Dr. Debbie Amaral, R. Pysch (#1832)

Dr. Debbie Amaral is a Registered Psychologist currently working with the North Star team as an assessment Supervisor.

In 2011, Dr. Amaral retired from 35 years in the public school system. Dr. Amaral started her career as a classroom teacher at the intermediate level, moved to special education at the elementary and secondary level and then completed her teaching career as District Principal of Student Support Services. While working in the public school system, Dr. Amaral completed her B.Ed. at the University of Victoria (1991), Post-Baccaulareate Diploma in Special Education at Simon Fraser University (1997), and Masters (2003) and Ph.D. (2007) in School Psychology at The University of British Columbia.

As a District Principal, Dr. Amaral was involved in early learning initiatives. She was instrumental in developing and implementing a continuum of support for parents of children, birth to age five. Programs included Supporting Parents About Readiness for Kindergarten (SPARK!), kinderSPARK!, Imagination Library, Early Years Fair, StrongStart, and Ready, Set, Learn. Throughout her career, Dr. Amaral taught numerous adult education assessment related courses in the community as well as at various post-secondary institutions.

During her doctoral studies, Dr. Amaral’s areas of research included parent involvement and early learning. She believes that parents are children’s first and most important teacher and key to the child’s success as a learner. Dr. Amaral is keen to help children be successful in school settings and work with parents to become actively involved in their child’s education and learning. Dr. Amaral believes that parents are critical to the child’s academic success and focused her research on seeking to understand the involvement of parents in children’s learning.

Dr. Amaral has extensive experience working with and assessing children with a variety of special needs including physical and sensory disabilities, neurological, developmental and learning disorders, and social emotional behavioural challenges. She has joined the North Star Developmental Clinic as a supervising assessment clinician.