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Council Members

NPEN's leadership consists of a Council and a Guidance Team. The Council consists of 15-25 individuals who meet bi-monthly to carry on the business of developing the field of parenting education. Council members serve for 3-year terms and are eligible to serve two consecutive terms.  The Council also holds an annual meeting typically in the Spring. Each Council member also serves on a separate committee (see committees page for more information). All Council members are dues-paying members. The Guidance Team consists of NPEN's officers as well as all committee chairs and meets bi-monthly as well.

If you are interested in participating in a leadership position within NPEN, please consider joining a committee or nominating yourself for a position on the Council. Please indicate your interest via email to

Debbie Farr, Ph.D
Owner, Flourishing Families; Adjunct Faculty, Psychology Dept., New England College, Henniker, NH

Kat Willard, M.Ed
Chair Elect
Sr. Director of Family Support and Literacy, First Things First, Phoenix, AZ

Celia Wilson
Founder, Family Empowerment Consultant, Ltd., Cleveland, OH

John Jeffers
Retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Owls Head, ME

Irena Glover, Ph.D
Past Chair
Assistant Professor at Madonna University, Detroit, MI

Danielle Aretz
Pediatrician, San Diego, CA

Mollie Bailey
Program Specialist, First Things First, Phoenix, AZ

Michelle Berscheid, Ed.D
Licensed Parent and Family Educator, Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Family Literacy Program, Minneapolis, MN

Michael Finlay
Owner and Founder, This Is Fatherhood LLC, Portland, OR

Chelsea Hammond, M.Ed
Parent Educator, NDSU Extension, Grand Forks ND

Barbara E. Harvey, M.Ed
Executive Director, Parents, Teachers and Advocates, Atlanta, GA

Yu Jiang
Parenting Educator, Graduate Student in Educational Leadership, Whitefish, MT

Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE
President/CEO of Relationship Toolshop® International Training Institute, LLC, Springboro, OH

Carol Nass, M.A.
Parenting Educator, Easton, PA

Rebecca Parlakian, M.A.
Senior Director of Programs at ZERO TO THREE, Washington, DC

YoLanda Sanders, M.S., CFLE
Certified Family Life Educator, Family Sciences Adjunct Faculty, Parenting Reading Educator, Conway, AR

Ellen Taner, M.A.
Parenting and Family Education Consultant, Taner Associates, Brewer, ME

Kristine Stanik
Student, Family and Human Services program, Portland Community College, Portland, OR

Ellen Taner, M.A.
Family Science Professional Consultant, Taner Associates, Brewer, ME

Wales Brown
(In Memoriam)


Meg Akabas
Independent Certified Parenting Educator, New York, NY

Anne Clarkson, Ph. D
Digital Parenting Education Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Rochester, MN 

Betty Cooke, Ph.D
Retired Faculty, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Stephanie Jones
Independent Parenting Educator & Family Life Consultant, Oak Island, NC

Glen Palm
Professor Emeritus, Child & Family Studies
St. Cloud State University, MN

Mary Kay Stranik
Parenting Educator Consultant, Retired Executive Director of MELD, Minneapolis, MN

Staff Support

Rachel Chrastil, M.Ed
Executive Coordinator
Parenting Educator, Minneapolis, MN

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