Each year, SANDCASP nominates three local school psychologists for three very prestigious awards.

Outstanding School Psychologist Award

To recognize dedicated and compassionate service to all students, parents, teachers, and community. Nominate a colleague who demonstrates contributions in the area of assessment, consultation, diversity, and leadership in the schools. The winner of the Outstanding School Psychologist Award will become the regional nominee for the CASP Outstanding School Psychologist Award.

The Ross Zatlin Mentorship Award

Ross Zatlin was a Sweetwater Union High School District school psychologist who fought valiantly against cancer and is remembered for his life of service to his family, community, and school psychologists. He was active in SANDCASP, was an affiliate representative for CASP, and was known for his mentorship of school psychologists throughout San Diego County and across the state of California.

Dr. Valerie Cook-Morales Memorial Scholarship Award

We honor Dr. Valerie Cook-Morales for her pioneering work to serve children, families, and school systems and for advocating for equitable assessment and intervention practices, among the many of contributions she made to our field. Dr. Cook-Morales was a staunch supporter of graduate students and constantly motivated students to critically analyze the status quo. We truly miss Valerie and we hope with this memorial award to keep her memory and her stellar work alive. SANDCASP dedicates this award to honor our fallen hero.

Valerie Cook-Morales held a PhD in school psychology from Columbia University and two master's degrees and a BS from Valparaiso. She served on the faculty of San Diego State University's school psychology program as its director as well as chair of SDSU's Department of Counseling and School Psychology. Dr. Cook-Morales worked systemically and collaboratively. She created ground-breaking and inventive work int he area of culturally affirmative grant writing, policy development, and issues of equity and partnership work with schools. Her grants supported innovations in student development, curriculum, partnership, and mentorship, supporting students year after year to team with faculty to make professional presentations, break new ground, and publish their work.

Because she had a creative history of conceptualizing issues and supporting the professional development of bilingual school psychologists, Dr. Cook-Morales was referred to by many as the "mother of bilingual school psychology." Dr. Cook-Morales' leadership helped shape local, state, and national professional policy. She made a profound difference in the professional careers of multitudes of graduate students and colleagues, and her ideas have helped shape the way school psychologists conduct their work.