Franklin Pierce school psychologist is Educational Staff Associate of the Year
Carrie Suchy, psychologist at the Franklin-Pierce School District, has been named Washington Educational Staff Associate (ESA) of the Year for 2021. Suchy has worked in multiple schools in the district for the past six years and has shown exceptional dedication to supporting students, advancing her profession and advocating for public schools.
"Carrie has far exceeded just taking care of the ... needs of her caseload," says colleague Manya McFarlane. "She has stepped beyond her role to make sure the voices of those she represents are heard.”
Suchy works as part of a collaborative school psychology team and often works outside of her assigned caseload in other buildings to assist her colleagues. She provides multifaceted supports including evaluation, school-to-home communications and educator consultation.
"Carrie listens, acknowledges, and helps members to find the path toward success," says Franklin Pierce Education Association President Pam Kruse. "She has been an outstanding leader, trusted confidante and strong social justice advocate."
Suchy's work has also improved educational equity in her buildings. Behavior performance was formerly measured by teacher referral which left lots of room for bias and inequities toward students of color. She worked with teacher teams to develop data-based behavior criteria which reduces the potential for bias.
As an advocate for all school psychologists, Suchy established the ESA Behavioral Health Coalition which brings together representatives from the professional organizations for social workers, counselors, nurses and school psychologists. Having this powerful group of student supporters together has given the ESAs the power to win definition of their roles in state law and inclusion in the governor's budget proposals. Suchy also led the development and delivery of the first training customized for ESAs.
"Carrie partners regularly with OSPI staff around the certification curriculum to ensure members have the most current, relevant information," says Jim Meadows from WEA's Center for Education Quality. "Carrie has a calm, professional, and supportive training style that makes participants feel comfortable asking questions and engaging."
The Washington Education Association will officially present Suchy with the ESA of the Year award at its annual meeting in April.