Rob Kubick, PhD
Akron Public Schools
The following remarks are from Carina Turner, OSPA Awards Committee Member when introducing the Early Career Award winner at the OSPA Fall Conference:
It is my great pleasure to introduce the recipient of OSPA’s 2022 Early Career Award.
The purpose of this award is to acknowledge the accomplishments of school psychologists in the first five years of their career. Nominees should demonstrate a commitment to the practice and promotion of school psychology, research, and advocacy. Membership in local, state, and national organizations, presentation of research at professional conferences, and participation in volunteer and advocacy events are considered.
Our recipient of the OSPA 2022 Early Career Award is Ms. Alanna Bebech.
Alanna was nominated by her colleagues in the Northeastern Ohio School Psychology Association. The basis of her nomination was her numerous commendable contributions at the start of her professional career.
Alanna is a proud graduate of the Youngstown State University School Psychology Program, where she served as a graduate assistant for two full years while she completed her coursework. She served as the President of the YSU school psychology program’s student organization. In addition, she served as the student representative from the YSU program to OSPA’s Executive Board.
Alanna has presented at various state and national school psychology conferences and has supported published articles on various school psychology topics. Alanna is a previous recipient of the Valorie Wolcott Mendelson Scholarship.
Alanna is employed as a full-time school psychologist at the Trumbull County Educational Service Center. Despite her high caseload, Alanna works tirelessly to serve a comprehensive role, with a particular focus on counseling and mental health support for her students. In addition, Alanna always finds time to mentor and supervise practicum students and school psychology interns.
Alanna also teaches part time for the Youngstown State school psychology program. This has included graduate courses on topics such as consultation, response to intervention practices, and legal/ethical decision-making. Her students frequently remark that Alanna is personable, engaging, and supportive.
Alanna’s service has extended well beyond the northeast Ohio region. She serves as a National Association of School Psychologists convention presentation reviewer and is a member of their GEI Leadership Outcomes Taskforce. Alanna continues to serve on the Executive Board of OSPA as a co-chair for the Nominations and Elections Committee. She is also a member of the OSPA Scholarship Committee. It is also noteworthy that Alanna played a key role in reconstituting the regional OSPA chapter for the Northeastern Ohio area (NEOSPA) and served as president of this organization.
In her nomination materials, Alanna’s principal noted that, although he expected a learning curve with a first-year school psychologist, Alanna was prepared on day one. She quickly built rapport with everyone and has a demonstrated passion for helping kids. Her role has expanded to include coordination of all Section 504 processes, training staff in supporting transgender students, being a critical member of the crisis team, and compiling resources and materials for students with challenging behaviors. One of Alanna’s intervention specialists described her as being one of the most involved, supportive, and knowledgeable professionals with whom she’s ever worked.
Alanna’s direct supervisor, Ms. Melanie Shipman, described Alanna as follows:
“She is tenacious and eager to learn. She perseveres, jumps in, collaborates, and gets the job done. Professionally and personally, Alanna shines brightly. She lives out her own life shining light in dark places.”
The School Psychology Program Chair at Youngstown State University, Dr. Richard VanVoorhis, described Alanna:
“She is people-oriented, compassionate, empathetic, curious, intelligent, creative, and resourceful. She thrives on human interaction and opportunities to help all children reach their potential. She views school psychology not only as a profession, but as an act of service. In doing so, she has already impacted countless lives in such a positive manner, including my own.”
It is for all these reasons that the Executive Board of the Ohio School Psychologists Association is proud to recognize Ms. Alanna Bebech as the recipient of the 2022 OSPA Early Career Award. Congratulations, Alanna!
Remarks from Early Career Award recipient Alanna Bebech:
How fitting is it that we are all together to celebrate National School Psychology Week? I love it that we get to end our week celebrating us!
First, I would like to thank OSPA and the OSPA Executive Board members for the opportunities that I have been provided through this amazing organization. I never imagined that I would be nominated for this award, so everything about today is still so surreal.
School Psychologist is one of my favorite titles that I hold. Every single day, I am able to see growth and change within students and staff members alike, few other jobs allow for that. I am in awe of the fact that we get to be change-agents day in and day out. As change-agents, we learn, model, and reflect based on the people, ideas, and opportunities we experience. Our profession is made up of little moments and chances to make essential connections for the betterment of those around us. When you think of it, we really are superheroes, brain detectives, counselors, MacGyver’s, and so much more all rolled into one!
Through my time as a School Psychologist, three people have been amazing mentors. Deb Bjelac, Melanie Shipman, and Dr. VanVoorhis, thank you for teaching, supporting, guiding, and challenging me through every situation. You have provided me with an example of what a life-long learner is and shared your passion for kids and the profession as a whole.
To my Southington Local Schools staff, Sharon Jarvis, and Bob Kujala, thank you for accepting me as a first-year psychologist and fostering my professional development over the last four years. I am so thankful for the chance to try anything and everything to support our students and for your willingness to never think that my ideas are too outlandish. Bob, I would not survive without you, your expertise has spurred me on to be a better practitioner and always search for the why.
One of my favorite paths that I have gotten to undertake is forming a regional association. To our new regional NEOSPA and my colleague and best friend Ali Limperos, thank you for nominating me for this award and for jumping in to fill a need within our region. I marvel at the talent and dedication of every one of you. I am so thankful that we have the chance to learn together and challenge each other.
Finally and most importantly, I would like to thank my parents and sister who are here today and my fiancé who couldn’t be here today for riding this rollercoaster ride with me. Constantly providing me with support, understanding, and listening to all my wild ideas. I know that I dive right into things wholeheartedly which can sometimes create a challenge for you while I go from zero a million so quickly. But you have been my sounding board and my biggest cheerleaders through everything! I love you all so much!
Thank you all for continuing to pour into our incredible field and being change-agents every single day to help equip all students to shine!