New Mexico Association of
School Psychologists

New Mexico Association of School Psychologists

2018 Annual Conference Speaker and Presentations

October 26 and 27, 2018

Marriott Albuquerque

Albuquerque, NM


The New Mexico Association of School Psychologists invites you to this year's Annual Fall Conference on October 26 and 27, 2018 at the Marriott Albuquerque!

Key sessions will focus on advocacy, trauma-informed approaches, autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring conditions, self-care, ethical and legal issues including LRE and OHI eligibility, and the most up-to-date information on threat assessment.  A special inspirational message will also start our lunch on Friday.  For additional information regarding our incredible presenters, please click on the 2018 NMASP Conference Presenter BIOS tab at the NMASP website (  For the complete conference schedule including registration, presentation, breaks, lunch, meeting, and CPD information, please click on the 2018 NMASP Conference Schedule tab on the website.  

NASP-approved CPD's will be provided, with 6.5 hours for full-day attendance on Friday, and 6.75 hours for full-day attendance on Saturday.  That's 13.25 CPD's at a bargain-basement price.  

Also, NMASP is recognized by the National Association of School Psychologists, and as such, CEU's awarded to our conference attendees meet the NM Psychologists' Board criteria for  "Formally organized workshops, seminars … which maintain attendance..." New Mexico Clinical Psychologists and other mental health and school-based professionals are invited to this conference!  We hope you will attend!

The cost of the conference is reduced by $50 for NMASP members, so if you are eligible for membership, or have not renewed your membership since last year's conference, PLEASE JOIN on the NMASP website (  

Breakfast snacks and lunch will be provided both days!  

Registration starts on Friday at 7:30 am and the conference speakers will begin at 8:30 am and end at 4:45 pm.

Registration starts at 7:30 am on Saturday and the conference speakers will begin at 8 am and will end at 4:30 pm. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Keynote Speaker:  Leslie Z. Paige, EdS, National Association of School Psychologists President-Elect

Presentation Title:  Leadership and Advocacy:  You Can Make a Difference

Presentation Description:  

In states such as New Mexico, school psychologists face challenges due to issues related to workforce shortages, licensing and the political climate. Additionally, with children and the school systems that serve them experiencing more stress, the need for comprehensive services becomes more urgent.  Many school psychologists already fulfill multiple roles within a school building or a district – sometimes simultaneously! School psychology is a demanding career, and most of us want to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children. In addition to our traditional role as evaluator, school psychologists need skills for leadership and advocacy for effective practices if we are to improve student learning, behavior, and mental health.

The National Association of School Psychologists has recently adopted five strategic goals. In this presentation, Leslie will focus on two of the goals:

  • Workforce Shortages: A high quality and diverse school psychology workforce is available to meet an increasing demand for school psychological services, and
  • Leadership Development: School psychologists possess the leadership skills to effect change at the local, state, and national levels.

Workforce shortages have become a crisis in many parts of the U.S., leading to heavy caseloads and more pressure to provide less than comprehensive services. Leadership Development is not only a goal, but it is also a strategy that may be employed to impact the shortages. In this presentation, Leslie will discuss how we can be leaders in our buildings, district, state or at a national level. She will also describe the resources that are available from NASP to help us to achieve these goals.

Presenter:  Dr. Craig Pierce

Presentation Title:  Unconditional Positive Regard in The Classroom: A Trauma-Informed Approach

Our Thriving Students curriculum models compassion, empathy, support, and provides interventions and resources to educators. Our theoretical foundations include interpersonal neurobiology, positive psychology and education, evidence-based practices, and trauma-informed models. 


The Four Foundations


The ARC model stands for Attachment, Self-Regulation, and Competency (Kinniburgh, Blaustein, Spinazzola & Van der Kolk, 2017). The model was developed to understand how to approach children and adolescents with trauma. It emphasizes that parents, teachers, and caregivers build connections in a safe, secure environment for the child. Within this model, the authors and researchers discuss four building blocks of attachment which can be applied to the classroom setting. These blocks are essential to shaping and building connections with our students.



Positive Education is derived from Positive Psychology. Positive Education is strengths-based, viewing all students through a lens of optimism. Positive education philosophy does not ignore challenges, but identifies barriers without attaching judgment, to identify strengths and provide support. Every student deserves a positive educational experience, even if they have problematic or disruptive behaviors. This Growth Mindset (Dweck, 2010; 2015) emphasizes opportunities to see a student’s potential to make changes, treat mistakes as opportunities to grow. It treats students as if they can make these changes, while understanding that change takes time.



Trauma-informed psychology is the understanding that each person is a creation of their experiences. There are four parts of trauma informed education:

·       Recognize the prevalence of trauma in our state, our city, families and students within our school.

·       Recognize the connection between trauma history and behavior. View behavior as adaptive coping skills based on traumatic experiences rather than a pathology, or seeing the child as bad. When we utilize trauma-informed perspective, we are more able to craft suggestions and interventions that teach more appropriate coping skills.

