As one of Delaware’s top school psychologists, Cape’s Tara Gambale will be honored with her peers at a statewide celebration June 8, when one of them will be named the 2023 Behavioral Health Professional of the Year.
Gambale, the Cape district Behavioral Health Professional of the Year, is a Sussex Consortium school psychologist who works with students at Rehoboth and Love Creek elementaries this academic year.
She first joined the district in 2012, and has also served the mental health needs of students at Beacon and Mariner middle schools, Cape High and the Sussex Consortium.
Gambale confers with special education teachers, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists and parents to create individualized plans to help each student succeed.
The main goal, she said, is to increase independence by focusing on students’ academic, social and daily living skills, such as toileting procedures and taking turns.
“Each day is completely different because the gamut of skills we can work on is constantly changing,” she said.
Gambale holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in school psychology, both from Rowan University, and also completed a two-year program earning a degree as an educational specialist.
She and her husband Matthew Gambale, a Delaware State Police trooper, live in Harbeson with children Emma, 9, and Juliette, 7, who both attend Love Creek Elementary.
The Delaware Department of Education administers the Behavioral Health Professional of the Year program that is open to Delaware’s 19 school districts and the Delaware Charter School Network.
The program recognizes outstanding service by school employees who are healthcare practitioners or human service providers, including school counselors, school social workers, licensed clinical social workers, school psychologists and school nurses.
Each participating district named a local professional of the year. Following an application and interview process, one will be named the state honoree June 8.
Gambale received a $2,000 personal award from the Cape district. The state winner will receive an additional $3,000 personal award from DOE and $5,000 to be used for the educational benefit of their students.