Milford School District recently named Rosa DiPiazza its inaugural Behavioral Health Professional of the Year.
A school psychologist at Mispillion Elementary, DiPiazza started as a district-wide psychology intern during the 2017-18 school year. Upon completion of her graduate training in psychology, DiPiazza served as school psychologist for Mispillion and Lulu Ross elementary schools.
“The students and staff keep me smiling. I love to see them grow, and to grow right along with them. Sometimes this work can be heavy, but there are always bright spots if you look for them. I laugh every day. We have an amazing, supportive and progressive team at Mispillion Elementary School and in the Milford School District. I like to feel like I am making a difference, and I know that the only way to make a sustainable difference is to be surrounded by open-minded people with a commitment to similar goals. I am grateful to have found that here in Milford,” said DiPiazza, who lives in Lewes.
“I am so proud to have our district recognize Ms. Rosa DiPiazza as the BHP of the Year,” said Laura Manges, director of student services. “Rosa is an exemplary practitioner who follows a strong ethical code with patience, empathy and a passion for helping others. Her prodigious skills focus on implementing psychological science to improve learning processes by building behavioral and mental health supports for students, families and staff with consistency and empathy. Milford School District has truly improved our abilities to support and care for the whole child with Rosa’s assistance.”
Behavioral health professionals are invaluable in schools, allowing children to directly access mental health services.
“For some students, schools may be the only place they are able to access professional mental health supports. Barriers like insurance, transportation, family work schedules or long waiting lists at outside providers should not prevent children from accessing mental or behavioral health support when they need it. Having behavioral health professionals within the schools not only allows for the provision of direct services for children, it also creates a system in which behavioral health professionals are able to have a seat at the table to advocate for educational programming and systems that are supportive of student and staff mental health,” said DiPiazza.
The Behavioral Health Professional program is designed to recognize outstanding service by school employees who are healthcare practitioners or human service providers who offer services for the purpose of improving an individual’s mental health. Such employees include school counselors, school social workers, licensed clinical social workers, school psychologists, licensed professional mental health counselors and school nurses. This is a new award recently established by state legislation and coordinated by the Delaware Department of Education.
DiPiazza will represent Milford School District at the statewide level.
“Ms. DiPiazza is dedicated to best serving our students,” said Superintendent Kevin Dickerson. “She is an outstanding representative of Milford School District as our Behavioral Health Professional of the Year. Her excellence, caring manner, hard work and professionalism exude through Mispillion Elementary School and our district. We are fortunate for Ms. DiPiazza’s exceptional work and significant contributions to our district community.”
Prior to her time in Milford, DiPiazza worked as a children’s advocate and prevention education facilitator for Domestic Violence Services of Lancaster County, Pa.