BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Members of the Board of Directors value and demonstrate commitment to the vision, mission and principles that guide the work of Parents as Teachers. They bring to their service personal and professional interest in ensuring the healthy development of young children and families at local, state and national levels.
The Board of Directors sets on-going strategic planning and policy which is monitored and evaluated to ensure growth, expansion and responsiveness to key trends in the ever-changing economy and emerging demographic shifts of families and their young children.
Christopher "Kit" Bond is a former United States Senator who has been a longtime supporter of Parents as Teachers and advocate for families and children. Bond enrolled his son in the Parents as Teachers home visiting model during the organization's pilot stage and understands the important role Parents as Teachers plays in strengthening families. Ultimately, his experiences as a young dad shaped his position on early childhood and parent education throughout his political career.
Bond, currently a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP, served four consecutive terms for Missouri in the United States Senate, from his first election in January 1987 to his retirement in January 2011. Prior to his career in the Senate, Bond served as Missouri's youngest governor, holding office from 1973-1977 and again from 1981-1985.
Through these roles Bond was instrumental in shaping state and federal policy for children, and was a tireless advocate for Parents as Teachers. With his influence, the Missouri General Assembly passed the Early Childhood Education Act to establish the Parents as Teachers program statewide in 1984, a success Bond refers to as his greatest accomplishment as governor, and through his continued advocacy as senator he helped expand Parents as Teachers into a national and international program.
Maxine Clark founded Build-A-Bear Workshop® in 1997, and today the company has grown to more than 400 stores worldwide.
Clark is a member of the board of directors for Footlocker, Inc., and a former board member for the J.C. Penney Company, Inc. She serves on the national Board of Trustees of Teach for America and the local St. Louis regional board, the national Board of Donorschoose.org and the KETC Channel 9 PBS Board of Directors. She and her husband are founding donors of KIPP Inspire Academy, a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory charter schools preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life.
Clark is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Louis University. In 2006, she published her first book, "The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart."
Steffanie Clothier is the Senior Policy Director for the Alliance for Early Success, providing strategic support to states and national organizations as they work to improve outcomes for young children in the early years. Previously, as program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), she led early care and education initiatives with legislatures of the 50 states and territories.
Clothier has substantial experience in developing key partnerships and ways to engage policymakers through evaluation data and scientific research, and in advising states on policies, testimony and bills. She has work on state level policy issues related to early care and education for 20 years, and has extensive expertise in welfare reform, health care, child health, and environmental issues.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. and a law degree from the University of Denver School of Law.
Tom Curran leads the Service division of Edward Jones, which provides support for the company’s accounts, branches and clients, service optimization and financial advisor career development efforts. A member of Edward Jones’ Management Committee, Curran has been with the company since 1992, beginning as a financial advisor in Brighton, Mich., near Detroit. Over the years, he has served in various positions of increasing responsibility and leadership, including being named as a limited partner in 1997, and moved to the St. Louis headquarters in 2006 as a part of the Financial Advisor Development department responsible for the U.S. Northeast financial advisors.
He earned a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, and his bachelor’s degree from Augustana College, in Rock Island, Ill. He also attended the Securities Industry Institute at Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania, and holds the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS®) professional designation.
Libby Doggett has over 40 years of leadership and management experience with schools, Head Start and childcare. She uses these skills to build public awareness and strong, diverse, local coalitions in Texas with the goal of improving children’s readiness for Kindergarten. Doggett served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Early Learning at the U.S. Department of Education, overseeing both the Early Learning Challenge and the Preschool Development Grant Programs. Doggett provided expertise and policy guidance to the Secretary and served as ED’s early learning liaison to the While House, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal and state agencies.
Doggett previously worked with the Pew Charitable Trusts, directing the Pew home visiting campaign. She oversaw a robust research agenda and worked with advocates in target states to build political and public understanding and support for data-driven investments that align with federal guidance. Doggett also directed Pre-K Now, worked for the National Head Start Association, and began her career as a bilingual first grade teacher at Ortega Elementary School in Austin. She holds a doctorate from the University of Texas in early childhood special education.
Roger Dorson, Ed.D. (Ex Officio) began his education career as a social studies teacher in Macon, Mo. He then served as principal and superintendent in Princeton, Mo., and spent 18 years as superintendent of schools in Salisbury, Mo.
At the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, he served as coordinator of School Financial and Administrative Services for nine years. He was promoted to deputy commissioner of the Division of Financial and Administrative Services on July 1, 2016. He is continuing as deputy commissioner while also serving as interim commissioner until a commissioner of education is hired.
