy for children and for the profession, while also leading to less access to appropriate services for students.  When given an expanded role, a school psychologist can bridge a gap in services; Dr. Gilmartin has clearly demonstrated this ability in her career.  In addition, Dr. Gilmartin argues that a greater understanding of the expanded role of school psychologists will lead to greater job satisfaction and retention for school psychologists, as well as more positive outcomes for students.  Dr. Gilmartin also encourages the promotion of programs for school psychologists to earn certification as a pupil services administrator or principal, something which she has recently completed.
 
Dr. Gilmartin has proven to be an exemplary school psychologist and a dedicated mentor to aspiring school psychologists. Congratulations to Dr. Gilmartin, ASPP’s 2018 School Psychologist of the Year!
 
Nicolas Kröger, BA, is a first-year doctoral candidate in the School Psychology Certification Program at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
 
Morgan Dutrow, MEd, is a second-year doctoral candidate in the School Psychology Certification Program at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.