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Foggy Forest

National certification

national certified school social workertm

National certification for school social workers centers around the nine (9) competencies associated with the National School Social Work Model. The national certification competencies were derived from the Practice Features in the National School Social Work Practice Model. The performance indicators were developed by a diverse team of school social work professionals and academics representing all regions of SSWAA. The portfolio for national certification underwent further validation through public review (October 2017) and SSWAA Delegate Assembly review (July 2018). SSWAA Board approval of the document was obtained in December 2018. National Certification launched in April of 2021 and applications are being accepted. Portfolios will be evaluated by experts in the field that have worked and/or taught in the field of school social work. The evaluators have completed a training and have been normed in the evaluation process.

Please consider the following requirements before registering for National Certification.  Applications will be reviewed to ensure that each candidate meets the following requirements:  
•    MSW 
•    At least 4 years post-MSW  experience as a School Social Worker or SSW educator in higher education
•    Current active licensure or certification in the state for a school social work position
•    Active SSWAA membership at the Full or Premiere level


The steps to obtain national certification include:

  1. Complete the application submitting proof of employment in the field and a cover letter

  2. Once the application is approved, pay the fee of $250 and receive an email with a link to access the course

  3. Begin working on your National Certification Portfolio

  4. Access the online course where you will upload your portfolio and submissions

  5. Orientations will be offered by SSWAA's Professional Development Coordinator on an individual basis with the candidate.

  6. Begin working on your National Certification Portfolio 

*Because the National Certified School Social WorkerTM course is self-paced, refunds are not available.  Individuals can apply for an extension if circumstances interfere with completion of the National Certification process within the one-year time frame. A committee will review the request and make a determination if circumstances warrant an extension.  Extensions may be granted for 6 months or 1 year with an extension fee; extensions are not automatic and may be denied.

national certified school social workertm

Tia Marie Brumsted

Tia Marie Brumsted is a clinical social worker, performance coach, and educational leader in the metropolitan DC area. She serves as the deputy assistant superintendent of health and wellness for the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education. She is a graduate of Spelman College and Smith College School for Social Work.

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tia marie brumsted

Tracey Parker

After ten years working in various mental health agencies, I started my MSW and graduated from University of Illinois 2001.  I currently work at Rockford Public School District 205, where I have worked as a social worker, a behavior coach, and a MTSS interventionist and currently work as a school social worker at Spring Creek Elementary school serving all students including students with Autism.  I also was a board member of Illinois Association of School Social Workers for 8 years.

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tracey parker

Sheri Koller

Sheri - with over 20 years experience - is an expert in the field of student mental health and suicide prevention. She is an experienced clinician who focuses on individual and family therapy, supervision, program development, advocacy, data analysis, crisis intervention and training. As a professor for seven years, Sheri educated hundreds of MSW students on mental health and human behavior. Sheri develops programs to address the complex mental health issues facing our schools.

Sheri Koller

Sheri Koller

Stacey Morrell

Stacey is an LCSW with 18 years of experience. Her experience includes emergency behavioral health medical social work, medical case management, addiction recovery, school administration, and school social work. She is currently a School Social Worker at Geneseo Middle School where she is responsible for individual, group, and classroom social, emotional, and behavioral instruction with an emphasis in Special Education.

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Stacey morrell

Lisa Dolan

Lisa is an LCSW and has been in a leadership position with Spotsylvania County Public Schools School Social Work Team for 20 years. She has worked in various settings within the community with a focus on attachment and trauma and mental health.  Professional accomplishments include being awarded the Touching Trauma at Its Heart Award from the Attachment and Trauma Network, having the opportunity to build SCPS social work team from five positions to 30 positions, and supporting new social workers.  

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Lisa Dolan

Summer Woodside, NC

Dr. Summer Woodside completed her undergraduate degree in social work at UNC Pembroke and her graduate degree in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill. She later earned her PhD at UNC Greensboro in Specialized Education Services. She is licensed as a school social worker, school administrator, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Dr. Woodside is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Work at UNC Pembroke. She serves on the Scotland County Board of Education, Eastpointe Local Mental Health Entity board, and School Social Work Association of America board. She has published and presented on topics related to equity, mental health, and self-care in public education.

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Summer Woodside

Lou Paschall

Lou (Scott) Paschall received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Tennessee and her Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Middle Tennessee State University. She is a Licensed School Social Worker and a Licensed Advanced Practice Social Worker in Tennessee. She is currently employed as the School Social Worker in the Manchester City Schools. She provides School Social Work Services at three schools.  Her research interests are the ethical use of technology, supervision in School Social Work practice, and Social Work history. Prior to her employment in her current position, she worked as a School Social Worker in a neighboring district for more than 16 years.

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Lou Paschall

Capella Hauer

The objective of this course is for students to learn how to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior. This course really focuses on how to make ethical decisions and challenges students to critically think about difficult situations they will face in their practice and to see things from multiple perspectives. This class also provides students with a foundational understanding of the legal and ethical guidelines of practice in a human services field.

