Providence, Rhode Island
2019 Washington Psychologist Ambassador Fellow
School Psychologist, Henry Barnard School
Bio/Overview: Julie Richardson is a school psychologist at Henry Barnard School, a laboratory elementary school located at Rhode Island College in Providence, R.I. If you were to ask her students what Julie’s role involves, they would tell you that she is a ‘professional problem-solver’ and a ‘feelings teacher’ who is always there to help them. Within her role, Julie teaches social skills in all classrooms, consults with teachers regarding academic and behavioral interventions, collaborates with families and community providers to support student success, provides small group and individual counseling, assists in navigating special education processes, and works with administration to improve school-wide practices and policies. Julie is passionate about creating and maintaining a safe, positive school climate for her students. She facilitates professional development in a range of topics, including trauma-informed practices, mandatory reporting, school safety, assessment, PBIS, and classroom management. Julie’s favorite moments are those she spends with her students. She strives to ‘raise’ them to be compassionate, empathetic, and tolerant while also encouraging them to be leaders in society and advocates against injustice.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Julie believes that attending to students’ social and emotional well-being is just as critical to academic success as effective teaching strategies. Today’s students are exposed to bullying, trauma, violence, poverty, and drug use at rates that are significantly higher than in years past which can greatly impede their ability to learn. Having witnessed the impact of trauma on children firsthand, Julie has become an avid advocate for increasing trauma-informed practices in schools. She has seen how the power of one caring adult relationship can improve a child’s academic achievement, mental health, and overall school success. Julie also believes that prevention is the best intervention. She feels that the earlier one is able to intervene to support the mental health needs of children, the more likely they are to become productive members of society. She thinks that increasing opportunities for social and emotional learning and access to mental health supports in schools will help students to be more successful in school, relationships, and life.
Achievements: Julie was awarded tenure and promotion at Rhode Island College in 2017 for her work at Henry Barnard School, which has included establishing and revising several policies and procedures to support students’ health and safety at school. She has presented at the state and national level for professional conferences on the topics of training pre-service teachers about trauma-informed practices, secular mindfulness within a positive behavioral interventions and supports framework, and promoting resiliency in kindergarten.
Leadership Experience: Julie is an integral part of her school’s Leadership Team. She is a passionate advocate for her students, families, and teachers and is frequently sought out for guidance and support during difficult situations. Julie serves as the chair of several committees at her school including school safety, response to intervention, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and the problem-solving team. She frequently facilitates professional development at Henry Barnard School and has also been a guest lecturer in college classes and student teacher orientations at Rhode Island College. Outside of school, Julie is an active participant in both her state and national associations. She currently serves as the co-chair of the conference committee for the Rhode Island School Psychologists Association. Julie has also worked with other members of the National Association of School Psychologists Child Maltreatment and Trauma Group to research and advocate for increased training for teachers and school psychologists in the area of trauma.
Affiliations: National Association of School Psychologists, Rhode Island School Psychologists Association, Rhode Island College, People to People International Student Travel, Rhode Island Red Cross
Education: Julie received a BA in Psychology and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island. She received her MA in Educational Counseling and CAGS in School Psychology from Rhode Island College. Julie also went on to receive a CGS in Advanced Counseling from Rhode Island College to fulfill the requirements to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Rhode Island. She is also working towards becoming a certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT).
Areas of Interest:
- School-Based Mental Health Services
- School Safety
- Trauma-Informed Practices
- Developing a Positive School Climate
- Social/Emotional Learning
- Developing Home/School/Community Connections and Collaboration
- Teacher Preparation