Aimee (Koehler) Lepsch, B.A. 2006, M.A./A.C. 2010
I cannot say enough about how SBU’s psychology program helped me reach the point I am at in my career. Through coursework and field work placements at Salamanca Alternative School and Ellicottville Central Schools during my junior year, I was able to solidify my passion for school psychology, research and data, and making a difference for at-risk children.
I completed my Masters/Advanced Certificate (M.A./A.C.) in School Psychology at the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education. While a graduate student, I became immersed in practica and research. As a practicum student at Cleveland Hill UFSD, Niagara Wheatfield CSD, and Sweet Home CSD, I honed my psycho-educational evaluation skills, conducted literacy-based Response to Intervention (RTI) initiatives, and participated on various Student Support and Intervention Teams. I completed a yearlong internship in Niagara Falls CSD during the 2009-2010 school year. There, I assisted in the development of my building’s RTI Data Team, using research-based practices to drive academic interventions for struggling students. I was also a member of the district-wide RTI Steering Committee.
After finishing my Masters of Arts/Advanced Certificate in 2010, I was hired by Buffalo Public Schools as the school psychologist at Hamlin Park School #74, one of the district’s lowest performing buildings. I was instrumental in implementing Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) in the building and served as coordinator of Tier 2 and 3 initiatives. I focused my strengths on developing Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) with accessible goals and progress-monitoring methods, on which I trained psychologists district-wide. In 2014, I was hired as the psychologist on the District Committee on Special Education (DCSE) in Buffalo’s Special Education Office. With two chair-people, I serve the entire district, addressing and resolving parent appeals, complaints, and due process hearings filed against the district. While daunting to some, I love the flexibility and challenge of my current position. It makes every day fulfilling, as I know I am linking students and families with the services and special education supports needed to succeed.
Outside of work, I am highly involved in the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP). I have been an Executive Board member since 2012, representing the five Western NY counties under Chapter C at the state level. I communicate important psychological issues and legislation to members, organize state-wide and local conferences, and provide educational and networking opportunities. I married fellow Bonnie, Joe Lepsch (B.A. in JMC) in 2012. We live in Williamsville, NY with our English springer spaniel, Murphy – who is brown and white, just like us!
My biggest advice to any SBU psychology student is to get involved. Get as much hands-on experience as you can in your potential field, join professional organizations, and network to meet people. Learning does not stop when you leave SBU! I am happy to hear from any psychology students and alumni who would like more information about school psychology – or to reminisce about those days in the basement of De La Roche.
Aimee (Koehler) Lepsch