2019-2020 Parent Education Series Speakers
2019-2020 Parent Education Series Speakers


Creating a strong school-home partnership is an important goal at Laurence, as we all work together to educate the "Total Child" and raise kind, resilient children. To strengthen that partnership, we strive to bring you interesting authors and experts to speak about the latest and most important topics in parenting and raising children. We have planned a great lineup of speakers for the 2019-2020 school year. This year's series will once again include an evening event, which we hope will make our speaker series accessible to more of our parent body. 

We look forward to welcoming back Lori Getz, founder of Cyber Education Consultants, and Robin Berman, MD, bestselling author of Permission to Parent. Additionally, we are excited about our two new speakers: Michele Borba, Ed.D., bestselling author of Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World; and Alison Park, founder of Blink Consulting, who helps schools critically rethink and repurpose diversity initiatives.

Please mark your calendars for these events and read on for more information about this year's Parent Education Series speakers.

Lori Getz

Founder, Cyber Education Consultants

K-3 Parent Talk: October 17, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.
4th Grade Parent-Student Talk: October 8, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.*
5th Grade Parent-Student Talk: September 12, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.*
6th Grade Parent-Student Talk: September 10, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.*

* Please note that the 4th-6th Grade parent-student talks are mandatory for parents of students in these grades.

Cyber Education Consultant, Lori Getz, will be back at Laurence to talk about our relationship with technology, Internet safety, security, and ethics. Lori is an educator, mother, and Internet safety expert. This year, Lori will be doing separate grade-level talks for students and parents (together) in Grades 4 through 6, as well as a talk for parents of students in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. During the grade-level talks, she will be helping to facilitate more meaningful conversations between students and parents regarding privacy, personal safety, screen time, gaming, texting and digital communication. During the K-3 parent talk, Lori will address: our relationship with technology; how technology can improve our lives and; how to avoid the pitfalls of oversharing, over-friending and over-connecting. She will also discuss establishing rules that apply both in and outside of the home.

More about Lori Getz:

Since 2004 Lori has worked as an Instructional Technologist in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Master of Arts in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. In September 2008, Lori founded Cyber Education Consultants and began speaking to students, parents, and educators about Internet safety, security, and ethics. Since that time, Lori has reached out to Internet users across the world! Her mission is simple -- to help bridge the gap between a young generation of digital natives and their parents and teachers.

Today, Cyber Education Consultants provides workshops, professional development, and consulting services to more than 150 schools across the country. She has appeared on the "Dr. Phil Show," "Today," "Good Morning America," "HLN," "Dr. Drew," and several other local news and radio programs (including the Ryan Seacrest show on KIIS FM). She often lectures live, speaking to parents, teachers, and students. Lori is the author of The Tech Savvy User's Guide to the Digital World, a workbook for tweens and teens, and has been published in several areas including as an online expert for kidsinthehouse.com. Lori was featured in Rachel Simmons' new edition of "Odd Girl Out," and Lucie Hemmen, Ph.D's Parenting a Teen Girl. Her insight comes from both her professional and personal life working with children, tweens, and teens.

Alison Park

Founder, Blink Consulting: Critically Rethinking Diversity

January 28, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

As we move forward on our journey in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we strive to bring you thoughtful and insightful speakers to further our community's discussions and to help us realize our goals. Last year, Alison Park came to Laurence for an engaging session with faculty, staff and members of our Board of Trustees, during which we discussed our own identities, deepened our understanding of how we can make Laurence more inclusive, and worked on increasing our comfort in discussing often uncomfortable topics in this area. This year, Alison will not only continue her work with our leadership team and faculty, but will also lead an interactive parent talk during an evening event in January. 

