Friday, March 6-Sunday, March 8

Local News: JMU school psych alumni honored for leading change in field, Friday, 10:25 a.m.
Local Events: Local artisan to exhibit at Waynesboro Heritage Museum, Friday, 10:25 a.m.  

 

Local News: JMU school psych alumni honored for leading change in field, Friday, 10:25 a.m.

When James Madison University alumnus Dr. Steve Feifer was honored as the 2009 National School Psychologist of the Year by the National Association of School Psychologists, his former professors were pleased, but not necessarily surprised.

That’s not only because Feifer’s credentials are impeccable, but also because they’ve been there before. Twice before, actually.

Feifer, who earned his bachelor’s and educational specialist degrees at JMU, joins fellow program alumni Deb Ward (’85S) and Susan Prout (’96S) as NASP honorees since 2002.

“This is unprecedented, to have JMU produce three winners in the last six or seven years,” Feifer said. “But the answer is pretty simple. It’s a great program.”

The formula, according to Program Director Patti Warner, is a comprehensive approach.

“The philosophy is that we train comprehensively. We are very committed to developing the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills of our students and generally maximizing the potential of all the children we work with,” Warner says. “Certainly there’s a lot of similarity and consistency in ours and other training programs, but then there are some things we think are unique to JMU.”

Students in JMU’s three-year program receive a master’s en route to the educational specialist degree, now the field’s professional standard. Courses and practicum experiences are carefully sequenced to ensure what students learn in class can immediately be practiced in the field, Warner said.

By the time students enter the program’s innovative required third-year internship, they’ve logged at least 400 hours in real-world experience in school and clinical settings.

In recent years, JMU also has implemented mandatory suicide prevention certification and a Culturally Competent Practitioner Initiative to realize the demands of the field that have grown in light of developments such as the rash of school shootings in the 1990s, the attacks of September 11th and the implementation of No Child Left Behind.

Keeping the curriculum current with the latest trends, capping program enrollment at about 30 and completing an innovative third-year internship help ensure students not only receive excellent instruction in a close, collegial environment, but also gain the flexibility they need to thrive in today’s field.

“The training at JMU was outstanding,” Feifer said. “We had real training with real people in real situations.”

 

Local Events: Local artisan to exhibit at Waynesboro Heritage Museum, Friday, 10:25 a.m.

Woodturned vessels by Waynesboro artisan Bert Smith will be the featured artist exhibit at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, 420 W. Main St., Downtown Waynesboro, hosted by the Artisans Center of Virginia.

The exhibit will open with a reception from 2-4 p.m. at the museum. The event is free and open to the public.

Smith will be donating 100 percent of his commission from the sales of his works back to the Artisans Center.

Smith will also be exhibiting on Friday, March 13, in the Virginia Shop in Barracks Road in Charlottesville from 5:30-7:30 p.m.


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