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McGraw Chosen 2004 Psychologist of Year

Jim McGraw, Chantilly High's school psychologist for the past decade, was just named 2004 Psychologist of the Year by the Fairfax Association of School Psychologists.

McGraw, 53, of Centreville's Country Club Manor community, is a 25-year veteran of Fairfax County Public Schools. His award will be presented on April 29.

"It's a great honor," he said Tuesday. "I think psychologists serve an important role that's usually not in the limelight. We tend to work behind the scenes."

McGraw earned his master's degree in clinical child psychology from George Mason University and worked at Stone Middle School, Deer Park, London Towne, Virginia Run, Centre Ridge and Greenbriar East elementary schools.

"I think that Jim has such a wealth of knowledge about what services are available and appropriate to kids," says Chantilly Principal Tammy Turner. "He's just an invaluable resource."

McGraw works day to day counseling students and families on crisis and adjustment issues, as well as consulting with students and parents on class placements, substance-abuse issues and mental-health issues. He also does special-education evaluations.

"We're kind of the triage unit — the referral sources that get people connected to the resources in the community," he said of the 10 guidance counselors and five assistant principals with whom he works.

"It's something different every day," said McGraw. "I have the opportunity to do prevention and early intervention work with students and families."

A Nationally Certified School Psychologist, McGraw is the former president of the Fairfax Association of School Psychologists. He is a frequent speaker and workshop leader with school faculties, student classrooms, community groups, student leadership retreats, staff training and conferences.

He and his wife Linda have four sons: David, 23, a musician with 33 West; Jason, 22, a senior at JMU; Brad, 19, a freshman at GMU; and A.J., 17, a junior at Westfield High School.