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Richland One School Psychologist Serves as a Champion to One Student at a Time

Kelsey BoydNational School Psychology Week is celebrated annually during November to highlight the importance of the profession. This year’s theme, “Let’s Get in Gear,” presents the challenge to school psychologists to grow professionally and personally, a feat that some may find unnerving during the pandemic.

It’s no different for Richland One School Psychologist Kelsey Boyd who said although it is a time when one can be easily overwhelmed, remembering self-care is important. Boyd is assigned to Burton-Pack, Lewis Greenview, Mill Creek and Satchel Ford elementary schools. She is also mother to 7-year-old Jeremiah. She offers a bit of advice to those in her profession and educators in general.

“Remember that you are in a pandemic. Things are not normal, so allow room for error for yourself and others,” Boyd said. “Don’t take work home with you and have balance in your life. When you are at work, give work 100 percent and when you are at home, give your family 100 percent.”

The Indianapolis, Ind. native who was reared in Florence, S.C. said giving her all as a school psychologist is much like a quote from master educator Rita Pierson, “Every child deserves a champion.”

“A lot of times you go into a meeting where you are the only person at that table whose job is to advocate in the best interest of that child, especially in the absence of a parent,” said Boyd. “When I sit down at the table for a meeting for a student, I try to put the best interest of that one child first and be their champion.”

Boyd said she loves being able to make a difference in the lives of children, supporting them when it may seem like nobody else is doing so. It’s something she does with her colleagues as well, serving as a listening ear and as a voice of encouragement.

“I love working with the adults that impact children’s lives by supporting teachers and school administrators,” she said.

When Boyd interned in a public school system in Georgia, Trojanell Wilson encouraged and assisted her along the way. She shared an office with Wilson and other school psychologists whose wisdom in the field was passed on to Boyd.

“We were able to sit and talk about difficult assessment cases, discuss situations in the schools that may have been hard to navigate and also share things about our personal lives with each other,” said Boyd. “She showed me how to apply the things I learned in graduate school to real-life situations, and she gave me all the encouragement I needed to feel confident that I had the skills to practice school psychology independently.”

Boyd received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the College of Charleston, and her master’s and education specialist degrees in school psychology from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

She encourages anyone who wants to know more about the field to find a mentor within an academic or clinical setting. The field is much broader than evaluation and placement of children, said Boyd.

“We have the skills to support the needs of children in the broader educational setting when it comes to academic and behavioral difficulties,” she said.

Richland One is hiring school psychologists, social workers and other certified and classified staff. Included are new incentive packages and bonuses for those who qualify. Information about the incentives is posted on the district’s website (www.richlandone.org). Professional learning opportunities abound and benefits for many of the positions include tuition reimbursement, retirement and health benefits, and paid sick leave. Some positions offer paid summer-off contract options.

Applications may be submitted online via the district’s website. From the home page, click on the Employment tab, then click on the Job Openings link to Start an Application for Employment.