Sara Murphy has been honored as a Spotlight School Psychologist by the Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools (KAPS).
The honor is part of a leadership initiative designed to identify and highlight school psychologists across the state who are engaged in efforts to improve systems and services to children and families.
Murphy is currently in her 15th year as a school psychologist. After completing her internship year in Hardin County, she has worked for the Daviess County Public Schools district for 14 years. She was humbled to receive this honor and was quick to give credit to other members of the DCPS team.
“To receive a KAPS Spotlight nomination is very meaningful to me because it comes from colleagues who recognize your efforts to support and improve our profession, which contributes to positive outcomes for students,” Murphy said. “I work with six other fantastic school psychologists in the DCPS district, all of whom are deserving of a Spotlight. I am grateful for the nomination and to KAPS for being a tremendous support to school psychology across Kentucky.”
Murphy has earned the respect of her colleagues and families as a professional who is dedicated to the students she serves, while also supporting their families and schools. DCPS director of special services Robin Bush said Murphy is a deserving recipient of this honor.
“Sara always puts kids first,” Bush said. “She is self-motivated, organized and develops great relationships with her colleagues and the schools she works with.”
When asked about a meaningful experience with a student or family member, Murphy said many experiences come to mind. She said one experience, in particular, helped her to realize her relationships with the adults involved in children’s lives would be just as important as her relationships with the children themselves.
“The first time this really hit home for me was when I received a phone call from the parent of a student in high school whom I had worked with several years prior,” Murphy said. “Her mother called me because she was concerned with her child’s progress and told me she needed my feedback because I was a person in her daughter’s life whom they both trusted. School psychologists don’t always have the amount of time we would like to have to build relationships with the students and families we serve. This is a reminder that oftentimes in each of our roles, we are impacting the families that we serve more than we realize.”
Murphy is an active member of KAPS, the state organization for the school psychology profession. She has previously served as Green River Regional Educational Cooperative region representative and on the KAPS executive council.
Even after 15 years, however, Murphy continues to challenge herself in the area of professional growth.
“My professional goals are forever changing,” she said. “My long-term goal would be to expand my role to assist my schools, their students and families with meeting mental health needs.”