Breanna Dykes, a school psychologist for Independence School District, is currently Missouri's School Psychologist of the Year! She has served many key roles in MASP, including President, and is currently very busy planning our fall conference. Breanna kindly took time to share about her work and life.
Where are you from?
I am from Mound City, MO (a little rural town in the northwest part of the state) and we moved to Blue Springs, MO when I was in the 2nd grade. I have lived there for most of my life.
Where did you go to school?
I went to college at Missouri State in Springfield, MO (formerly known as SMSU) for my Bachelors degree in Psychology. I continued my education at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, KS and obtained my Masters degree in Psychology as well as my Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology.
What is the best part about being a school psychologist?
I love that I never have a predictable schedule. My career never gets boring. I get to do so many things for students and teachers. I am involved in district system-wide change in our district, which is something I love. The school psychologists in my district are behavior experts and are involved in developing and integrating MTSS throughout the district through a variety of platforms such as the Problem-Solving Team, PBIS, and Trauma Sensitive Schools. The best part about being a school psychologist is knowing that through building skills in others, students reap the benefits and can become stronger and more successful.
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
I am supervising a School Psychology Intern this year, and I am excited to have this opportunity and experience.
What's the funniest thing a kid has said to you?
A few years ago, I was teaching a building how to ignore and outlast a student’s behavior. He was in kindergarten at the time and was a huge adult attention seeker. After clearing a room and stating our expectations, the student began to do anything he could to gain our attention (flipping desks, throwing chairs, trying to bite the adults at the doorway). As we were outlasting the behavior (within the room with the student), the student screamed, “I pee on you!” and proceeded to pee all over my leg. I continued my conversation with the administrator as if nothing was happening, and the student screamed, “Fine!” and sat down in the puddle of pee on the floor. A few days later, he saw me and said, “I pee on you, I sorry.” We never had eloping or extreme behavior (such as peeing) from the student again, but the apology was definitely one of the cutest and funniest moments I had experienced in a long time.
What do you do for fun - besides writing reports?
I have a husband and two sons (one is 6 years old and one is 1 and a half years old). I am pretty busy a mom, when I am not working. I also am actively involved in MASP and love to advocate for our profession. If there is any additional time, I love to decorate my house. I am also a musician. I play the flute. I also love hanging out with friends and enjoying a good tv series such as Dexter or Game of Thrones.
What do you wish you could do more of at work? Less of?
I wish I could do more counseling and group work. I have a pretty high caseload (14 buildings and about 8500 kids), so I don’t get much time to do individual and group counseling.
I wish I could have less buildings and a lower caseload in order to evenly distribute my time to my buildings more efficiently.
Tell us about your family!
I am married to Tyler Dykes, who is also an educator in a neighboring district. He teaches 7th and 8th grade Science. He is an amazing teacher and an even better husband and father. I am pretty lucky to have found him. He loves fishing, hunting, and pretty much anything involving the outdoors, which is funny because I typically prefer to be indoors. My oldest son’s name is Mason. He is currently in 1st grade and is a pretty smart kid. He loves learning and building with legos. We are so proud of him! My youngest son’s name is Cody. He is 21 months old and is full of life (and energy). He is ornery, sneaky, smart, and always makes me laugh. I have a feeling he will be the one that I get phone calls about later on in life though. He makes our family complete and we all have a great time together.