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Capella Hauer

Amy Mello Messenger

Amy has been a School Social Worker for the last 7 years with the Providence Public School Department.  Previous to that position, Amy was a Social Worker in Child Welfare for nearly ten years.  Amy participates in a fellowship with both the Childhood Trauma Learning Collaborative as well as the Trauma Responsive Educational Practices.  She also serves in a leadership capacity as one of the district's Lead School Social Workers. Currently, Amy coordinates both the Project AWARE Grant as well as the School Based Mental Health Services Grant at the district level.  This work includes increasing mental health literacy as well as increasing nationally recommended ratios for school based mental health professionals, including School Social Workers. She is a trainer of Youth Mental Health First Aid and is currently attending the Northeast Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports to be a certified trainer.  Amy does have a small private practice, providing home-based therapy services for children, adults, and families.

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Amy Mello Messenger

Christina Devers

Christina has practiced in the field of Social Work since 2001. She has been a School Social Worker with Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia since 2011.  She transitioned to School Social Work after spending the first ten years of her career working with children and adolescents in foster care.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Virginia and has also worked in the private practice setting providing play therapy to children and adolescents.  She is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor, ACE Interface Instructor, and Certified Healing Centered Engagement Specialist.  She also holds a Pupil Personnel Endorsement through the Virginia Department of Education.  Professional accomplishments include recognition from the Prince William County Child Protection Partnership and presenting at the 2021 SSWAA Conference. 

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Christina Devers

Gloria Ho

Gloria is a licensed clinical social worker and received her MSW from West Virginia University. She has been a school social worker In Delaware for over 24 years. She works with students and families at Milton Elementary School in Cape Henlopen School District. She served as co-president and is one of the founding members of the School Social Workers Association of Delaware. She is an executive board member of the Delaware State Education Association and Chair of the Union’s Ethnic Minority Affairs Committee. Gloria sits on various committees supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She enjoys combining her love of writing and research with her passion for racial and social justice issues.

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Gloria Ho

Rose Molina

Rose has been a School Social Worker for the last 15 year with a history of working in a State school, Charter school and most of her career for Providence Public Schools serving the same environment she too grew up in and graduated from. Rose carries certifications in Autism Education and Trauma Informed Education combining this work in a leadership capacity as one of the district's Lead School Social Workers. Rose serves in supporting teams in managing and supporting behavioral supports across the settings as a facilitator of the districts Behavior Assistance and Support Team (BAST). Rose is a part of the advocacy occurring at the district level to increase the School Social Worker ratios. Rose founded a non-profit organization called The Kindness Crew with her students and is very passionate in this work. Rose is also the co-founder of Team Rockstar Sports providing  outpatient therapy services in a unique format of movement based therapy groups as well as individual and family therapy. 


Rose Molina

Leanna Johnston

Leanna received Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She began her social worker career in medical social work. She first worked at a pediatric skilled nursing facility for 9 years, and then at a children’s hospital for almost 7 years. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, the highest license attainable in the state of Nebraska. She has been a school social worker with Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska for 6 years, at both the elementary and middle school level. She currently provides social work services at three middle schools. Leanna is a member of her district’s crisis response team and serves as a mentor to new social workers in her department. She has also served as an instructor for social work students completing their practicum with her district.


Leanna Johnston

Aimee Cox Gibbs

Aimee is an LCSW serving in the Spotsylvania County Public Schools for the last ten years.  She has worked across many grade levels with a focus on students with behavioral and mental health challenges.  She currently serves as one of the lead school social workers for the high school level and is a mentor and clinical supervisor to new social workers in the division.  Aimee is a certified TF-CBT clinician and has helped bring trauma informed yoga and emotional regulation to schools within the county.  
Prior to moving to Virginia with her family, Aimee was a school social worker in Upstate New York for several years where she served as a clinical supervisor and was part of the district crisis team.  She also was the social worker for a group home setting for young men aged 14-21 years who were either stepping down from incarceration or were transitioning into independent living.  When Aimee is not working with the social worker team or the students in her school, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two daughters. 

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Aimee Cox Gibss

Kenneth Rautiola

Kenneth has been a social worker since 1997.  He has worked in the State of Maine Child Protective Services and Children’s Behavioral Health, case management supervision, and school social work. He is currently completing his CAS in Educational Leadership, focusing on the utilization of social workers in his district.


Kenneth Rautiola


Nicole Morse

Nicole Morse 

Nicole completed her undergraduate degree in social work at Southern Connecticut State University. She went on to get her masters in social work at NYU and is currently in the process of completing her DSW. Nicole has been a certified school social worker for ten years. Her experience has spanned elementary, middle and high school. Nicole has also worked to support students who are 18-21 in a transitional education program. Currently, Nicole is on a district crisis team providing crisis response, risk assessment and support to building social workers. 


Milton Elementary social worker first in Delaware to earn national certification

By Ellen Driscoll, Cape Gazette

"Building strong home, school and community networks is key to student success, says Milton Elementary social worker Gloria Ho, the first person in Delaware to become nationally certified by the School Social Work Association of America."   

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