Milford School Psychologist Delaware 2022 Behavioral Health Professional Of Year – State of Delaware News















Milford School Psychologist Delaware 2022 Behavioral Health Professional Of Year – State of Delaware News























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A school psychologist from Milford School District is the state’s first ever Delaware Behavioral Health Professional of the Year.

Rosa DiPiazza of Mispillion Elementary School said she approaches all of her relationships – with students, families, community members and colleagues – with genuine curiosity and interest.

“I want to understand the experiences, feelings and perspectives of the people with whom I work. I want to facilitate safe meeting spaces for people to share their stories. When we understand the why behind others’ actions, we are often more empathetic towards situations that might have otherwise angered us,” she said. “When we are more empathetic, we are better able to work together to solve problems. People want to feel heard, validated, and respected (even little ones).”

Secretary of Education Mark Holodick made the surprise announcement at the school Thursday afternoon during a school-wide staff meeting.

“Rosa is an excellent representative for the critical work that behavioral health professionals perform in schools across our state every day,” he said. “Mental health is health. Our students need to be healthy to learn, and I am proud of the work Rosa and BHPs across Delaware are leading for the wellness and growth of our students, families and communities.”

DiPiazza said she is known in her school for being able to build relationships with all families, including those who don’t yet have strong relationships with the school staff.

“I think this is because I am able to interact with them openly and non-judgmentally. I work hard to understand others’ backgrounds and situations and have no problem seeking out cultural brokers to facilitate that understanding,” she said. “I do not expect people to respect me simply because of my position. I earn the respect of adults and students by being honest, professional and staying focused on solving the problems at hand … When I interact with students, I prioritize presenting myself as a safe person who is there to help them with whatever they need help with. I am kind, keep my promises and build trust.”

DiPiazza has led her school’s Trauma-Informed Classrooms (TIC) Goal Team for the past three years. The team provides trauma education and implementation support for building- and classroom-level practices to help reduce the negative impact of trauma on students.

“These initiatives have provided the education and tools necessary to support staff and students in becoming more mindful and understanding in their interactions,” she said. “When we are able to self-regulate and see behavior not as a reflection of who a child is but as an indicator of what has happened to them, we are better able to show compassion towards each other, which in turn builds a stronger school community.”

Milford Director of Student Services Laura Manges recommended DiPiazza for the honor, saying she is a highly skilled school psychologist and a well-respected colleague.

“She readily offers in-classroom supports to teaching staff in order to guarantee the fidelity of implementation of behavior interventions and consistently monitors the progress of interventions,” Manges said. “She has worked diligently to support at-risk students with mental health needs by offering mentoring to instructional and counseling staff. Rosa works closely with families in order to create trusting relationships designed to assist them in helping their students develop better emotional regulation skills.”

The Delaware State Behavioral Health Professional of the Year (BHPY) program is administered by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). The program recognizes outstanding service by school employees who are health care practitioners or human service providers who offer services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health. The Delaware Charter School Network also is invited to participate. Employees considered for the award include:

  • School counselors
  • School social workers
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • School psychologists
  • School nurses

From those nominated at a local level, one behavioral health professional of the year moves forward to represent each district or the charter school community in the state program. Each district/charter network winner receives a $2,000 personal award from the winner’s district or charter school. The state program then chooses one person annually to serve as Delaware’s Behavioral Health Professional of the Year. State winners receive an additional $3,000 personal award from DDOE as well as $5,000 to be used for the educational benefit of his or her students.

Learn more about all the 2022 District/Charter Behavioral Health Professionals of the Year here.

The Delaware Department of Education thanks the following for their support as members of the application review and interview committees: 

  • Jennifer Davis, Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) education associate for student services and special populations
  • Jodi DaCosta, 2021 Delaware School Counselor of the Year
  • Candice Fifer, State Board of Education member and licensed clinical social worker
  • Stephanie Ingram, Delaware State Education Association president
  • Teri Lawler, DDOE education associate, trauma-informed practices and social and emotional learning
  • Valerie Longhurst, state representative and House majority leader
  • John Marinucci, Delaware School Boards Association executive director
  • Monique Martin, DDOE education associate, equity
  • Riley Zarzycki, HOSA-Future Health Professionals student
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Related Topics:  Delaware Behavioral Health Professional of the Year, Delaware Department of Education, Department of Education, Mispillion Elementary School, Rosa DiPiazza

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Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.