More about Alison Park and Blink Consulting:

Created by educators for educators in 2005, Blink Consulting designs and delivers tailored, comprehensive support that includes professional growth, curricular and program design, cultural competency assessment and accountability, coaching, leadership development and other consulting. Working with students, faculty, administration, staff, trustees and families, Blink has helped more than 90 schools and organizations to critically rethink the purpose, practice and outcomes of their diversity initiatives by offering a fresh lens and practical tools for school-wide revision. 

Alison Park is the founder of Blink Consulting. In addition to her work with clients, Alison has facilitated at numerous conferences, partnered with other organizations, and served on Park Day School's Board of Trustees. Alison currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Mosaic Project and the SMART program's Board of Directors. Before Blink, Alison taught for thirteen years in the public, non-profit and private sectors, including Marin Academy and Head-Royce Middle School. Alison earned her B.A. in African Studies at Yale University and two Master's degrees at Harvard's Graduate School of Education. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Alison has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for fifteen years. She currently consults, writes, runs the hills and gets off the grid with a fly rod when she can.

Robin Berman, MD

Author of Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love & Limits

February 26, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

Robin Berman, MD, is a favorite speaker amongst the Laurence parent community, and this year she will be speaking about the societal and parental pressures today's children face to achieve at elite levels and how that pressure is impacting their mental health, and what parents can do to help their children manage these pressures and develop resiliency.

More about Robin Berman, MD:

Robin Berman, MD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Berman is a founding board member of the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA and an Advisory Board member of Matthew McConaughey's Just Keep Livin Foundation.  She is the author of Permission to Parent: How to Raise Your Child with Love & Limits. She has appeared on "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America," and her book has been featured in the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the London Times, and Time Magazine online. Permission to Parent has also been published in the UK under the title Hate Me Now, Thank Me Later.  Dr. Berman is on the Parents Magazine Advisory Board, is a featured contributor to The Today Parenting Team online, and is a regular contributor to Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP online blog.

Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Author of Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World

March 24, 2020 at 8:00 a.m.

We are excited to welcome bestselling author, Dr. Michele Borba, to speak at Laurence for the first time this year. Dr. Borba will talk about the surprising role of empathy in preparing children for real happiness and success. She also provides parents with nine teachable habits to help nurture empathy in children – from birth to young adulthood – and explains why developing a healthy sense of empathy is a key predictor of which kids will thrive and succeed in the future and in the new global, digital-driven world.

More about Dr. Michele Borba: 

Dr. Michele Borba is an internationally recognized expert and author on children, teens, parenting, bullying and moral development. Her work aims to help strengthen children's character and resilience, build strong families, create compassionate and just school cultures, and reduce peer cruelty. Her practical, research-based advice is culled from a career of working with over one million parents and educators worldwide.

She is an NBC contributor appearing over 100 times on the TODAY show and is the regular parenting expert on Dr. Drew's "Lifechangers," where she comments on late-breaking news and offers realistic solutions. Her work has been featured on "Dr. Phil," "Dateline," "The View," "The Doctors," and "CNN," as well as Newsweek, People, Good Housekeeping, Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report, Washington Post, The New York Times and The Globe and Mail. She was an MSNBC contributor to two televised "Education Nation" specials.

Dr. Borba is also the award-winning author of 22 parenting and educational books translated into 14 languages. Titles include: Don't Give Me That Attitude!, Parents Do Make A Difference, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, Nobody Likes Me, Everybody Hates Me!, No More Misbehavin', Building Moral Intelligence (cited by Publishers' Weekly as "Among the most noteworthy of 2001"), and Esteem Builders used by 1.5 million students worldwide. She writes as the parenting expert for Dr. Oz's website, and authors a daily column for her blog, Dr. Borba's Reality Check.

She received a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in Learning Disabilities and a B.A. from the University of Santa Clara, and a Life Teaching Credential from San Jose State University. She is a former classroom teacher who has worked in regular education as well as with children with learning, physical, behavioral and emotional disabilities, and in a private practice for troubled youth. Dr. Borba lives in Palm Springs, California with her husband and has three grown sons.