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New CASP Executive Director Now Onboard

Melanee Cottrill, CASP’s new executive director, started at her new position on Oct. 1. She has replaced Heidi Holmblad, who is retiring.

Cottrill has a diverse background that includes forming nonprofits and teaching in public high schools. Since June 2017 she served as associate director of California Farmland Trust (CFT), an agricultural land trust on a mission to help farmers protect what she called “the best farmland in the world.” Prior to that she worked as operations manager and senior paralegal at Civitas Advisors. That company specializes in forming improvement districts and nonprofit corporations. Her duties also included strategic planning and human resources.

“Melanee has a great deal of experience working with nonprofit membership organizations,” said Reynaldo Vargas, CASP’s Legislative Committee chair and member of the Executive Director Search Committee. “She demonstrated her effectiveness in her previous roles and also demonstrated an ability to problem solve and generate novel ideas and solutions to help further the mission and vision of CASP.”

Holmblad will continue to work for CASP through the convention and then as a “when needed” advisor.

“Melanee is already taking the job by storm,” Holmblad said. “She is a wonderful addition to CASP and is prepared to take the association to the next level.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the CASP team as the new executive director. I firmly believe everyone involved in education must work together for the benefit of our students, and am honored to play a role in that coalition,” Cottrill said. “I look forward to working with our members, the board, and staff to further foster the wellbeing of our students.”


Governor Newsom Signs CASP-Sponsored Bill

CASP-sponsored Assembly Bill 1651, which will allow LEPs to supervise Board of Behavioral Sciences associates in school settings, received Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature Sept. 20.
The “Licensed educational psychologists: supervision of associates and trainees” bill allows BBS associates (interns) to gain up to 1,200 hours of training while they offer educationally related mental health services under the supervision of LEPs. This not only brings more mental health workers to the schools but could increase the number of LEPs while giving the social workers, marriage and family therapists and clinical counselors experience in school settings.

The Board of Behavioral Sciences formally endorsed the bill in May, while the National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California also offered support, as did several LEPs. The bill, by Assembly member Jose Medina, D-San Jose, got through the state Assembly and Senate with no opposition.

CASP would like to than LEP Committee Chair Chris Jones for testifying on behalf of the bill before Assembly and Senate business and professions committees and before the BBS. CASP would also like to thank the many LEPs who wrote letters to Gov. Newsom and to their own state Assembly members and Senators asking for yes votes on the bill.
AB 1651 did not receive a no vote or negative public comment. The bill goes into effect on January 1. However, regulations and a training program for LEPs interested in supervising will need to be developed prior before the associated can earn hours under a LEP’s supervision.

The bill goes into effect on January 1. However, regulations and a training program for LEPs interested in supervising will need to be developed prior before the associated can earn hours under a LEP’s supervision. Interested? Please refer to this fact sheet from the BBS.


Your Dyslexia Questions Answered

Even with guidelines from the state Department of Education and those adopted by school districts, school psychologists, teachers, administrators and parents still have questions regarding assessment for dyslexia. CASP has developed a fact sheet in a Q & A format designed to answer those questions. Still have questions? If you are a CASP member, email us at and we will strive to get it answered. Not a member? Click on Join CASP above and see the benefits you’ve been missing. Become a CASP member today!


Is your CASP membership about to expire? Renew today!

Take advantage of convention discounts, webinar discounts (need CEUs?), hotel discounts, and continue to receive referral services for those issues in which you need some guidance, representation in Sacramento on issues that affect how you do your job. And don’t miss out on CASP Today, the association’s quarterly newsletter; Contemporary School Psychology, CASP’s quarterly academic journal; major discounts at CASP’s annual convention, and more. Fill out the appropriate renewal application today by visiting the CASP membership page.