When considering the nomination of a lifetime member to the WSPA, I cannot think of a more deserving person than Madeleine Pitsch. She has made a positive and lasting impact on the School Psychology profession in Wyoming. Through her hard work, passion for education, caring commitment to people, and vision for the needs of Wyoming education, she is deserving of this honor. She has dedicated her professional life to the development and improvement of school psychology by being a mentor to numerous school psychology interns, being a leader within her school district, and through years of active WSPA leadership roles.
Madeleine graduated from University of Northern Colorado in Greeley with an Ed.S School Psychology degree in 1987. She spent her entire 33-year public school career in Rock Springs WY. She was in the original norming group for the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP) National Certification (NCSP) exam. Soon after moving to Wyoming, Madeleine became very involved in the Wyoming School Psychology Association (WSPA) as an active member and officer. She had served multiple terms as president, vice-president, treasurer, and NASP delegate along with various state and national level committees. At the state level, Madeleine played a big role in advocating for Wyoming school psychologists with the Wyoming Professional Teachers Board (PTSB). She simplified the state’s certification process to align with NCSP equivalency. She was appointed by two different governors and spent over six years on the Wyoming Board of Psychology.
Madeleine was a helpful and willing School Psychology internship supervisor to 5 graduate students. When asked about her internship supervision she stated, “I worked closely with their various school psychology professors and attempted to provide them with a well-rounded and meaningful experience.”
As far as providing training and exposure to Wyoming school psychologists, Madeleine put together a 10 day intensive School Neuro Psychology training in Casper and brought many nationally known leaders to Wyoming for trainings including Cecil Reynolds, Rich Leiberman, Howie Knoff, Stephanie McConahey, Bill Jensen , Dr. Laura Riffle and more. Madeleine is trauma trained and a NASP PrePare trainer of trainers and a National Organization of Victim Association (NOVA) trainer of trainer.
Madeleine has continued to learn and grow professionally. More recently, Madeleine was the first person in the state of Wyoming to receive the Certified Specialist in School Psychology # 1 license (CSSP1). In addition, she became a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and jointed other mental health professionals and formed the Better Solutions Counseling Center in Rock Springs to continue to serve her community on a semi-retired basis.
Madeleine approaches education and School Psychology with boundless energy, even with a bad hip, it is difficult to keep up with her energy. As you may have guessed, Madeleine was my internship supervisor in Rock Springs, Sweetwater County SD #1. She made my internship experience enjoyable but more than that it was more meaningful than I ever imagined. She insisted that I was exposed to all levels of education and situations during my internship. This exposure ranged from crawling on the floor with kindergarteners to get down to their level and make connections, always finding a way to win a power struggle even if you find a victory in having a student look at you, to working with the curriculum director’s office to help assess building level progress monitoring initiatives only to find that not all buildings were on board with the program, and allowing me to sit in with her during the WSPA board meetings and dinners. Even when I was not confident in my abilities, she encouragement me to speak up, get involved, and do my best. In the end I believe that I was able to teach her a thing or two, including how to translate a North Dakota accent and how to change her car tire on interstate 80.
Those experiences helped guide me through my career as a rural school psychologist in Wyoming where there are fewer opportunities to collaborate with other professionals during my day to day activities, I still had confidence that stemmed from my internship with her. I feel that I gained inside knowledge and wisdom that I would not have experience if not for Madeleine’s passion for students and insights into education.
When asked about Madeleine, Dr. Bob said, “Mad has always been a ‘sparkplug,’ a person always energized to excite the membership and leadership of WSPA. She was in the business for the kids (and their families). Madeleine prided herself on advocacy. She advocated for kids, for educators, and for her school psychology colleagues. Needless to say, she spent untold hours in WSPA leadership as president, as treasurer, and as an individual who got things started.”
Carol Kramer also expressed many fond memories of learning and working with Madeleine through the WSPA. They often joked about holding (almost) every WSPA office possible over the years. She described Madeleine as an outspoken fearless leader that often said what needed to be said at the time. One of the accomplishments that Madeleine was most proud of was her appointment by the governor to the state’s Board of Psychology where she was able to teach the state personnel about what Wyoming School Psychologist do for schools and students.
Madeleine has made many lasting contributions to Wyoming School Psychologist, she has enjoyed working with colleagues, parents, students, teachers, and administrators and I know they have enjoyed working with her too.
Scott McGuire, Ed.S. NCSP, School Psychologist
WSPA Northeast Representative
WCSD#1 – Newcastle WY