Parent & Faculty Education Conference

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                                    PARENTING IN A POLARIZED WORLD:                                    FOSTERING EMPATHY & RESPECT  

Dr. Madeline Levine

Dr. Meira Levinson

Alison Park

Saturday, February 2, 2019
8:00 am - 12:30 pm

Menlo Athletic Center

This year’s Parent & Faculty Education Conference focuses on “Parenting in a Polarized World: Fostering Empathy & Respect”.  Our 2019 speakers, Madeline Levine, Meira Levinson, and Alison Park will discuss the challenges our school and families face in a time of snap judgments and provide tools to help navigate this environment with our children. Don’t miss this opportunity to be in conversation in parenting, education and civil discourse.

madeline Levine  

.Madeline Levine, Ph.D. is a psychologist with over 30 years of experience as a clinician, consultant, educator and author. Her New York Times bestseller, The Price of Privilege, explores the reasons why teenagers from affluent families are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems. Her latest book, Teach Your Children Well, also a New York Times bestseller, tackles our current narrow definition of success – how it unnecessarily stresses academically talented kids and marginalizes many more whose talents and interests are less amenable to measurement.

Currently concentrating on the development of skills needed to be successful in the 21st century ‐ creativity, collaboration, innovation – Dr. Levine speaks both nationally and internationally on practical, research‐based solutions to help educators prepare students for a future that is largely unpredictable and to help parents focus on giving their children the strong base needed to master valuable skills and dispositions as they come into focus. As a developmental psychologist, she concentrates on helping parents and their children (of whatever age) stay on track to understand the challenges and optimize the strengths of each developmental stage. Dr. Levine is also the co‐founder of Challenge Success, a program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education that focuses on providing parents and schools with the tools they need to raise healthy, motivated kids in a fast-paced and uncertain world.

Meira Levinson

.Meira Levinson, Ph.D. is Professor of Education at Harvard, following eight years as a middle school teacher in the Atlanta and Boston Public Schools. Trained as a political philosopher, she draws on multiple disciplines in her research about youth empowerment, civic and multicultural education, educational ethics, and race. She is the author or co-editor of six books, including Making Civics Count, No Citizen Left Behind, Dilemmas of Educational Ethics, and Democratic Discord in Schools.

In addition to her academic articles and books, Dr. Levinson is committed to making research findings and tools accessible to educators, policymakers, parents, and journalists. Her website features open-access ethical case studies, articles, discussion protocols, and other resources. In the area of civic education, Meira has contributed to numerous policy and practice initiatives in civics, including, an online learning initiative designed to support student activists and adult allies, and the “College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards,” which has guided state standards revisions in over a dozen states. These projects, as with her own research, reflect Meira’s commitment to achieving productive cross-fertilization—without loss of rigor—among scholarship, policy, and practice.

Alison Park

.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.

Conference Schedule for Saturday, February 2, 2019

  • 8:00  -   8:20           Registration &  Refreshments
  • 8:20  -   8:30           Welcome & Introductions
  • 8:30  -   9:35           Alison Park
  • 9:35  -  10:45         Meira Levinson
  • 10:45 - 11:00         Break
  • 11:00 - 12:15         Madeline Levine
  • 12:15 - 12:30         Closing Remarks by Than Healy


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 reframe perspective, and common experiences to fuel discussions long afterward.

Are you interested in getting involved in the 2019 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 2019 Conference, please email the parent co-chairs Jennie Conley and Kelly Golub.

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 Katherine Peterson

Frequently Asked Questions:

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


We are grateful for the generous hospitality contributions from our local vendors