Compiled by Katie Warsinske
The class of 2005 have been at their internship sites for about four months, so I thought I would check in with them to see how they were going. I was impressed with the responses I got! It seems like most everybody is enjoying their internship year!
Lorinda Cagle: I am currently serving as the school psychologist intern at Kentucky School for the Deaf in Danville, Kentucky. I have enjoyed working with the students and the staff. Everyone at KSD seems so devoted to their work as it relates to the children who attend KSD and the Deaf community. I have been blessed with many opportunities to continue my professional development both on and off campus. I have enjoyed being an intern (minus the -often times- overwhelming paperwork) and look forward to whatever comes my way in the new year!
Dan Farrell: I am in Phoenix Arizona. I am an intern at CottonBoll Elementary in the Peoria Unified School District. I have a K-8 school with approximately 800 students. I love my site and the district. To be here in Arizona is definitely a plus too. The weather is great and there is so much to do. There is a high need here for school psychs as well. Almost every district has an opening. The salary and cost of living is pretty good compared to NY. I was offered a job and will be staying with Peoria next year.
Othniel St-Ulme: I am doing my internship with Wediko Children's Services Boston School-Based Program. Wediko is a non-profit agency contracted with several school districts in the Boston region, including Boston Public Schools. In these schools, we provide psychoeducational and therapeutic services to their special needs student population and their families. This internship has, thus far, provided me with a broad experience in the field, and I'm particularly pleased with the level of supervision from professionals from across the spectrum of mental health and social services (i.e., school psychologists, social workers, clinical psychologists). On top of that, Boston's a great city to live in-- especially when the Red Sox win the World Series.
Cathy Offen: I am at the Ithaca City School district this year. I am at an Elementary school two days a week, a middle school two days a week, and I do itinerant pre-k services for the district one day a week. I like that I'm getting lots of pre-k experience at my site because it’s what I eventually want to do. Ithaca has pre-k classes in just about all of the schools, so I lucked out! =) They are pretty focused on early intervention services here, which is awesome. I also have two really fantastic supervisors who are incredibly supportive. They are really concerned with my internship being the best learning experience possible for me, which is great. It's also really nice to be actually getting paid some money this year..lol..not that its a lot, but hey, it's something! =)
Sarah Dash: I am currently with the Seneca Falls Central School District where I get a lot of independence and allowed to try new things.
Deana Whitbeck: I am currently at Finger Lakes Secondary School in Rushville, as part of the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES. I am working with Middle and High School students with emotional disturbances and serious behavior problems. I enjoy the personal atmosphere of the school. I know every student and staff member on a first name basis. I spend a lot of time in the classrooms, whether it be running group counseling sessions or just stopping in to see how everyone is doing. Another thing I love about this placement is that everyone works as a team to best meet each student’s educational and behavioral needs.
Megan Schlageter: I am currently at Pittsford Sutherland High School 5 days a week doing many reevaluations in an effort the get the school caught up with its mandated reevaluations. Aside from that I am doing several initial evaluations as well as some individual counseling. After the first semester is over we should be mostly caught up and I will be in other buildings in the district including the middle school and elementary levels. My internship placement is really good. I have a great deal of freedom coupled with enough supervision that I feel supported and yet independent. My supervisors make sure that I have a good earning experience and the district allows interns to participate in professional development opportunities regularly and at no cost to the intern. Both of my supervisors are excellent psychologists who have over 20 years of experience. Tom Zieno is the department leader for the district and Rick Fauth has a private practice aside from his full-time work at Pittsford. Both of these roles give my supervisors unique experiences that I can glean from. Pittsford Schools tend to have very supportive and well-informed parents, which makes working here rewarding. Historically, the district has hired one intern per school year and (as far as I know) the interns almost always come from RIT's program. I would definitely recommend the placement.
Frank Coluccio: I am at Marcus Whitman CSD in Rushville, NY. I’m really enjoying my site so far – the kids I get to work with are great. The faculty and staff are very nice and easy to work with.
Elaine Fadgen: I currently am an intern at Pavilion Central School District in Pavilion, NY. My site has been able to offer me the opportunity to be independent while still being monitored closely. Pavilion also has two former school psychologists in the district whom I can call upon for help at anytime. I also work with two social workers who are able to lend me so much insight. All in all, I absolutely, positively love going to work each and every day!!!
Katrina Johnson LeVan: I'm in the Pittsford Central Schools (as is Megan Schlageter), mostly at Mendon High School. Pittsford is a unique district because there is an extremely strong academic focus, with 95% of graduates going on to college. While that's a great statistic, it's hard for the 5% who don't want to go to college as well as students with disabilities who work so hard but still feel so much pressure. Pittsford also has a high level of parental involvement, and Pittsford parents are very savvy about the supports that schools are legally required to offer. Fortunately, Pittsford also has a lot of resources (like two interns :) ) and there are a lot of opportunities for involvement. But in
my opinion, the best thing about Pittsford is the student cafeteria, where you can buy giant chocolate chip cookies... it makes up for the lack of Ben & Jerry's which I had become so accustomed to at RIT.
Jason Dingman: My internship site is at the Midlakes Education Center in Phelps-Clifton Springs. I also spend one day a week at Flint Alternative High School. I'm really enjoying my site because I work with a diverse population of students. Many of the students are classified as autistic and their abilities vary considerably, some non-verbal and others quite verbal and intelligent. I also have a great supervisor who puts in a lot of time coaching me and helping me grow as a psychologist and as a person. Additionally, I spend most of my time conducting group and individual counseling and do very little testing, Yeah!
Brian Kurdziel: I am completing my internship at Alden Central Schools in Alden, NY (a suburb of Buffalo). I am enjoying getting the K-12 experience at my site and learning from my supervisors. I am also fortunate in that the administrators, teachers and parents in Alden have been quite welcoming in my interactions with them this year.
Kim Tucker: My internship is with the Syracuse City School District. I'm at a high school 3 days per week and the other 2 days are at an elementary school. At the high school I'm doing assessment, counseling, and participating in most crisis situations that come up. At the high school I'm learning a lot about transition coordination with VESID as well as learning to work with the many outside agencies that are available to students and their families. At the elementary school I am also doing assessment in addition to being a member of the School-Based Intervention Team (S-BIT). I attend the meetings and collect some baseline and progress monitoring data using DIBELS and CBM. I am also the coordinator for the Peer Tutoring Program where older students tutor younger children who are referred to my program as part of their S-BIT intervention. It was my job to train the tutors on how to tutor and work with younger students, set up the tutor/tutee pairings, and supervise all sessions. I attend all CSE and PST meetings at both schools. Thus far I am enjoying my internship with SCSD, as I have been able to have a lot of different experiences with such a diverse population. My supervisors have been wonderful and offer me great feedback on my progress. They have been really good about letting me get the kind of experiences that I want. I would suggest this placement to anyone, especially those who want to work in an urban district!