My name is Karla Esser and I am running for the State Board of Education (SBE) in Congressional District 7. Education has been my passion and profession for four decades. I have been a teacher, building administrator, assistant superintendent, and a professor, in Colorado and in the German public school system.
Colorado has the highest growth in teen suicide in the nation. For this reason, several parent groups in different districts are offering free suicide prevention workshops for parents and teachers. Considering the CoVID crisis and the recent protests around race inequality, schools will have an even greater need for health professionals, most certainly those providing mental health services. Students will only be able to learn if their social/emotional needs are met by professionals in this field. Colorado is one of the states that does not have a ratio of students to mental health care providers, but we should be following, at a minimum, the ratio set by other states. Our goal must always be to serve the changing needs of our students so that learning can occur. In this period of high anxiety and uncertainty, where students are navigating a new reality, we ignore mental health care needs at our students’ peril.
I have the background, education, and skillset to add value to Colorado’s SBE and would like to earn your support.