Parent & Faculty Education Conference

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 Long Range Parenting: The Practice of Collective Well Being



Saturday, February 1, 2020
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Menlo Athletic Center


Menlo School continues its dedication to community education, connection and wellness. Please join us for our 19th annual Parent and Faculty Education Conference. A morning of learning and engagement as we connect in our own well being, and in parenting and raising adolescents. Our 2020 speakers, Matthew Walker, Mike Riera, and Denise Pope will discuss the importance of parents investing in the collective well being of their families and communities.



Matthew Walker

 Dr. Matthew Walker is Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also the founder and director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he was Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Walker’s research examines the impact of sleep on human health and disease. He has received numerous funding awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and is a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. To date, Dr. Walker has published over 100 scientific research studies. 

Dr. Walker is the author of the New York Times best seller, Why We Sleep, which was recently selected for the prestigious Sundance Book Festival. Why We Sleep has a singular goal: to reunite humanity with sleep. The book provides a complete description of, and prescription for, sleep. It answers critical questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during dreaming? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? Why are sleeping pills linked to a higher risk of death and cancer? 

Dr. Walker is an internationally recognized speaker, having been invited to give talks at the prestigious Royal Institution (Ri) and the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA) in London, The Smithsonian in the U.S., and he has also given three Google talks. Dr. Walker is also a popular media discussant and frequent feature on mainstream television outlets including the BBC and CBS, as well as popular radio outlets such as the BBC World Service and NPR. Dr. Walker has served as scientific counsel for numerous technology companies, including Hello and Fitbit. He is currently a Sleep Scientist at Google. 


Mike Riera

Mike Riera, Ph.D., is one of the country’s foremost authorities on understanding children and teenagers. The San Francisco Chronicle described Mike as “the Dr. Spock for teenagers and their parents.” The cornerstone of his philosophy for parents with teenagers is teaching parents to make the shift from being managers in their teenagers’ lives to becoming their consultants.

Mike has written or co-written five books related to teenagers and their parents. Several have been bestsellers and award winners. Two were also featured on Oprah—Uncommon Sense for Parents With Teenagers and Staying Connected To Your Teenager. In 2013 he also wrote a short book for the National Association of Independent Schools entitled Making the Most of Difficult Conversations in Independent Schools.

In 2011, Mike accepted the position as Head of School at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, where he currently resides with his wife and two children.  He received his BA in economics from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, his Master’s in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University, his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from San Francisco’s California Institute of Integral Studies and he was a CORO Fellow in St. Louis, Missouri. 

DR. Denise Pope

Denise Pope

Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where she specializes in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. Dr. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She co-founded Challenge Success to partner with schools and families to implement research-based strategies for student well-being and engagement. She is the author of, “Doing School”: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students, which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001, and co-author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids.

Dr. Pope is a 3-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award and was honored with the 2012 Education Professor of the Year “Educators’ Voice Award” from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University. She lives in Los Altos, CA with her husband and three children. 


The Parent & Faculty Education Conference is a cornerstone of Menlo School’s commitment to support parents and faculty in raising engaged, confident, curious children.

Few school events bring the entire adult community together to act on a core value we all share profoundly: raising engaged, confident, compassionate, thoughtful children. A tradition founded by a few visionaries, the conference gives us an invaluable opportunity to hear from professionals with a wide variety of expertise on wide-ranging topics. The conference encourages attendees to reflect on our roles individually and collectively. With renewed energy, attendees leave each conference with practical tips to put to use, inspiring ideas to re-frame perspective, and common experiences to fuel discussions long afterward.

Are you interested in getting involved in the 2020 Parent & Faculty Education Conference?

We are always looking for volunteers interested in parent education. Our committee is the hub for fantastic discussions and teamwork. If you would like to help with the 2020 Conference, please email the parent co-chairs Shilpi Agrawal , Usha Nesamoney  and Yenny Sudiro Widjaja  .

Three faculty members, each a professionally licensed counselor,  work with parent co-chairs to bring this conference to our community. The parent-faculty planning ensures the themes are relevant and connected to those facing our students. The Parent Education Conference committee strives to link conference content with topics relevant to the support, education and engagement of our Menlo community. If you have questions for our faculty coordinators, please contact Upper School counselors: Tracy Bianchi and Jake Fauver and Middle School counselor Jake Davis . 


  • 8:00 - 8:30          Registration & Refreshments
  • 8:30 - 8:40          Welcome & Introductions
  • 8:40 - 9:25          Dr. Mike Riera
  • 9:30 - 10:15        Dr. Denise Pope
  • 10:15 - 10:30     Break
  • 10:30 - 11:40     Dr. Matthew Walker
  • 11:40 - 12:00     Closing Remarks by Than Healy


  • The Gardner and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik
  • Mindset by Carol S. Dweck
  • How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • Where You Go is Not Who You’ll be by Frank Bruni
  • The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
  • Teach Your Children Well by Madeline Levine
  • The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness by Edward M. Hallowell
  • Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele


Who can attend?
The conference is for the Menlo community only. Menlo parents, faculty, alumni and the parents of Menlo alumni are welcome.
Is there a fee to attend?
There is no fee to attend the conference. The event is funded by Menlo School.
What if I can only attend part of the conference?
Please feel free to attend any portion of the conference you wish.
Can I bring a friend whose son/daughter has applied to Menlo?
Due to space limitations and the desire to have this be a unique Menlo community-building event, we cannot extend additional invitations beyond the current Menlo parents, faculty, alumni.
Will the speakers know Menlo well?
We make a concerted effort to introduce our speakers to Menlo before they arrive and acquaint them with our audience so the conference addresses and resonates with the Menlo community.
Is childcare available at the conference?
We are not able to offer childcare.
Can I come if I am not pre-registered?
You are welcome to attend, even if you do not pre-register, but please sign in at “Walk-in Registration” when you arrive. Pre-registration helps us plan our space and refreshment needs, and we are grateful to those who can register in advance.
What if my plans change at the last minute and I cannot attend?
If your plans change and you are not able to attend, there is no need to cancel. We hope you will be able to attend in a future year.

For more about the conference history, please see:

Knightline, January 2016
Knightline, January 2015
Knightline, January 2014
Knightline, January 2013
Knightline, January 2011
Knightline, January 2010