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Letters to the Editor: Readers voice support for Danielle Helzer for Nebraska Education Board

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Helzer for ed board

The District 6 State Board of Education election gives us an opportunity to vote for someone with a true servant leader's heart. Danielle Helzer is that person.

What impresses me the most about Danielle is her belief that listening to all perspectives is a key component to serving as an elected official. She has taken the time during her campaign to follow up with people who may not agree with her or have a question about her positions. She talks "with" people and not "to" them. That is a practice she has promised to continue once she is elected. She firmly believes in fostering relationships, two-way communication and working together for the common good of our schools and our students. Danielle believes that strong schools equal well-educated students, which in turn helps us build strong Nebraska communities.

Danielle does not buy into the messages that paint our schools and teachers in a negative and destructive manner. She will not lead from a position of fear and misinformation, but rather bring a collaborative, respectful approach to serve Nebraska students, teachers, families and our public school system.

Danielle brings a wealth of experience as an educator in both rural and urban settings, K-12 as well as the college level. She understands the importance of doing her homework to make thoughtful, educated decisions.

Please join me in voting for Danielle Helzer on Nov. 8.

Annette Dubas, Fullerton

Vote for Helzer 

As a mental health professional who has practiced in school settings, the increase in mental health difficulties in students has been a salient concern. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reported that 20% of children ages 13-18 have a mental health disorder. 50% of mental health diagnoses begin by age 14; however, there is an average 10-year delay before these children receive interventions for their symptoms. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in children ages 10-14.

Teachers, school counselors and other staff struggled during the 2021-2022 school year to adequately address the increase in behavioral and emotional needs of children. When children experience intense emotions and behaviors in the classroom, it prevents them from learning. It also hinders their classmates' ability to learn due to disruptive behaviors that require immediate attention from their teacher. In order to fully address children's needs, we need adequate supports in place to ensure their emotional safety and well-being.

District 6 needs a candidate who can provide a strong voice for the needs of children, especially their mental health. Danielle Helzer is the candidate we need. She believes in mental health. She is an advocate for increasing mental and behavioral health support for students. Danielle also recognizes the importance of ensuring staff have access to adequate mental health support to reduce teacher burnout. Addressing emotional and mental health needs for students and staff will assist schools to teach our children in the healthiest, safest environment possible.

Michelle Smith, Hastings

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