At AEF, we realize that our primary programs can be successful only if our students are healthy, both academically and emotionally. AEF is focused on fundraising for mental health support in our schools. For the past five years, AEF has funded one additional mental health counselor in Aspen Middle School and – thanks to the support of one individual donor – an additional mental health counselor in Aspen Elementary School as well. With the added support, counselors in both schools are able to be proactive with all students’ social and emotional health.
Thank you for joining us on this journey.


Working closely with the district, AEF is committed to funding positions and programs to support our students’ emotional well-being. Last year, AEF was able to fund a second counselor in the Aspen Middle School. Our next goal is to add a second counselor in the Aspen Elementary School. Currently, our elementary school has one counselor for roughly 450 students. The recommended ratio is one counselor for 250 students.

AEF is also in close contact with the district to monitor mental health needs that will arise from the current COVID-19 crisis, and the challenges our students and families might face. You can choose for your gift to fund the elementary school counselor, specifically or the many other mental health needs in our district. Thank you!

Nick Stertz gives an update to our Skier families from the AMS counseling department.

Nick Stertz, AMS Counselor – to schedule an appointment click here.

Courtney Dunn, MSW, ASD Social Worker, Prevention Specialist – to schedule an appointment click here.

Thank you for helping AEF to raise funds for a second Aspen Elementary School counselor!



In 2016, Pitkin County, Aspen School District and a number of local organizations and community members teamed up to create Aspen Family Connections, designed to serve as a one-stop family resource center. AFC provides families with information on academic or emotional support organizations, financial assistance, extracurricular activities, and summer camps. In addition, AFC offers a number of popular workshops on parenting and education throughout the year.

AEF is proud to support AFC as an integral part of our students and families’ well-being. During this COVID-19 crisis, AFC is providing food and support to hundreds of families in our district and Basalt. Their work is invaluable and is saving lives. Please click here (link to COVID page) to see AFC work in action during this time.

“Aspen School District supports children of all learning differences and disabilities. While it is the law to help these students, most schools don’t have the funding to fully realize the amount of resources a child needs. At ASD, there is a phenomenal amount of support for kids who require help with social skills, emotional growth, as well as academic needs. My differently wired (and awesome!) son, Teddy, is celebrated, loved, and accepted every single day. His general ed teachers and special ed staff have devoted many hours to his continued success. ASD support team rivals  private school, should families seek an inclusive environment. I am deeply grateful beyond words. ”

Michelle Stiller, parent


The Aspen school district is committed to development of the whole child.  AEF offers support with social/emotional, academic, intervention and individual education plans for every student.  Specifically, AEF provides the funding for an intervention specialist in the middle school – as well math and literacy support at every grade level.

# of students enrolled in ASD
Kids that are given math and literacy support
Active projects

“The Aspen Education Foundation provides invaluable support to the Aspen Community School. For over ten years, funds from AEF have allowed us to hire additional highly trained support staff. As a result, more students are receiving direct reading, writing and math help. This instruction is essential for creating a strong academic culture at our school. Without AEF support, students at our school would not receive academic intervention from the right teachers at the right time. AEF has always been there for our school and we are very grateful.”

Jim Gilchrist, former Principal, Aspen Community School


AEF supports the individual needs of every child. AEF also provides for teacher training and professional training for our faculty. Supporting our teachers, staff and educators is a key component of the AEF mission. We provide programs to support math and literacy, which have resulted in improved academic outcomes for students of diverse backgrounds. AEF also provides professional development for staff in critical areas of needs as well as summer programming.

Our schools can only be as strong as our educators!  AEF provides funding for professional development in critical areas of need.  Some initiatives include MTSS, literacy, numeracy, differentiating instruction and cognitive coaching.  In addition, Aspen High School is committed to sending staff to schools that are internationally and nationally recognized to learn best practices.  AEF is also committed to recognizing and supporting our teachers through recognition and support with housing.