Dr. Dorson earned his bachelor’s degree in education and master’s degree in secondary school administration at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville. He earned his doctorate in curriculum and instruction at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Katrina F. Farmer is the Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Equity at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s Hospitals which are part of the BJC HealthCare system. She oversees the Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence and is responsible for leading the efforts at BJH and SLCH to ensure diversity and equity are strategic priorities through both clinical and business practices. Farmer promotes the consistent use of inclusive processes to positively impact organizational effectiveness, employee development, and community relations. Her team manages programs in the areas of cultural competence, health literacy, health equity and the elimination of disparities in health care.
Professionally, Farmer is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, American Leadership Council of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management and the National Association of Health Service Executives. She also serves as a member on the St. Louis Chapter of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, the Society for Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Management Association of Greater St. Louis.
Farmer received her bachelor’s degree in human resources management and master’s degree in business administration from Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio. She also earned her professional designation as a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources through the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Mark R. Ginsberg, PhD, is the dean of the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va. His career spans more than 30 years, during which he has been a professor, psychologist and administrator, and has published extensively in the areas of education, psychology, human development and human services. He previously served as executive director of National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Ginsberg has his doctoral and master's degrees from Pennsylvania State University, and his bachelor's degree from State University of New York.
Mary Louise Hemmeter, PhD, is a professor at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Special Education, and is a Co-Faculty Director of the Susan Gray School for Children, an inclusive early childhood program housed on the Peabody Campus. Her research focuses on effective instruction, social emotional development and challenging behavior and coaching teachers. She has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on numerous projects funded by the US Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Through her work on the National Center on the Social Emotional Foundations for Early Learning and Institute for Education Sciences (IES) funded research projects, she was involved in the development of the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Young Children, and an effective model for coaching teachers to implement effective practices. She is currently the Principal Investigator on an IES funded development project around program wide supports for implementing the Pyramid Model, and a Co-Principal on an IES efficacy study examining approaches to supporting teachers to implement embedded instruction practices. She was co-editor of the Journal of Early Intervention and President of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division for Early Childhood. She received the Mary McEvoy Service to the Field Award in 2014.
Patricia Kempthorne (Chair) is founder and president of the Twiga Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit corporation dedicated to promoting family consciousness at home, in the workplace and in the community. The Foundation works on several projects funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation that focus on workplace flexibility and its impact on work and family.
As first lady of Idaho from 1999-2006, Kempthorne was instrumental in the implementation of Parents as Teachers in that state. She also serves on the St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital board of directors, University of Idaho College of Business and Economics advisory board and SPANUSA, among other activities. Kempthorne has a degree in business management from the University of Idaho.
Susan Lipstein has served as a Parent Educator with Parents as Teachers in the School District of Clayton, MO from 2001 to 2018. Mrs. Lipstein began her career as a certified physician assistant in Pediatrics. She worked in the intensive care nursery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore from 1983 to 1994, with a specialty emphasis on chronic lung disease associated with premature birth. In 1994, Mrs. Lipstein entered private pediatric practice with Dr. Peggy Supple until the family moved to St. Louis in 2000.
Mrs. Lipstein received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her master’s degree from the University of Colorado (Denver). She has served on the Board of Trustees of The Scholarship Foundation, chairing the Board Development Committee from 2011 to 2013. Mrs. Lipstein has served as a grant reviewer and site visitor for the Spirit of St. Louis Women’s Fund from its inception in 2006 to present.
Susan is married to Steven Lipstein, and the couple has three children, Greg, Ross and Kate. She is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
Carolyn Losos is a senior consultant to FOCUS St. Louis, an organization formed from the merger of The Leadership Center of Greater St. Louis and Confluence St. Louis. For 17 years she directed the Leadership St. Louis Program. She was the first chairperson of the Commissioner of Education's Statewide Advisory Committee on Parents as Teachers.
Losos serves on the boards of many local nonprofits such as the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Regional Arts Commission, OASIS and SSM Health Care. Her awards include the International Women's Forum's Women Who Make a Difference Award, the National Conference of Christian and Jews Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award, Washington University's Founder's Day Award, the Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis Women of Distinction Award and Thanks Badge, and the community advocate award from St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Arthur Mallory served as Missouri commissioner of education from 1971-1987. Prior to that he served as president of Southwest Missouri State University, dean of faculties at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and assistant superintendent of the Parkway School District in St. Louis County.
During Mallory's years as commissioner of education, legislation for special education and the gifted was passed. Public Law 94142, federal legislation for special education, was modeled on Missouri's programs. When the Parents as Teachers pilot project results were released, he was instrumental in promoting legislation requiring that every Missouri school district offer a Parents as Teachers program.
