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The Life of a School Psychologist: A Conversation with Dr. Tere Linzey

Dr. Tere Linzey

Both inside and outside the school walls, Dr. Tere Linzey dedicates her time to enriching the minds of young people. Dr. Linzey is a Licensed Psychologist, author, and one of Epic Special Education Staffing’s very own School Psychologists. 

As the founder of BrainMatterZ, a program that focuses on improving children’s auditory processing, executive functioning skills, attention, and memory, Dr. Linzey’s career thus far is marked by discovery and positive impact. We were fortunate enough to sit down with Dr. Linzey and talk about her life as a school psychologist for Epic.

The Road to Becoming a School Psychologist

Initially, Dr. Linzey was drawn to the psychology profession because of the independence it offered. She always knew she wanted to do her own work, and with psychology, she had the freedom to do so.

Still, there was a question of which specialty to pursue. While determining her career path, she ultimately received two master’s degrees simultaneously: one in psychology and one in marriage and family therapy.

She began her career in marriage and family therapy but after completing her 3,000 hours of supervised experience, she realized her true passion was in school psychology. She fell in love with data analysis and investigation work of the brain, preferring the reporting side of psychology over therapy. 

Fortunately, the education she received and the experience she gained in her work as a marriage and family therapist still had a vital impact on her work with children in schools. She believes the two work hand-in-hand in helping students through their school life.

Finding a Home with Epic Special Education Staffing

Dr. Linzey first discovered Epic Special Education Staffing while working in the same room as two speech therapists (SLPs) who were working on a contract with Epic. They began discussing the flexibility that comes with working as a contractor, and the endless opportunities it opened up.

At that point in her career, Dr. Linzey was already a decade into being a district psychologist and was so intrigued that she reached out to Epic. She was connected with a recruiter who helped her find the perfect new contract opportunity. To this day she is still grateful for those two SLPs who introduced her to Epic!

Taking the Legwork Out

The convenience Epic offers is really what sealed the deal for her.  Dr. Linzey loves how the agency handles all the minutiae that she just doesn’t have the time for, like the process of finding the next great contract opportunity. 

She shared how stressful and inconvenient it is to compile all of the requirements and documents when applying for district jobs, especially because her degrees were from schools in different states. However, working with Epic means that she no longer has to deal with the stress.

Interviews are also much more convenient as Epic takes care of all the arrangements, and she just has to make sure she is on the Zoom call!

Psychologists who are in the earlier stages of their careers, don’t realize the benefits of working with a staffing agency. When she has the opportunity, she enjoys offering guidance and sharing how different things are with Epic –  just as those two speech therapists did with her all those years ago. She was also frank when expressing how lucrative it is to work for Epic.

Continuing a Relationship of Trust and Support

While the convenience of having Epic handle all the legwork was a major draw, what she loves most about working with Epic is how she feels supported and heard. She appreciates how Epic takes care of its people – always looking out for them and reaching out when amazing opportunities come up. 

From the beginning, candidates are treated as more than just a résumé to Epic. They really get to know the individual so that they can connect them with the right jobs. For Dr. Linzey, this was a major selling point. Because Epic understands what she loves the most – reporting – they always make sure to find jobs that allow her to do what she does best.

She also appreciates how encouraging Epic can be and how they always get things done. When she wants a job, she tells Epic and they’ll be on top of it. When something unexpected happens during a contract, Epic shows genuine care and attention to resolve issues. 

Having this level of support can make all the difference in a school psychologist’s career, especially with the ripple effect it can have on the kids. 

The Current Reality of School Psychologists

Today, school psychologists spend incredible amounts of time with testing and report writing which keeps them from doing other work. Since kids have really been struggling because of COVID-19, the need for testing has dramatically increased in both public and private schools.

While other psychologists find this burdensome, Dr. Linzey thoroughly enjoys the routine and investigation of testing and report writing, so it’s a rewarding and enjoyable time for her. What she particularly loves about the job is going to different districts to be the clean-up person. She takes on the overflow, and because of that people are always happy to see her.

Making a Real Difference in a Child’s Life

While doing testing in public schools, Dr. Linzey also gets the opportunity to talk to parents and kids about neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and rewire itself. She emphasizes that while scores may be low for some students right now, it doesn’t mean they’re going to stay that way. This hopeful outlook is exactly what helps them to continue trying and excelling as she works with them through brain training. 

She recalls one particular story involving a young man who needed help improving his SAT score. He did a 20-hour program with BrainMatterZ, and even committed to additional hours of work to ensure results on his next test would be improved. Dr.Linzey’s brain training approach worked; so well, in fact, that the child’s score on his next SAT was so high in comparison to his first test that he was flagged for cheating. Dr. Linzey provided a letter to the board stating that it wasn’t unusual for SAT scores to go up after going through the brain training program.

To this day, Dr. Linzey still hears from this young man when he occasionally reaches out to tell her how he’s doing and to express his gratitude for all her help. That is truly the best part of being a school psychologist – creating a positive impact on a child’s life and knowing that they’re doing well in life. 

Changing Lives One Brain at a Time

It’s not every day that a person finds work that matters and that they truly enjoy. For Dr. Linzey, however, that is her every day. With the right support and encouragement, she is able to change lives one brain at a time.