I have been an educator for 34 years, 24 of them in the Corvallis School District.
I was an elementary teacher, and for the last 10 years I have been supporting students in crisis (experiencing homelessness, mental health issues, or involved in the Department of Human Services or judicial systems) across the whole district.
I am incredibly thankful that our school board and district administration have been strong supporters of this work.
Fortunately, our current school board understands how students who are experiencing high levels of trauma, hardship and mental distress have a difficult time learning.
In the past four years, under Dr. Sami Al-AbdRabbuh’s leadership as vice chair and then chair, I have clearly seen that the school board truly understands that learning takes place when kids feel safe, are housed and have basic needs met.
Thanks to the efforts of Sami and the rest of our school board, including Vince Adams and Luhui Whitebear, our students have teachers, counselors and mental health staff focused on building strong connections and understanding the struggles students and families face daily. All district staff are required to do suicide prevention trainings. Our district welcome center provides weekly deliveries of food and hygiene items to families who need it most.