DE Department of Education logo

A school psychologist from Milford School District is the state’s first ever Delaware Behavioral Health Professional of the Year.

Rosa DiPiazza of Mispillion Elementary School said she approaches all of her relationships – with students, families, community members and colleagues – with genuine curiosity and interest.

“I want to understand the experiences, feelings and perspectives of the people with whom I work. I want to facilitate safe meeting spaces for people to share their stories. When we understand the why behind others’ actions, we are often more empathetic towards situations that might have otherwise angered us,” she said. “When we are more empathetic, we are better able to work together to solve problems. People want to feel heard, validated, and respected (even little ones).”

Secretary of Education Mark Holodick made the surprise announcement at the school Thursday afternoon during a school-wide staff meeting.

“Rosa is an excellent representative for the critical work that behavioral health professionals perform in schools across our state every day,” he said. “Mental health is health. Our students need to be healthy to learn, and I am proud of the work Rosa and BHPs across Delaware are leading for the wellness and growth of our students, families and communities.”

DiPiazza said she is known in her school for being able to build relationships with all families, including those who don’t yet have strong relationships with the school staff.

“I think this is because I am able to interact with them openly and non-judgmentally. I work hard to understand others’ backgrounds and situations and have no problem seeking out cultural brokers to facilitate that understanding,” she said. “I do not expect people to respect me simply because of my position. I earn the respect of adults and students by being honest, professional and staying focused on solving the problems at hand … When I interact with students, I prioritize presenting myself as a safe person who is there to help them with whatever they need help with. I am kind, keep my promises and build trust.”

DiPiazza has led her school’s Trauma-Informed Classrooms (TIC) Goal Team for the past three years. The team provides trauma education and implementation support for building- and classroom-level practices to help reduce the negative impact of trauma on students.

“These initiatives have provided the education and tools necessary to support staff and students in becoming more mindful and understanding in their interactions,” she said. “When we are able to self-regulate and see behavior not as a reflection of who a child is but as an indicator of what has happened to them, we are better able to show compassion towards each other, which in turn builds a stronger school community.”

Milford Director of Student Services Laura Manges recommended DiPiazza for the honor, saying she is a highly skilled school psychologist and a well-respected colleague.

“She readily offers in-classroom supports to teaching staff in order to guarantee the fidelity of implementation of behavior interventions and consistently monitors the progress of interventions,” Manges said. “She has worked diligently to support at-risk students with mental health needs by offering mentoring to instructional and counseling staff. Rosa works closely with families in order to create trusting relationships designed to assist them in helping their students develop better emotional regulation skills.”

The Delaware State Behavioral Health Professional of the Year (BHPY) program is administered by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE). The program recognizes outstanding service by school employees who are health care practitioners or human service providers who offer services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health. The Delaware Charter School Network also is invited to participate. Employees considered for the award include:

  • School counselors
  • School social workers
  • Licensed clinical social workers
  • School psychologists
  • School nurses

From those nominated at a local level, one behavioral health professional of the year moves forward to represent each district or the charter school community in the state program. Each district/charter network winner receives a $2,000 personal award from the winner’s district or charter school. The state program then chooses one person annually to serve as Delaware’s Behavioral Health Professional of the Year. State winners receive an additional $3,000 personal award from DDOE as well as $5,000 to be used for the educational benefit of his or her students.

Learn more about all the 2022 District/Charter Behavioral Health Professionals of the Year here.

The Delaware Department of Education thanks the following for their support as members of the application review and interview committees: 

  • Jennifer Davis, Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) education associate for student services and special populations
  • Jodi DaCosta, 2021 Delaware School Counselor of the Year
  • Candice Fifer, State Board of Education member and licensed clinical social worker
  • Stephanie Ingram, Delaware State Education Association president
  • Teri Lawler, DDOE education associate, trauma-informed practices and social and emotional learning
  • Valerie Longhurst, state representative and House majority leader
  • John Marinucci, Delaware School Boards Association executive director
  • Monique Martin, DDOE education associate, equity
  • Riley Zarzycki, HOSA-Future Health Professionals student
image_printPrint

Related Topics:  Delaware Behavioral Health Professional of the Year, Delaware Department of Education, Department of Education, Mispillion Elementary School, Rosa DiPiazza

Graphic that represents delaware news on a mobile phone

Keep up to date by receiving a daily digest email, around noon, of current news release posts from state agencies on news.delaware.gov.

Here you can subscribe to future news updates.




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