Heroes for Health: Alyson Eisch

This spotlight series is designed to profile members of the Racine Collaborative for Children’s Mental Health. Over the coming months, the series will feature individual Collaborative members, each of whom is integral to the group’s efforts to forge stronger connections and establish new approaches to strengthen the social and emotional development of our children.

This series is an opportunity to highlight and recognize the diverse individuals, services and resources available to the Racine community.

Who: Alyson Eisch, Directing Principal at Julian Thomas Elementary School

Website: sites.google.com/a/rusd.org/julianthomas/

Email: Alyson.Eisch@rusd.org

Phone: 262-664-8402

Twitter: @RacineUnified

About RUSD:
With approximately 21,000 students, RUSD is the fourth largest school district in the state of Wisconsin. The district has 21 elementary schools including 3 magnet elementary schools, 7 middle schools including 1 magnet middle school and 1 charter middle school, and 6 high schools including 1 magnet high school, and 1 charter high school. Racine Unified features rigorous academics and strong programming in the fine arts, foreign language, school-to-career, physical education, technology, and other electives. The RUSD mission is to educate every student to succeed.”

Words from Alyson, a Hero for Health:

As Directing Principal at Julian Thomas Elementary, I am fully focused on providing an environment where students can learn and am a strong proponent of bringing mental health services into our schools. Hands down, a student cannot be successful in the classroom without being healthy first. Some of the deep mental health issues our children face cannot be solved by solely sending them to an in-school special education program – they need help in the regular classroom as well.

Earlier in my career, I served as a member of the RUSD Inclusion Task Force, where I helped revamp special education services and coach teachers on effectively addressing students’ mental health needs. I also had the opportunity to supervise our Fresh Start program, which partners with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – All Saints Hospital to provide an out-of-school program for children who may be suffering from unmet mental health needs. Through this work and other efforts, we have succeeded in opening new channels of communication with parents and helping identify unaddressed mental health issues with families, so they don’t have to struggle alone. We now see families are more willing to talk about mental health, and that’s a huge step.

The issue of mental health is not an individual issue – it’s a community issue. I’m encouraged by the greater willingness of people – parents, teachers, community leaders and counselors – to talk openly about it and work together to support our children.

There is a direct correlation between the health and well-being of the children and young adults in our community and the vibrancy of our community as a whole. I firmly believe that supporting and helping children so that they can be successful in the classroom is a critical first step to helping them achieve success in the workplace and to realizing their potential as successful citizens of our community.

See all Heroes