School shootings, while statistically rare, have increased; the number of days between school shootings has substantially declined. Since Columbine in 1999, there have been over 385 school shootings in the U.S. Trends are more than just numbers—they are the product of complex and intertwining factors that need to be understood in order to implement effective and feasible prevention and intervention strategies. They also represent stories and, in the case of school-associated gun violence, human beings who have been exposed to traumatic life-changing situations.
Join us for a panel discussion that will include an academic expert as well as school-based professionals who can speak to the factors that contribute to school shootings, how schools and other institutions are working to prevent and respond to school shootings, and what individuals and communities can do to address gun violence in schools.
Terrace Room (2nd floor), Lawrence Street Center
1380 Lawrence St, Denver, CO 80204
5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Check-in and hors d’oeuvres
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Programming
Andres Cardenas, School Resource Officer, Aurora Central High School
School Resource Officer Andres Cardenas has served with Aurora PD for over seven years. For three and a half years, he has served as a School Resource Officer at Aurora Central High School. After high school S.R.O. Cardenas opted to join the military and served in the U.S. Navy for twelve years, serving two years onboard the U.S.S. Constellation Aircraft Carrier during Operation Desert Shield for two years and ten years in Naval Mobile Construction Battalions participating in Humanitarian Relief for Hurricane Katrina, among other operations. In 2022, S.R.O. Cardenas was awarded the Executive Citation from the National Association of School Resource Officers for his actions during a shooting that occurred near the school involving some students. During his tenure in the military, Officer Cardenas learned Italian, Portuguese, and French. He also served as an interpreter for the Department of Defense.
Franci Crepeau-Hobson, Professor, School of Education and Human Development
Franci Crepeau-Hobson, Ph.D., NCSP is a professor and director of the school psychology program at the University of Colorado Denver. She is a licensed psychologist, licensed school psychologist, and a member of the National Association of School Psychologists School Safety and Crisis Response Committee, as well as Colorado Society of School Psychologists Statewide Crisis Response Team. As a member of these teams, Dr. C has provided comprehensive school-based prevention, crisis intervention, and postvention crisis resources and services to school districts following incidents of violence and natural disasters around the country. Dr. C has authored and coauthored a number of articles in the areas of school safety, crisis response, and youth suicide.
Karyn Singley Blair, School Psychologist, Aurora Central High School
Karyn Singley Blair, MA, graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a master’s degree in Educational Psychology in 1998. This is her 24th year as a school psychologist with Aurora Public Schools, and her 21st year at Aurora Central High School, where she is also on the district Crisis Response Team. After the shooting at the Aurora Theater in 2012, she was asked to join the Superintendent’s Crisis Management Committee to help plan how to support both staff and students in the aftermath of that tragedy. She was named School Psychologist of the Year by the Colorado Society of School Psychologists in 2016, and was given the Educator Champion Award by Challenge Denver in 2017. She has been involved in crisis response for several acts of violence over the years. A supporter of Sandy Hook Promise, Karyn agrees with and actively works toward their mission of “protecting children from gun violence by encouraging and supporting solutions that create safer, healthier homes, schools, and communities.”
Nate Thompson, Director of Social, Emotional, & Behavior Services, Littleton Public Schools
Nate Thompson, LCSW, is the Director of Social, Emotional, & Behavior Services for Littleton Public Schools. In his 15 years in LPS, he has helped develop a comprehensive approach to mental health and safety that is widely recognized for its use of innovative technology, creative funding models, interagency partnerships, research, and student voice. Nate has extensive experience in school mental health services, crisis response, psychological safety protocols and violence prevention, including leading the response to a school shooting. Previous to his current role he worked as a non-profit administrator, clinical supervisor and therapist. And he is highly skilled at Embarrassing Dad Jokes.