Apache Junction Teacher Recognized for Helping Students Speak Up to Save a Life

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - Feb. 14, 2022 - PRLog -- Kerri Mortensen, a sixth grade teacher at Four Peaks Elementary School, 1785 N. Idaho Road in Apache Junction received a Difference Maker Award through the Stand Up, Speak Up, Save a Life state-wide student conference.

Mortenson was nominated by Jason Ray, a student at Cactus Canyon Junior High, 801 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction.

The mission of the Speak Up, Stand Up, Save a Life organization encourages students to be aware of warning signs and to speak up to a trusted adult regarding depression, suicide, grief, abuse, and bullying as a first-step to saving a life.

"It's important for students to feel safe to talk to a teacher, parent, or another student in their life when they are feeling stress and anxiety around any issues," said Mortenson. "Students need to be able to help each other as well as find those resources and people in their lives to help them believe in themselves. A strong relationship through kindness, compassion, and empathy goes a long way to helping students process greater emotions. We all have a responsibility to be available to listen and help guide a young person to find the help they need when their emotions get too heavy."

Mortenson said that she and her colleagues chose to focus on the part of the conference that emphasized how educators can help students learn how to manage their emotions through specific techniques to help them relax and be aware of their own emotions.

According to America's Health Rankings suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death for adolescents ages 15-19 globally. More information about warning signs, tools for students, resources for parents and more  google speak stand save.


Named for the renowned four-peaked ridge of the Mazatzal Mountains, Four Peaks Elementary School staff and students embrace the pioneering spirit of the region while welcoming newcomers to join them in their pursuit of excellence.

Enrollment is currently being accepted at all AJUSD schools. For more information visit www.ajusd.org.

Sally Ann Marks
Tags:Suicide Prevention
Location:Apache Junction - Arizona - United States
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