2021 SPOTY - Dr. Amber SessomsCentral Dauphin School Psychologist Recognized as PA School Psychologist of the Year
Dr. Sessoms has served as a model and advocate for students in the margins. She has worked relentlessly to expand the role of the school psychologist to include that of a consultant, especially for effective practices related to social emotional learning and equity. To build the capacity for mental health supports at Central Dauphin School District, Dr. Sessoms applied funding to enlist QPR Institute-trained instructors across the Commonwealth to train all 1,200 staff members in the evidence-based QPR Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention. This was the first large-scale training of its kind. To enhance equitable and antiracist practices within her community, Dr. Sessoms was instrumental in leading the district to develop the #DestroytheHate campaign to combat bias and discrimination by centering student voice. Dr. Sessoms is considered an expert and champion on equity, not only in her district, but across the Commonwealth, as a member of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Equity and Inclusion Task Force and Vice Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Professionals of Central Pennsylvania. Not only are her accomplishments outstanding, Dr. Sessoms’ achievement is particularly noteworthy, as she is the first person of color to be awarded the School Psychologist of the Year recognition from ASPP. Check out an interview with Dr. Sessoms on ASPP’s YouTube channel! Watch Dr. Sessoms receive her award at the Central Dauphin School District Board Meeting on February 8, 2021.