Outstanding Advocate Recognition for School District Five Psychologist

Lynn Collins, a temporary school psychologist in School District Five, has been honored as a 2024 Outstanding Advocate by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Government and Professional Relations Committee.

Collins received this prestigious recognition at the NASP Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, on February 15, 2024.

Expressing her gratitude, Collins stated, “I am truly honored to be recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists as an outstanding advocate. It gives me great pleasure to be a voice to support all the learning, behavioral, and mental health needs of students in South Carolina as well as the educators who work tirelessly every day so each child can succeed.”

The NASP Government and Professional Relations “Outstanding Advocate” Award is bestowed upon individuals or groups that have contributed to making systemic changes in policies governing education and mental health services at the state or local level. The awardees demonstrate a commitment to the NASP mission and its goals, bringing about evident improvements in education and services for children.

Lauding Collins’s achievements, Kelli McKinnon, Lead Psychologist in School District Five, expressed, “We are so excited to celebrate Lynn Collins as she is recognized as the 2024 Outstanding Advocate by the National Association of School Psychologists. Lynn spent the majority of her career as a school psychologist in School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties, where she consistently set an example as a tireless advocate for students and a supportive partner for staff and families.”

Even after retiring from School District Five in 2021, Collins continues her dedication to advocacy. She serves as the Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Psychologists and the Executive Director of the District Five Foundation. Additionally, Collins remains engaged as a part-time, temporary school psychologist in the district as needed.

Collins, with over a decade of experience as a school psychologist, has made significant contributions, including getting school psychologists added to the critical needs list in South Carolina. She played a pivotal role in rewriting school psychology certification and reciprocity guidelines for the South Carolina Department of Education. Collins has testified before various committees, addressing state legislative committees and task force groups within the education department. Her ongoing commitment revolves around enhancing school safety, expanding access to mental health services in schools, and promoting a comprehensive model of school psychological services.

The NASP represents over 25,000 school psychologists, graduate students, and related professionals in the United States and 25 additional countries globally. With a mission to advance effective practices for improving students’ learning, behavior, and mental health, NASP envisions a future where all children and youth thrive in school, at home, and throughout life.