In 2013, Mallory received the Bronze Bear Award from Missouri State University. The award is presented to those who have exhibited extraordinary achievement and/or outstanding support for Missouri State.
Thomas Melzer is a managing director and co-founder of RiverVest Venture Partners. He has extensive leadership experience in finance, management, economic policymaking and board of directors service. Presently, he is a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs Bank USA. He also serves on the national council for the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University and the Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research Advisory Board.
Previously, Melzer was president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and a managing director of Morgan Stanley. While at the Fed, he served on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve System’s chief monetary policymaking body. He received his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.
David Morley is a business consultant and former chairman of Dazor Manufacturing Company, leader in industrial lighting and microscopy. Prior to that he was the president and chief operating officer of The Falcon Companies and senior vice president for Monsanto Company. In this position, Morley led the development and integration of company–wide strategy, emphasizing emerging opportunities in the life sciences industry.
Morley holds degrees from Indiana University and Purdue University. He is past chairman and current board member for Wyman Center, Inc., a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to giving underprivileged children the opportunity to reach their full potential. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the School of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University.
Janet Newton is the education program consultant for Parents as Teachers at the Kansas Department of Education. Her leadership and coordination for the state's Parents as Teachers programs provides her with a deep knowledge and perspective of Parents as Teachers and its operations. Newton's rich experience in early childhood education includes service to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Bureau of Child Care and Health Facilities. Newton also served as the executive director of the Kansas Head Start Association.
In addition to her work experience, Newton has furthered early childhood education through her work with professional associations, including the Kansas School Readiness Initiative, the Kansas State Interagency Early Childhood Team, and the Kansas Core Team for the state's home visiting grant application.
Michael L. Parson was sworn in as Missouri’s 57th Governor on June 1, 2018 by Missouri Supreme Court Judge Mary R. Russell. He came into the role of governor with a longtime commitment to serving others with over 30 years of experience in public service.
Governor Parson previously served as the 47th Lieutenant Governor of Missouri. He was elected Lieutenant Governor on November 8, 2016 after claiming victory in 110 of Missouri’s 114 counties and receiving the most votes of any Lieutenant Governor in Missouri history.
Governor Parson served the people of the 28th Senatorial District in the Missouri Senate from 2011-2017. He served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2005-2011. Governor Parson also served as the Sheriff of Polk County from 1993-2005. He also served six years in the U.S. Army.
Stacey Preis is Deputy Commissioner of Education for the state of Missouri.
From 2008-2014 Preis served as the executive director of the joint committee on education for the Missouri General Assembly. She previously worked at the University of Missouri and taught English and journalism at Jefferson City High School.
Preis has a doctorate in educational policy studies, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a bachelor’s degree in English, all from the University of Missouri.
William Reichmuth serves as Vice President of Administrative Services for Centene Corporation, a leading multi-line healthcare enterprise that works with state governments to ensure that people receive quality care through Medicaid and other government-funded healthcare programs. Reichmuth joined Centene in September 2009 as Senior Director of Security. He currently serves as Vice President overseeing Corporate Human Resources, Facilities and Security.
Prior to joining Centene, Reichmuth was Director of Client Services for Griffin Personnel Group, a human resources and security consulting firm based in O’Fallon, Mo. For nearly 20 years, he served with distinction as a police officer, detective and child abuse investigator for the Florissant Police Department.
Reichmuth currently serves on the board of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. A native of St. Louis, he received his BA in Human Resources from Lindenwood University and graduated cum laude. He also received a master’s degree in Management from Lindenwood University. William has been impressed with Parents as Teachers, since learning about them as a young parent, when he had a parent educator come to his house and work with his child.
Adele Robinson is the Karabelle Pizzigati Endowed Clinical Professor of Advocacy for Children, Youth and Families at the University of Maryland at College Park. Ms. Robinson has more than 25 years’ experience in education, child and family policy from her work in the U.S. Senate, several national organizations, and as a consultant to the Office of Child Care in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has drafted and negotiated federal legislation, provided technical assistance to state policymakers, and helped trained individuals in social service organizations to be informed, effective policy advocates. In addition to policy materials, she is the co-author of Advocates in Action: Making a Difference for Young Children, served as a reviewer for the National Research Council on its report on financing the early childhood workforce, and has testified before state committees.
Kwesi Rollins is a member of IEL’s Senior Leadership Team and guides IEL’s portfolio of programs designed to develop and support leaders with a particular emphasis on Family and Community Engagement, Early Childhood Education and Community-based Leadership Development. He directs the District Leaders Network on Family and Community Engagement and Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, an initiative that designs and delivers professional learning and support opportunities for school district leaders.
