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2013 Early Career Award - Kelly Kreitz

2013  Early Career Award - Kelly Krietz

Opening remarks by Rob Kubick:

Good afternoon. I’m Rob Kubick, a member of the OSPA Awards Committee and it is my distinct pleasure to make this first-ever presentation of the OSPA Early Career Award. As many of you may recall, this award was developed over the course of the last year. The purpose of this award is to recognize the accomplishments of a school psychologist during the first five years of his or her career. Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to the practice and promotion of school psychology, research, and advocacy. Membership in local, state, and national organizations, presentation of research at professional conferences, and participation in volunteer and advocacy events are considered.

Today, I am honored to present this award to a dear colleague of mine in the Akron Public Schools, Mrs. Kelly Kreitz.  Kelly completed her graduate work at Kent State University and interned in the Akron Public Schools during the 2008-09 school year. She has been working there full-time ever since. Though it’s only been four years, to the many colleagues of hers who have become her friends, it seems more like 14 years. To those individuals who fail to look out for the best interests of her students, it probably seems like she’s been in Akron for 40 years.

Kelly has been an active OSPA member from her earliest student days. She has been a member of the OSPA Executive Board for the past two years as a special Presidential appointee. Kelly was appointed to serve as the Co-Chair of OSPA’s Early Career Task Force. In this capacity, she has been the outreach liaison from the Executive Board to our student and intern populations. Under her leadership, the Task Force has developed a strong mentorship program that matches newcomers in our field with veteran fieldbased practitioners. It has long been a goal of our Executive Board to have a thoughtful and tangible effort to develop the leadership capacities of this next generation of Ohio school psychologists and take deliberate initiatives to integrate these early career individuals into the workings of our Association. It is largely due to Kelly that this vision is finally being realized.

In addition to her ongoing and active OSPA membership, Kelly has also been a longtime member National Association of School Psychologists (where previously she presented at their annual convention) and the Kent/Akron association of School Psychologists. While attending Kent State University, Kelly served as Chair of her local Student Affiliates of School Psychology, as well as serving as a NASP Student Leader. Kelly also participated in the Kent State Transition Collaborative.

Since coming to the Akron Public Schools, Kelly began taking a leadership role in our department right from the start. Despite being the newcomer in a group of accomplished school psychologists, some with well-developed egos, Kelly quickly asserted herself and provided much-needed and critical direction during an important time of transition for our department. One example of this leadership, Kelly serves as the Chair of the Professional Learning Community for the school psychologists.

One recent initiative that she led involved coordinating efforts so that her two dozen colleagues participated in RtI initiatives and meetings in other colleagues’ buildings. By doing so, each school psychologist was able to observe their colleagues engaging in intervention and team-based processes, generate new ideas, and examine their own professional practices. Kelly also has longstanding membership on the Faculty Advisory Committee. In this capacity, she has provided oversight and direction to the entire process of allocating our human resources in the department to best meet the needs of our students and the school district at large.

Kelly also has extended her own professional development efforts to improve the technical skills and competencies of her colleagues. An example of this is her active participation and leadership in the Autism Professional Learning Community and Training Team. Kelly has presented at the local, state, and national level on topics such as assessment of students with autism and effective transition planning for secondary students with disabilities. Her prior scholarly and research activities merited her being recognized with the Educational Testing Service Recognition of Excellence, as well as the College of Education, Health, and Human Services Award for Outstanding Service and Leadership.

Kelly is a highly efficient, yet thorough, practitioner who has gone out of her way to share strategies for time and workload management to her colleagues. She routinely evaluates more students in a given year than nearly anyone else in her department of two dozen school psychologists, yet her assessments and reports are highly lauded in terms of their depth, attention to detail, and robust assessment-to-intervention recommendations. She willingly supervised a doctoral-level intern this year – the very first year in which she was eligible to do so. Kelly regularly volunteers for a variety of departmental, district, and community-based initiatives.  

Finally, no statement on Kelly’s behalf would be complete without recognizing her outstanding personal qualities. She has a wonderful sense of humor, is supportive beyond measure to all who need assistance, and has earned the complete confidence and trust of co-workers, students, and families. Despite a career that is just in its beginning stages, she has already earned the highest level of respect and admiration from all those who know her. It is for these reasons, and many more, that the OSPA Awards Committee, on behalf of the Executive Board hereby recognizes Mrs. Kelly Kreitz to be the first-ever recipient of the Ohio School Psychologists Association Early Career Award.

Kelly Kreitz Remarks

I am so honored to be acknowledged as the first Early Career Award recipient. Thank you so much to the OSPA Executive Board for accepting my nomination and also providing me with so many leadership opportunities over the past couple years. Thank you to the Awards Committee and co-chairs for taking the time to recognize the “newbies” out there as well. I’d like to take the time to thank a few individuals who have been an instrumental part of my journey into this extremely rewarding field.

First, thank you to Dr. Rob Kubick for nominating me for this award and making me sound way more amazing than I actually am. If you’re ever feeling down on yourself, just spend a day with Rob, and I promise your self-esteem will end up through the roof!

I want to thank Dr. Perry Clark, who is the coordinator of school psychologists in Akron Public Schools. Perry has been the most amazing boss anyone could ever possibly ask for. He’s the type of boss that makes you want to get up and go to work every day and go above and beyond. He advocates for our department, defends us when he has to, and constantly acknowledges the time and effort we put into our positions. He leads by example and overall he motivates me because I just want to make him proud. 

A very special person I’d like to recognize is Mrs. Susan Kruger. Susan was my supervisor during my internship; NEVER underestimate the power of an intern supervisor. Over the past few years Susan has become my mentor, my second mom, and my very best friend in the field of school psychology. Every good thing that I do as a school psychologist is because I learned it from her. 

Thank you to all the school psychologists that I work with in Akron Public Schools. For those of you who know me, you know I might be a slightly competitive person and there is an insane amount of talent in Akron to compete against. Working amongst such incredible colleagues makes me want to be better and do more every single day. They are the constant drive behind my effort.

Last, a quick thank you to my family, especially my parents and husband, who are the constant and reliable support I can always count on. Thank you again for this award, it means so much to be recognized by OSPA so early in my career. I can only hope to continue to follow in the footsteps of so many well-established school psychologists leading this extraordinary association. 

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