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National Organization Recognizes School Psychologist for Her Exceptional Service to Children


Doing the uniquely qualified work of a school psychologist for more than four decades has not gone unnoticed for Dr. Sandra Manning. In a virtual conference last week, she received the 2021 Presidential Award from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).

In presenting the award to Dr. Manning, NASP President Wendy Price cited Dr. Manning's long history of advocacy for school psychology at the state and national levels. She emphasized her leadership in her community and state and mentioned that she is known as someone who "motivates and inspires others for the common goal of successful students." 

Since becoming a school psychologist in 1978, Dr. Manning says she has become more intensely aware of the mental health needs of students. “Everywhere I go and in everything I do, I advocate for the needs of children and their families and the ways school psychologists are uniquely trained and qualified to be leaders in meeting these needs. Richland Two attempts to meet those needs more than many school districts in the state and nation but when I can, I go further,” said Dr. Manning. 

Dr. Manning worked in Georgia and Lexington School District Three prior to officially joining the Richland Two team in 2002. While most of her experience has been at Ridge View High School, she has also served students at the Center for Knowledge, Pontiac Elementary, Rice Creek Elementary, Sandlapper Elementary, Dent Middle, E. L. Wright Middle. She currently works at Blythewood Academy and the Richland Two Virtual School. 

Executive Director of Learning Support Services, Dr. Shirley Vickery supervises school psychologists in the district. She says, “Dr. Manning is an outstanding school psychologist who truly loves every day of working in the schools. This passion for her work shows in her relationships with staff, students, and families. It has also made her a tremendous advocate for school psychologists to be part of every school's support system for students.” 

One thing that Dr. Manning loves most is that Richland Two allows school psychologists to practice their profession in any or all of the 10 practice domains identified by NASP that they are trained and qualified to practice in. Some of those practice areas include Family, School and Community Collaboration, Mental and Behavioral Health Services and Interventions, and Equitable Practices for Diverse Student Populations. Dr. Manning believes this attributes greatly to the success of school psychologists in Richland Two.

Dr. Manning holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia and graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi. She received a Master’s Degree in School Psychology from the University of Georgia, and Doctor of Philosophy Degree in School Psychology, University of South Carolina.