Dr. Sandra Manning has been carrying out the unique duties of a school psychologist for more than four decades. She was just awarded the 2021 Presidential Award from the National Association of School Psychologists last week during a virtual conference.
NASP President Wendy Price cited Manning's long history of advocacy for school psychology while presenting her the award. Price emphasized Manning's leadership in her community and state, mentioning that she is known as someone who "motivates and inspires others for the common goal of successful students."
According to Richland District Two representatives, Manning said she's become more intensely aware of the mental health needs of students since first becoming a school psychologist in 1978.
"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 Manning.
She has worked as part of the Richland Two team since 2002, with most of her experience being at Ridge View High School. She has also served R2 students at the Center for Knowledge, Pontiac Elementary, Rice Creek Elementary, Sandlapper Elementary, Dent Middle, and E. L. Wright Middle. Manning currently works at Blythewood Academy and the Richland Two Virtual School.
"Dr. Manning is an outstanding school psychologist who truly loves every day of working in the schools. The 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 a part of every school's support system for students," said Executive Director of Learning Support Services, Dr. Shirley Vickery, who supervises school psychologists in the district.