Dr. Rosetta Treece, a 2016 graduate of Rowan’s doctorate of educational leadership (Ed.D.) program, serves as Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Hopewell Valley School District in Pennington (Mercer County) in what she calls her “dream job.”
Dr. Treece is in charge of K-12 curricula, school technology and programming such as equity and basic skills.
However, her spearheading of the school district’s mental health initiatives is deeply personal, as she lost her son to suicide in early 2017.
Dr. Treece and her superintendent crafted policies and professional development to support suicide prevention throughout the Hopewell Valley School District.
She partnered with Attitudes in Reverse (AIR), an outreach program, to train therapy dogs — even her own — for the schools. “It’s amazing to see a student that’s completely shut down, not open to talking … and then the dog would come in, and they would just open up,” she says.
Dr. Treece says mental health is a challenging issue to take on with schools because there’s a stigma around it. She’s making it her mission to break the stigma.
“I put myself out there. I let people know what I’ve been through so that I can start tearing down those walls of the stigma of what mental health looks like,” Dr. Treece says. “This is a lifetime commitment for me.”
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