Illinois State University alumna Pushpa Winbush ’95, ’99 has been selected as the 2020 Illinois School Psychologist’s Association (ISPA) Practitioner of the Year. A graduate of the specialist program in school psychology, Winbush currently works as a school psychologist at Riverside Brookfield High School in Riverside.
Winbush is known by her colleagues as a competent, humble, humorous, and respectful person who happily takes on extra responsibilities to improve programming and interventions. She enjoys projects involving data and those that influence students to help them meet their full potential.
“You’ve never seen such an impressive collection of color-coded spreadsheets. Pushpa loves data, but her true passion is using that data to help students’ outcomes,” said Kathleen Newman Stuart, an intern working under Winbush.
“Pushpa is consistent and persistent in her efforts to help students who are struggling with a myriad of issues in their lives. Her optimism and dedication have helped struggling students to succeed even if they have had a history of failed interventions. Pushpa does not shy away from some of the most complex student cases,” stated Girija Gullapalli and Christine Tappert, two colleagues in the field.
A few of her many accomplishments as a school psychologist include redesigning existing behavioral interventions, creating a website called “Attendance Matters” to serve as a resource for parents, starting a peer mediation program, creating an after school group called “Homework Hangout” to support students academically, and developing a problem-solving structure for team meetings.
The Ted Smith Practitioner of the Year Award recognizes the ISPA member who is most outstanding in the practice of school psychology.