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Shashina Robinson of MPS is named Wisconsin School Psychologist of the Year for her work with students

Shashina Robinson of MPS is named Wisconsin School Psychologist of the Year Shashina Robinson, an MPS school psychologist at Elm Creative Arts School and a part-time member of the district’s PBIS team, has always sought “the people connection.” 

“Growing up, I always liked being able to talk with people and talk through things” — whatever their concerns might be, she said.  

Robinson is still connecting and still helping. Her work with Milwaukee Public Schools students now has earned her the title of Wisconsin’s School Psychologist of the Year.  

Robinson was presented with the award Thursday, March 7, at the spring convention of the Wisconsin School Psychologists Association in Appleton.  

“Working in a public schools setting is important because it allows me to grow in my values and what I believe in: supporting students in rough times and good times,” Robinson said. Ultimately, she said, she sees her role as “helping our students to see that they are capable and they are loved.”  

Working for Milwaukee Public Schools has brought Robinson full circle. She is a product of MPS, attending Forest Home Avenue School, Roosevelt Middle School, and Rufus King International High School, graduating in 1993. She majored in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, with a minor in ethnic studies, and returned to Whitewater in 2000 to earn her master’s degree in school psychology.  

Joining Milwaukee Public Schools appealed to her because of the variety of roles the district’s school psychologists can take part in, beyond testing and evaluation of students. 

Robinson joined MPS in 2002, working at River Trail School and then Pratt (the former Silver Spring) School, until 2014. She next worked with the district’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports team and returned to Pratt for four years before moving to Elm. 

“For me to be in a position to have the privilege to work with students in a public school setting and extend that love and extend that acceptance and celebrate with them when things go well — that’s important to me,” Robinson said. 

Working in public schools helps her continue to grow, learn and experience, she said.  

“I think our students are bright and share a lot of skills and values, and I think it’s important that we all see that,” she said. 

Robinson remembers when a former student who loved to draw returned to visit. “She had drawn me several pictures of the moon,” Robinson said. Robinson had mentioned years earlier that one of her favorite objects in the night sky was the moon, and the student remembered. 

“When they recognize you and they come back and share that with you — it’s just a really nice experience,” Robinson said. 

An excerpt from the nomination letter by the administrative team of the Office of Psychological Services takes note of Robinson’s approach to her work, and its effect not only on students but on colleagues: 

“What truly stands out is Shashina's advocacy and her willingness to challenge the status quo. Her ability to blend tenacity with kindness and understanding is unmatched. Colleagues unanimously agree that to know her is to witness a transformative force that elevates the practice of all school psychologists within our district.  

“Shashina not only challenges us to exceed expectations but also fosters an environment and culture of continuous improvement that directly benefits all students and their families.” 

The team is greater than the individual, in Robinson’s eyes. 

“It’s more effective to work as a collective than working in a silo — working alone,” she said, adding, “I don’t believe that I work alone.” 

At Milwaukee Public Schools, about 160 school psychologists support the well-being of students and support students’ learning, as well. School psychologists promote students’ confidence, reduce their risk-taking, and help them navigate everyday challenges. School psychologists also help with special education evaluations and violence prevention programs. 

This is the second consecutive year that the Wisconsin School Psychologist of the Year is from Milwaukee Public Schools. In 2023, the honor went to Brooke Soupenne, who is a bilingual school psychologist for MPS and mentors newly hired school psychologists. 

Contacts

Stephen Davis, Media Relations Manager

davis2@milwaukee.k12.wi.us
(414) 475-8675
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