A Week of Reflection and Remembrance

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State of STEM on Tuesday evening was a celebration of the community coming together to champion the people behind the success of STEM: students, faculty and staff, the STEM Board, parents, PTO, SAC, STEM Center for Strength and school leaders. Each presented their unique contributions to the foundation that makes STEM a premier school in DCSD and Colorado.

One of our school leaders remarked that a previous State of STEM is what attracted her to our school. Seeing the passion and dedication of so many inspired her to become part of the community.

The 2020-21 school year was challenging for educators and families throughout the country and the world. STEM minimized lost learning through remaining in-person while so many public schools were virtual-only. The resultant mental health crisis of children in Colorado is blamed, in part, on social isolation. Families struggled without the anchoring of school. It was a time of so many unknowns and the STEM staff faced their fears and came to work to serve students. This dedication to remaining in person was part of the celebration Tuesday evening. Thank you to the STEM Board for leading with courage, thank you to our staff, past and present for their unwavering commitment and thank you to our students for always pushing for STEM to be better than the year before. It was a hard year for everyone.

I want to take a moment to also thank the service provider and volunteers at the STEM Center for Strength. When we (STEM Leadership) first began the journey of obtaining the grant and working with the All Health Network back in the 2019-20 school year to create the space that would become the Center for Strength, it seemed like such a daunting task. Knowing that a potential pandemic was on the horizon made it even more challenging, but our staff, the AllHealth Staff, and the members of our community were committed to ensuring that it would become a place for healing and support. Hearing how our community is responding and seeing all that is being offered is such a blessing.

While Tuesday evening was a celebration for our community, the Oxford High tragedy added another school to the circle of communities in need of Centers for Strength. We grieve with their community and I am keeping them in my thoughts and hope for peace and comfort during this traumatic time.

The mental health providers at STEM and others made sure resources were readily available for any in need from our school. STEM’s Center for Strength continues to be a resource for students, staff, and parents. We are all grateful for this support and we will continue to work with the Center and their team in any and all ways possible to hopefully extend the grant.

As I close out my newsletter this week, I want to wish our families in our Jewish community a Happy Hanukkah.

P.J. Eucker PhD
Executive Director

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