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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

New school psychologist anticipates success

New school psychologist Michael Slone joined the administrative team at the start of this school year after former school psychologist Mark Atkinson accepted a position as the director of special education at the district office.

Slone was encouraged by Atkinson to apply for the position and is excited to come to Saratoga High.

“He bragged about this school and the students,” Slone said. “All of the positive information he gave me about the students, the staff and the administration was one of the reasons that convinced me to come here.”

So far, Atkinson’s statements have held true and Slone has been greatly impressed by the student body. He also admires how much students at Saratoga value their education compared to those he has worked with in other school districts, he said.

“Saratoga students are really lucky to have all these facilities,” Slone said. “The best part is that they seem to appreciate everything offered.”

Previously, he worked as a school psychologist at both the Irvine Unified School District and Lodi Unified School District. He then transferred to the Cambrian School District where he held administrative jobs and duties, including the director of student services and special education, before becoming the principal of Cambrian Community School.

Slone first became interested in psychology during his time at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore., and chose his career as a school psychologist after reflecting on his own experiences with special needs students.

“I can think back to students with special needs friends and classmates who didn’t get the help they needed,” Sloan said. “Remembering these experiences has helped shape and influence what I wanted to do.”

Slone enjoys working in a school environment because of the emphasis on teamwork. An avid basketball and tennis player, Slone has been part of a team his entire life and wishes to continue to focus on collaboration in his work life.

“I didn’t like the idea of working by myself in an office or private clinic,” he said. “The best part about being a school psychologist is the great team atmosphere.”

Slone is able to work directly with the guidance department as well as other members of the administration to assess students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities or behavioral and emotional issues. These assessments determine whether or not a student will need special education or other accommodations and modifications in order to reach their full potential.

“My goal is to be able to help special education students be successful in their learning,” Slone said. “I’m really looking forward to being able to help these students and watch them grow.”
Slone also provides support and training for the staff so that they will be receptive to these students’ special needs.

“I hope to bring positive energy and help to both the students and staff so that they feel like I’m always there to support them,” he said.

Slone anticipates a successful year and is looking forward to being able to work with the special education students as well as the rest of the staff.

“It’s an amazing student body, a great staff and a wonderful administration,” Slone said. “I couldn’t be happier to be here.”

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