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National honor for Oconomowoc Schools psychologist

Feb. 24, 2014

Oconomowoc Area School District psychologist Kimberly Hopkins has earned the distinction of national certification in her field.

The school psychologist is new to the Oconomowoc Area School District, in her first year at Silver Lake Intermediate School.

"Silver Lake Intermediate School was indeed fortunate to hire Kim this past summer," said Ellyn Helburg, principal of Silver Lake.

Candidates in the certification program are able to attend only selected universities that meet the standards of the certification. Hopkins is a graduate of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, where she specialized in psychology.

"She has been instrumental so far with our response to interventional processes and is a very strong child-centered, strong-relationship person, so Silver Lake is indeed fortunate to have her on our staff," Helberg added.

To qualify for the certification, a school psychologist must meet the standards of the National Association of School Psychologist (NASP), complete 60 graduate semester/90 quarter-hours through a school psychology graduate program, a 1,200-hour internship and pass the National School Psychology Examination.

"The total program took three years," Hopkins said.

In addition to the time commitment required, Hopkins said there were others challenges in the effort.

"Being a nontraditional student and going back to college after so many years, a second career, being married and helping with raising two stepchildren, made it difficult in trying to juggle it all," she admitted.

However, successfully achieving the advanced certification provided valuable personal insight. "That with perseverance anything is possible," she offered.

The School Board presented Hopkins with a certificate of appreciation for her achievement.

"Everyone knows that no matter how much education you have, sometimes you are not fully prepared for the work experience, and everyone has been so supportive," she said.

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