Monday, November 09, 2009
Wendy Rudolph Named Virginia School Psychologist of the Year
Wendy Rudolph, senior school psychologist and Flint Hill Elementary School psychologist, is the recipient of the 2009-10 School Psychologist of the Year Award from the Virginia Academy of School Psychologists and Virginia Psychological Association. This award recognizes a school psychologist in the commonwealth who exemplifies the professional, child-centered focus of school psychology. Flint Hill Elementary School is a Fairfax County public school.
Rudolph, who has been with Fairfax County Public Schools since 1988, serves on the FCPS school psychology leadership team and has been a pivotal figure in the development and implementation of multiple countywide initiatives. “She was instrumental in establishing crisis response teams in FCPS and in training first responders,” says Dede Bailer, coordinator of psychology services.
“Dr. Rudolph developed the first intermediate program for students with emotional disabilities in our county, enabling students who needed significant clinical support to continue to attend classes in the general education setting rather than attending a center program,” says Mary Ann Panarelli, special education program manager, who praises Rudolph for her exceptional diagnostic skills and reliability in working with teachers, parents, and students. Teachers rely on her to suggest a plan for each student and to follow through to ensure that the plan is working and the child is improving, explains Panarelli; parents rely on her to listen to them, get to know their child, and compassionately and candidly address their concerns; administrators rely on her to understand regulations and provide guidance and advice. “And children know that she will drop everything when they need her, whether for a spontaneous counseling session, a pre-SOL (Standards of Learning) relaxation group, or a strategy session to plan and practice what to say and do at the first sixth grade dance (which, by the way, she will attend so they can check in when feeling uncertain),” says Panarelli.
Rudolph is also praised for mentoring new psychologists—she currently supervises 35 school psychologists—as well as for developing resource materials and participating in systemwide committees and initiatives, including developing an interdisciplinary Response to Intervention (RtI) model, and for providing training and support for a new measure for achievement testing. She chairs the FCPS Test Review and Approval Committee, a multidisciplinary committee that reviews and approves assessment measures for students, and was a long-standing member of the FCPS Institutional Review Board, which was responsible for reviewing research proposals and collaborative research projects with universities, test developers, and psychology training programs.
A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Rudolph earned her master’s, her educational specialist, and her doctor of philosophy in psychology degrees from Western Michigan University.