MSSWA is proud to announce our first African American Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year 2022

Judy Brown

of Minneapolis Public Schools

The Minnesota School Social Workers Association proudly announces the selection of Judy Brown as the Minnesota School Social Worker of the Year for 2022. Judy has been working in schools and mental health for many years. She earned her Masters in Social Work degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul MN and is currently a Doctor in Education Leadership candidate (Ed.D.) from the University of St. Mary’s, Minneapolis MN.  She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, a Clinical Licensing Supervisor and holds a School Social Work License.  Nominator Aimee Fearing, Senior Academic Officer wrote, “Ms. Brown has been a fierce advocate for MPS students and district wide support for mental health services for all students.  As a Minneapolis community member, Ms. Brown is passionate and approaches the work from a social justice lens.”  She also went on to say, “Through the past two years of interrupted learning and hurtful events, locally and nationally, Ms. Brown has stayed committed to providing stability and care to all students and families who have needed it.  Ms. Brown has demonstrated fully what it means to be of service to the same community from which she has come and her passion to continue to uplift the community as it rises through crisis is undeniably amazing.” 

Judy’s co-worker, Cathy Dalnes, shared “Judy has excellent student interaction skills.  She has a presence about her that draws students in.  Judy helps students to regulate their behavior, to feel less anxious in school, to feel safe, supported and heard. She models exemplary school social work practice in all that she does.  She is highly professional and ethical in her practice.  Judy and I partner daily in our work.  She is one of the best colleagues I have worked with.  She challenges me to do better for our students and families, while also providing support to me as a colleague, in this really difficult work and year.”

Judy works diligently to make sure the underserved population within the Minneapolis Public School District receive equitable mental health services representative to the student body and communities served. Trina Givens-Henry, colleague, writes. “Ms. Brown has been an inspiration in the community among her social work colleagues and I cannot say enough about how much she has inspired me to be steadfast and mindful of the way we show up for the students and communities we serve.” 

Matthew Lau, Manager of Psychological Services, Minneapolis Public Schools, shares “For the past few years, Minneapolis has been in the epicenter of racial injustice and social unrest.  One could only imagine the amount of hurt, loss, and stress of our students and families.  Yet, Judy has stepped up and taken the responsibility of managing mental health needs of MPS students. Judy is a person with integrity and with a conviction to allocate district resources to MPS students and staff.  I trust her because her words and action reflect only one agenda - getting the support that MPS students deserve and need.”

School Social Work colleague, Cheryl Flugaur-Leavitt, shares “Judy and I became close friends as we teamed to provide school social work services in K-8 school from 2010-2016.  I learned so much  from her mental health crisis and community corrections background.  Throughout our work together, and since then, Judy has made significant positive impacts on students, families, and the community, not only in her professional capacity in the Minneapolis district, but also in her community engagement: providing foster care in her home, working evenings at the hospital, or doing crisis mental health work.  The extent of her impact mirrors the passion she holds for children and families, and her belief in the importance of education.”

MSSWA is so excited to acknowledge Judy Brown and her dedication to the school social work profession.  Her knowledge, her support of her colleagues, her commitment to students and advocacy to the families she serves makes her our Minnesota School Social Worker of the year for 2022! Lloyd Winfield, Ed. D, retired principal sums it up best by saying, “Ms. Browns’s steadfast advocacy for children through her work with families and staff, demonstrated leadership within the school community, as well as developing a creative solution to address student needs makes her the perfect choice for the MSSWA honor.  Judy’ impact on the lives of children and families in the Minneapolis Public Schools is beyond measure.”  

Congratulations, Judy!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software