School Psych Spotlight – Patrick Lussenhop

Our School Psychologist Spotlight psychologist, Pat Lussenhop, works for Grant Wood AEA. Pat has worked for GWAEA for almost nine years. He currently works in Linn-Mar schools and also supports Grant Wood’s mentoring and induction program for new employees. Pat lives in Marion with his wife, who is a school counselor, and their two kids. His family enjoys heading north to the Minnesota lakes in the summer.

Pat is a transplant from Minnesota. The state of Iowa was lucky to have him cross that boarder in the Fall of 2007 when he started graduate school in the UNI School Psychology Program. After graduation, he started working for GWAEA and has been with the agency ever since. Throughout his career at GWAEA, Pat has worked in Linn-Mar and Marion schools in addition to supporting private and home school students in the Cedar Rapids area.

Currently, Pat’s main responsibilities are within the child find process for both academics and behavior. He also supports the special education teachers in his buildings providing assistance with ongoing IEPs, re-evaluations, and other special education related tasks. Further, Pat is a part of building and district level teams focusing on child find, interventions, data collection, and problem solving.

When asked what Pat loves about being a school psychologist he said, “I enjoy working with the students and getting to seem them make progress and grow over time. I also like working with Grant Wood and school district co-workers and problem solving together. The variety that the job brings on a day to day basis is great and helps motivate me to improve and expand my practice all the time.” While Pat enjoys many of his roles and responsibilities, he reported that he would like to have more opportunities to provide direct services to students, especially those who have mental health related concerns.

To new school psychologists, Pat offered this advice, “Explore multiple areas within the job and seek out a variety of experiences (elementary, secondary, behavior, etc). Seeing students and systems in different settings and at different levels helps to create a well-rounded practice and helps you to feel more confident in general.”

Thank you, Pat, for all you do for Iowa schools, teachers, and students.

ISPecially Yours – January 2018

The Grocery Quandary

So my favorite grocery store, ALDI, was just completely remodeled. The first time I went back to
the new store I had an immediate sense of awe at how new and shiny everything looked, but
this feeling quickly shifted to a feeling of uneasiness. If you’ve never been in an ALDI, it’s a lot
like IKEA where they heard you through the maze of aisles like cattle. If you’ve never been to
IKEA then drive to Minneapolis and make a day of it, because let me tell you it will take a day.
Sorry, I digress.

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NASP Leadership in Action Spotlight Initiative

Are you helping to improve practice in your school/district? If so, NASP wants to learn more from you through the Leadership in Action Spotlight initiative. The Spotlight initiative seeks to elicit and disseminate stories of school psychologists engaged in efforts to improve systems and services to children and families. Whether at the building or district level, efforts to build capacity take leadership, and your efforts can help inspire and inform other school psychologists to help lead change as well. Learn more and submit your story to NASP at http://www.nasponline.org/research-and-policy/advocacy-tools-and-resources/communications-strategies-and-resources/test/the-leadership-in-action-spotlight-initiative.