SDUSD educator selected as 2017 Regional Outstanding School Psychologist

Posted: Wednesday, October 18th 2017

The California Association of School Psychologists (CASP) awarded Dr. Hoaihuong “Orletta” Nguyen, SDUSD School Psychologist, with the Nadine M. Lambert Outstanding School Psychologist award for Region VII (San Diego and Imperial Counties).  CASP has 10 regions as part of their organizational structure across California and selects only one recipient per region.  Dr. Nguyen accepted her award at the CASP Annual Convention in Garden Grove, CA on October 6, 2017.

CASP officially recognizes the outstanding work of school psychologists through the Nadine M. Lambert Outstanding School Psychologist award. Only practicing school psychologists providing direct services to students, teachers, parents, community agencies, and who advance school psychology through the application of psychological knowledge to the problems of the schools with special attention to the interactions of the school system and the child are eligible for CASP's Nadine M. Lambert OSP award.

Dr. Nguyen has been an educator since 1997.  She has been a middle school and high school English teacher for students ranging from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels; her students have been drawn from special education, English Language Development, and Gifted and Talented Education.  As detailed on the Challenger Middle School website, Dr. Nguyen is lauded by her school community. “Challenger has benefited from her leadership, experience, enthusiasm, and passion for assisting students since 2011.  Always the innovator, she is teaching this year, along with our counselors, a sixth grade exploratory wheel on mindfulness.  Within the San Diego Unified School District, she is an excellent resource and is highly sought as an intern supervisor.  She is frequently called for consultation on complex cases.  Psychologists within SDUSD go to Dr. Nguyen for support because of her understanding of student and family needs and her pragmatic suggestions and problem solving abilities.”

Carrie Rea, Program Manager for Related and Low Incidence Services, described Dr. Nguyen as “an exceptional school psychologist…who has been involved in training para educators in SDUSD on best practices in education, understanding learning disabilities, and how to deal effectively with learning challenges. For many years, Orletta has been an intern supervisor and has received glowing reviews from both interns and university supervisors. Last but not least, Orletta has been involved in multiple staff development trainings for the school psychologist department.” Dr. Nguyen’s colleagues describe her as a change agent who seeks to bring out the best in each and every student, her colleagues, and the schools she serves.

Along with her work as a school psychologist, she is an author of a recently published book entitled, “Within Reach: Providing Universal Access to the Four Pillars of Literacy.” Dr. Nguyen is also an Instructor at CSU Dominguez Hills. She works with their administrators on best practices in evaluating and implementing instruction. In addition, she has created online learning certification courses for behavior management and special education issues.

Founded in 1953 and located in Sacramento, the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP) is the statewide membership organization for school psychologists in California. With a membership close to 1,800, CASP is the largest statewide organization of school psychologists in the nation and the strongest voice for psychologists practicing in California’s schools. In addition to providing liaison with various state boards and commissions, CASP actively represents the profession to legislative audiences, governmental officials, and other policy-making bodies. The Association provides continuing professional development to the membership through regional training programs and an annual convention. For more details about CASP visit

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