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GCPS names 2023 School Social Worker of the Year Award winner

March 9, 2023

     Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) has named Dale Spivey as its 2023 School Social Worker of the Year. The award honorsDale Spivey  the individual who personifies the highest of school social work professional standards and demonstrates creative leadership and service within the professional and wider community.

     Mrs. Spivey assists with safety plans, crisis events, and parents’ and students’ meetings (504, SST, SARCs, IEPs, and conferences). She presents at Truancy Review and Intervention Panels (TRIP), Foster Care Trauma-Informed Education Support meetings (TIES), LIPT and Juvenile Court. “I try to always go the extra mile and cover every base. When the student leaves my cluster, I follow up with their next school social worker for continuity of care. As a social worker, empathy is in my heart and in everything I do. I feel the world around me. This gives me a better understanding of others as I hear their story and try to see from their perspective. I can provide help more effectively, working within their support system to address their academic and non-academic needs to remove barriers to their success,” Mrs. Spivey says.

     When asked how she has implemented the district’s strategic plan, Mrs. Spivey proudly says, “When I look at our GCPS School Social Work Mission, ‘Igniting Integration and Innovation through Empathy, Equity, Effectiveness, and Excellence,’ I recognize how we— as social workers— are always thinking of ways to reach our students, their families, and our school’s staff. I often think of how I can help, how can I encourage, and how can we, as a school, make a difference.”

     Lan Schlecht, school social worker in the Collins Hill Cluster, who also has a passion for helping others, adds, “Dale has been an exemplary School Social Worker (SSW), not only with her wide realm of GCPS knowledge and SSW practices, but also with her genuine passion for the core of social work: helping others. Dale has demonstrated her leadership ability via assisting and coaching her fellow SSWs willingly. She is a valuable asset to our team!”

     Mrs. Spivey currently supports the Mountain View Cluster schools and has been with GCPS since 2000 as a school social worker. Her professional history includes clinical work with various populations, and she is currently a member of the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA). Her previous awards and recognitions include Mental Health Association of Metropolitan Atlanta, Bell Award, for Professional Service 1995 and GRN CSB Staff Appreciation Award 1997 for outstanding professionalism and skill, strength as a team player, her “can do” attitude and innovative improvements. She was selected as the Promise Staff Member of the Day, March 3, 2019, and she has collaboratively facilitated presentations in the areas of attendance, homelessness, coping, and social services.