Concordia Parish school psychologist receives state award

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, November 11, 2008

VIDALIA — A Concordia Parish school district employee has been given the highest distinction among his peers.

On Nov. 6, school psychologist Wilton Nolan was awarded the 2008 Outstanding School Psychologist of the Year award for Louisiana.

Nolan, who has been a psychologist with the Concordia Parish district for 27 years, did not know he was going to receive the award.

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“I was very, very surprised and very humbled, but very pleased also,” he said.

“Humble” is exactly the word that Special Populations Supervisor Mary Huhn used to describe Nolan, whose work takes him to every school in the parish.

“He is very, very supportive and a leader within (the special populations) division,” Huhn said. “He is very ethical, he has a very strong work ethic and he is a very humble, Christian man.”

And it was with humility that Nolan accepted the award.

“I have been very blessed to work with a lot of good people,” he said.

“I really received this award because of the people I worked with. I was told by several people on the executive committee for the Louisiana School Psychologists Association I was the choice because of the support I had.”

Through the years, the work he has done with the students has changed from counseling students to evaluating them for giftedness or disabilities to intervening when they have problems, but Nolan said he hasn’t minded that one bit.

“I feel fairly comfortable doing anything and everything we do,” he said.

School Board President and former Vidalia Lower Elementary School Principal Gary Parnham was one of the people who wrote a recommendation for Nolan’s nomination.

“When I worked with him, he was always there and willing to work whenever necessary,” Parnham said.

“He was willing to work with parents when children were having problems, and he was always willing to go beyond the call of duty.”

Superintendent of Schools Loretta Blankenstein said it was Nolan’s calmness of spirit and expertise that impressed her.

“He is very calm, and very even-tempered and gentle with the students, and he listens to them,” Blankenstein said. “Through his support they are able to continue their education with the knowledge that there is someone who cares. He works with them where they are and helps them to deal with the things that may seem like they as a student cannot surpass.”

When Nolan received his award, he gave an eloquent speech that was interrupted twice for a standing ovation, Huhn said.

“His message was that in Concordia Parish we work as a team and we always focus on the child first,” Huhn said.