·       Pay attention to triggers. Examine at what triggers the student, and what personal triggers may be impacting the classroom. When we identify triggers, we can make changes to the environment. This will help to avoid re-traumatizing a student.

·       Put this knowledge into practice.



Interpersonal neurobiology is an interdisciplinary field, exploring the impact of relationships on early brain development, and in return, how our brains impact our relationships later in life.  Dr. Bruce Perry developed the Neural Sequential Model Of Therapeutics as a way to help caregivers, teachers, and therapists understand the gaps of development in a traumatized child’s growth.

Presenters:  Drs. Sylvia Acosta and Tiffany Otero 

Presentation Title:  Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring Conditions: Considerations for School Psychologists

This presentation will provide information about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and common co-occurring conditions including ADHD, anxiety, trauma, and additional behavioral concerns. Children with ASD and common co-occuring conditions present with a complex variety of symptoms in addition to the core deficits of ASD. These additional symptoms may play a role in the social, emotional, and educational success of a child. Symptoms of other conditions may complicate the presentation of the student, resulting in limited response to intervention as traditional approaches to teaching and behavior intervention may be less effective. Therefore, this presentation aims to equip providers with strategies to identify these complex presentations and determine a course of action for intervention.

Presenter:  Niki Feldman, Licensed Massage Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher

Presentation Title:  Self-Care Strategies for Mental Health Practitioners:  Yoga, Breath and Mindful Practice

In this 60 Minute Presentation, students will learn how to transfer focus and attention to the body and breath in order to release tension and worries.  First and foremost will be learning the power of the Full Exhalation or Sigh.  This signals the body's Parasympathetic Nervous System that it is OK to rest and digest.  By doing some simple Yoga Poses, everyone can learn the benefits of slowing down and being fully present in order to temper stress and anxiety.  Depending on room size and amount of participants, particular seated or standing poses will be practiced. If space allows, floor poses may be introduced.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Presenter:  Lorie Gerkey, Attorney

Presentation Title:  Understanding Least Restrictive Environment from the Legal Perspective

Presentation Description:  

The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) mandate of the IDEA demands that students with disabilities be educated in the regular classroom setting to the maximum extent appropriate, and to the extent the regular classroom is not appropriate, students be separated from their nondisabled peers only to the extent appropriate after the use of supplementary aids and services. What should we understand about LRE before we consider placement options? This presentation will discuss what the law says about LRE, the legislative intent of LRE and leading case law that helps form how schools implement LRE. 

Presentation Title:  Legally Navigating Eligibility and Educational Need for Students with Other Health Impairments.


Presentation Description: 

The path to eligibility for students with other health impairments can be rocky if you don’t have a reliable map. Which direction do we take? Do we go down the path of Section 504? What about the IDEA path?  How do we analyze educational need verses academic need? This session will discuss reading and understanding the legal maps of both Section 504 and IDEA when determining eligibility and educational needs for students with Other Health Impairments?

Presentation Title:  What Would You Do? 

Presentation Description:  

A school psychologist can face ethical issues daily in the course of their work. Pressure from administration to behave unethically, unsound educational practices, and concerns related to assessment practices are the top three ethics-related concerns reported by practicing school psychologists.  Although this session will not have hidden cameras and showcase John Quinones, it will explore scenarios that challenge a school psychologists ethics and clarify through the NASP Principals of Professional Ethics what you should do.


Presenter:  Jesse Dompreh, MA

Presentation Title:  Experience Life:  Connect to the Power Within


Presenter:  Dr. Victoria Calder

Presentation Title:  School Behavioral Threat Assessments:  An Introduction

Presentation Description:  

As part of a comprehensive school emergency operations plan, it is important for school districts to understand how to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from critical incidents. Toward that aim, this presentation, developed through the U.S. Department of Education's REMS/TA Center, introduces the key features of school behavioral threat assessments as identified in the Final Report and Findings of the Safe School Initiative. New information and guidance from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation will also be covered. The audience will learn about effective characteristics of threat assessments, along with guiding principles to develop school-based behavioral assessment teams and to formulate their approach in conducting threat assessments. Specialized topics will also be addressed, including social media and bystander considerations in assessing potential threats.

Albuquerque Marriott has provided discounted hotel rooms for all of our conference participants at the prevailing government rate, which is less than half the regular rate!  You may make reservations to stay at the Albuquerque Marriott directly with Marriott reservations at 800-228-9290, or directly through the hotel at (505) 881-6800.  TO RECEIVE THE REDUCED RATE, ALL HOTEL ROOM RESERVATIONS MUST BE MADE PRIOR TO 10/14/18.  

Make sure to mention "New Mexico Association of School Psychologists" to receive your discount! Reservations can be made at:

Phone: (505) 881-6800


We hope to see you in Albuquerque this fall!

Albuquerque Marriott, Uptown

The New Mexico Association of School Psychologists (NMASP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

4004 Carlisle Blvd NE Suite F, Albuquerque, NM 87107

Phone: 505-328-3109 

Fax: 505-869-1640


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