Did you know that this school has a psychologist in the counselor’s office? Or that every school in Montgomery County has a school psychologist as well? If not, meet the school’s new psychologist Dr. Yvette Baldwin.
Baldwin has been working with MCPS for 18 years. Before working here, her services were provided at Kennedy, Magruder, Gaithersburg Middle and High schools and the Placement and Assessment Services Unit. Prior to working in MCPS, Baldwin served students in Chicago Public Schools. Chicago is also where she received her school psychology training at Loyola University.
School psychologists work as a member of the school team that supports student learning. They assist with helping students achieve academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. Sophomore Angela Roach, who works closely with the counseling department and administration, believes that Baldwin does her job well. “She’s really nice, welcoming, and helpful to students,” Roach said.
Baldwin loves being able to use her psychology degree in schools and with children. “School psychologists are able to make a huge difference that is sustaining in the lives of those we work with. However, there are not enough of us. There is a huge need for what we do. The beauty about the skills learned in this field is that they are universal. All areas of life are influenced by behavior. So, as it relates to schools, being able to apply the knowledge and understanding of behavior patterns to academics and learning is extremely helpful to educators, parents and administrators,” Baldwin said.
Besides working with kids, Baldwin has other hobbies. “My hobbies are boxing and weight training. In fact, I hold an orange belt in Maui Tai kickboxing,” Baldwin said.
Senior Yasmin Ozdemir encourages others to see Baldwin. “When my grade changed from a sophomore to a junior last year, I was feeling all sorts of ways. My counselor, [Brian] Gregory, suggested that I talk to Dr. Baldwin. She was helpful in giving me a different perspective on why I was forced to change grades and gave me hope about the future. If you don’t want to talk to your counselor about your problems or just want to hear advice from a different person, you should go see Dr. Baldwin,” Ozdemir said.
Baldwin’s interest in psychology stemmed from helping others. “The foundation of my interest continues to be in helping others to better understand different learning styles and patterns of students,” Baldwin said.
AP Psychology is one of the more popular AP courses offered here. Students like Ozdemir found the class so interesting that she is pursuing psychology as a career. For those who want to do the same thing, Baldwin offers one valuable piece of advice. “The best tip I can think of for people that want to do psychology when they are older is to find a good mentor,” Baldwin said.