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MPS employee named state School Psychologist of the Year

MPS school psychologist Dr. Amy Nelson Christensen honored for pioneering leadership on impact of trauma on students' learning, social development

MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools school psychologist Dr. Amy Nelson Christensen has been named Wisconsin School Psychologist of the Year by the Wisconsin School Psychologists Association.

At the organization’s spring conference March 26, Dr. Nelson Christensen was recognized for the exemplary way she serves students as well as her pioneering leadership and work on the issue of trauma and how it affects students' learning and social development. Her work takes her to schools across the district.

A five-year veteran of MPS, Dr. Nelson Christensen and MPS social worker Pam Hansen developed a research-based program to help students and staff understand how trauma impacts the lives of many children in large urban communities. Their trauma training also touches on the challenges educators face in working with children who are undergoing trauma.

Dr. Nelson Christensen is now eligible for the National Association of School Psychologists’ School Psychologist of the Year award.

“I am truly honored to receive this award and represent school psychologists, who are a highly educated and dedicated group of educators in our district,” she said. “School psychologists advocate for children and their needs on a daily basis, and this award further supports the MPS Department of Specialized Services’ efforts as a whole toward trauma-sensitive practices in our schools throughout the district.  I hope this recognition validates that our district is at the frontier of this pioneering work and solidifies our momentum towards meeting our students’ academic needs indirectly through practices that support their personal resiliency.”

Every MPS school has access to a school psychologist through the MPS Department of Specialized Services.

Photo (left to right): Dr. Betty DeBoer, WSPA past president; Dr. Mary Esser, MPS coordinator of psychological services and allied health; Dr. Amy Nelson Christensen, MPS school psychologist and WSPA School Psychologist of the Year

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Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
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