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UASP 2020-21 Awards

Lifetime Achievement

Tami Gear

After reading through Tami’s materials and learning more about her - I have no better words to describe this awardee's impact than to quote directly from one of Tami’s nominators, Assistant Superintendent, Leah Voorhies: “She solves complex problems, she builds trusting relationships, she takes systems apart and then reassembles them in more efficient and effective manners.  She serves students and families and they are better because of her efforts.  Tami served as a school psychologist in a school, at a district level and now at a state level.  She’s influenced the lives of children, families, faculties, LEAs and the state.  She truly embodies the mission of UASP by advancing effective practices, research, and policy development to improve students’ learning, behavior, and mental health and advocating for the profession of school psychology and the rights and welfare of children and youth.  She is the perfect candidate to be honored with a lifetime achievement award in school psychology.” 

Thank you Tami for your incredible impact and work throughout your career in every role you have held. It is truly an honor to have you in our profession and state. 

School Psychologist of the Year

Sterling Stauffer

I am so pleased to honor Sterling Stauffer as this year's School Psychologist of the Year! Sterling is a shining example of excellence in our field. He not only has had an incredible impact on our Board at the state level, but is a consistent resource for those around him in Washington County. Sterling is often described as calm, professional, helpful, knowledgeable, and overall amazing. He is a leader in his field and has been instrumental to policy development, training, and collaboration in his district. Sterling’s impact as a school psychologist locally and state wide is a testament to the power of our profession. Thank you Sterling for your contributions and all you will do in the future! 

School Psychology Student of the Year

Heather Lewis

It is apparent that this year's awardee for School Psychology Student of the Year is already making an impact on our field. Heather is lauded by her peers and faculty at the University of Utah as not only having fantastic clinical skills, excellent rapport and engagement, but also being incredibly personable, collaborative, and passionate. She has shown great dedication to her program and studies and has excelled as a student. Notably she has recently spearheaded the equity, inclusion, and diversity committee in her program. Heather has demonstrated she is a leader amongst her cohort. Heather’s competency and her ambition to participate in clinical work as a school psychologist, leader, and researcher will make a noticeable impact in our field. Heather plans to use her degree to support individuals with ASD and DD, and their families, through collaborative and evidence-based practices. Congratulations Heather!

Outstanding Service to Children and Families

Superintendent Sydnee Dickson

This award is designed to recognize individuals who have been outstanding advocates for children and their families. The UASP board feels strongly that Superintendent Sydnee Dickson has continually been an excellent, passionate, and consistent advocate for Utah children. She is a strong voice in ensuring that our state's educators are able to best serve students and decisions that impact students have been made with appropriate knowledge and input. We have seen her lead this state with great grace and wisdom, especially during the recent chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both her words and actions as State Superintendent have demonstrated great dedication to children in many ways including those areas that are a focus of school psychologists: SEL, mental health supports, equitable education for all, and appropriate special education for students with disabilities. We believe Dr. Dickson is incredibly deserving of this award and we are so pleased to honor her. 

UASP has significant gratitude to Dr. Dixon for her inclusion of a wide variety of professionals on her COVID committee, including a UASP representative. During each of these meetings it has been observed that Superintendent Dixon has placed significant thought and emphasis on both the academic well-being of students and the mental health of both students and educators. In addition her consistent awareness of how School Psychologists work in conjunction with other school based professionals has been powerful in emphasizing school based mental health supports. During this time of significant turmoil, Superintendent Dixon has been a steady supportive force. Thank you Dr. Dixon!

Distinguished Service to UASP

Melissa Heath

Our recipient this year is a stalwart of UASP. She has served the board extensively in multiple roles throughout the years. Melissa has championed the UASP Observer, making it a consistent resource and communication touch point for UASP members spread across our state. Her perspective, knowledge, and passion have contributed so positively to the board and our actions. Her voice is respected amongst all board members and the resources she shares with members are invaluable. Melissa has always been willing to step up and take on tasks as a Board member and her collaborative nature has been instrumental in moving us forward. She is continually generous, enthusiastic, and optimistic. She has devoted her life to supporting children, families, and educators. Melissa’s impact on the field of school psychology and the Utah Association of School Psychologists will be felt for a long time to come. With deepest gratitude we thank Melissa for all her service. 

Melissa’s beautiful eye for photography at UASP events has been a wonderful addition in capturing so many wonderful moments in time.

Each year, the Utah Association of School Psychologists honors those who have made an outstanding contribution to the goals and standards of our profession though our annual awards program. UASP awards are presented at UASP's annual conference.

Please consider nominating a colleague (who is a current UASP member) for one of the following four awards.

Note: deadline for receipt of nominations is October 1st!


The purpose of the Lifetime Achievement Award is to identify and recognize an outstanding school psychologist who has had state level impact on the field of school psychology and who has dedicated his or her professional life to the development and betterment of school psychology.


The purpose of the School Psychologist of the Year Award is to identify and recognize an outstanding school psychologist and to promote public awareness of the profession.


The purpose of the Barbara Bennett Excellence in Diversity Award is to identify and recognize an outstanding school psychologist who has provided leadership and advocacy for the treatment of diverse populations with respect within the field of school psychology.


The purpose of the School Psychology Student of the Year Award is to identify and recognize an outstanding school psychology student and to promote public awareness of the profession.

Please consider nominating a fellow UASP member today!

Review the nomination criteria for each award here: (UASP Awards Summary)

Two additional awards are presented annually by the UASP Executive Board:

The purpose of the Distinguished Service Award is to identify and recognize a member of UASP who has given exceptional service to UASP and the profession of school psychology.


The purpose of the Outstanding Service to Children and Families Award is to identify and recognize an individual who is an outstanding advocate for children and their families.

To nominate a colleague, please download and complete the Nomination Form (UASP Awards Nomination Form) and send via US mail to:

UASP Awards Committee, 358 S. 700 East B-312, Salt Lake City, UT 84102

Award recipients will be announced at UASP's annual conference

Note: deadline for receipt of nominations is October 1st!

UASP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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358 S. 700 East, B-312
Salt Lake City, UT 84102

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