Working with local communities and state agencies to improve cross-sector collaboration and service delivery systems Kwesi provided technical assistance and training to state and county agencies, school districts, and community-based organizations in projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Kwesi is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the National Capitol Area, and has been recognized as the Big Brother of the Year in the DC area. He holds an MSW degree from the University of Maryland at Baltimore School of Social Work where he was a Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Fellow.
Steven Rosenblum is Senior Director of Development for Arts and Sciences at Washington University. He served as Director of Major and Planned Gifts at the Saint Louis Zoo before returning to the university in 2013. Rosenblum also worked in Arts & Sciences Alumni & Development and then transitioned to the Planned Giving Office at the university. His expertise includes charitable gifts and estate planning, annual giving programs and campaign strategies. He formerly served as Vice President for Communications of the St. Louis Planned Giving Council Board and as co-chair of the Leave A Legacy program. He was also the co-chair of the Legacy Awards Dinner and served on the planning committee for the “Will to Give” program.
Rosenblum currently serves on several Boards of Directors including the Crown Center for Senior Living, an independent living apartment complex for low-income seniors where he currently serves as Immediate Past Board President; the Clayton History Society; and the Clayton Century Foundation.
Rosenblum received his JD from Washington University Law School and his BA from the History Honors College at the University of Texas at Austin. Steven used Parents as Teachers services for his children and is passionate about its impact and reach.
Melanie Rubin is a policy consultant in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Melanie has extensive experience in strategic planning, needs assessments, grant writing and policy development.
She currently serves as the Director of the Dallas Early Education Alliance and the Comprehensive System Plan Consultant for the Dallas County Texas Home Visiting Project. Melanie has worked with ChildCareGroup as Director of Marketing, Director of Public Affairs and now as a consultant. She was successful in devising a method to draw down previously unused federal dollars to Texas and has actively worked to improve statewide early childhood education policy in the last thirteen state legislative sessions. Melanie was Project and Coalition Director for the Building Better Beginnings project for the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health and Interim Executive Director of Texans Care for Children. She is a 2015 recipient of the Mental Health America of Greater Dallas Prism Award.
Melanie currently serves on the Advisory Councils of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Children and Families and the University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts.
Dr. Francis Rushton provided clinical care for 32 years at Beaufort (SC) Pediatrics, PA and as a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of South Carolina. He currently is employed as the Medical Director for South Carolina QTIP, a statewide ambulatory pediatric quality improvement collaborative. In 1998 he authored the book “Family Support in Community Pediatrics: Confronting the Challenge.” He has served in a variety of positions with the American Academy of Pediatrics and until recently was a member of its Board of Directors.
Dr. Rushton also consults with the PHIIT quality improvement collaborative. He serves on the Boards of Voices for Alabama’s Children and the Jefferson County (AL) Child Development Council. Francis attended Georgetown University and is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine. His pediatric residency was at UAB in Birmingham. He is past chairman of the Alliance (Voices) for South Carolina’s Children. Francis is a recipient of the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina’s highest honor. Dr. Rushton currently lives in Birmingham and is married to Margaret.
Aaliyah Samuel is an executive leader with expertise in informing policy agendas, family support programming, literacy and language development, education leadership, developing systems and leading systems-level change. As the Director of Education at the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Aaliyah currently oversees the Education portfolio, which includes early childhood and K12 with connections into post-secondary into the workforce. Dr. Samuel served as the first Senior Director for Family Support and Literacy for Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Board (First Things First), overseeing 38 million dollars of state funding of family support and literacy programs across the state. She was a public-school elementary teacher and principal. As a site-based administrator, she led her schools through academic growth, enhanced school letter grades and achieving Title 1 status. Aaliyah has worked with diverse populations including Dual Language Learners, Special Education, children/families in Child Welfare system and Native American populations. Aaliyah served on numerous committees and Boards on local, state and national levels addressing educational issues and policies. Aaliyah is bilingual and recognized as a visionary, powerful strategic thinker and problem solver with exceptional business acumen and interpersonal skills.
Karen Shanoski’s work at the Center for Schools and Communities includes multiple responsibilities for family support programs including the Parents as Teachers (PAT) state leader office, Children’s Trust Fund work, training and consultation services in strengths-based family engagement practices, and family-school-community partnerships.
She serves on PA Home Visitation Stakeholders Committee, Family Center Network, Strengthening Families Leadership Team and multiple statewide workgroups. She has been an active community volunteer and public school board member for ten years. Karen holds a BSW and a Master’s degree in Management, from Pennsylvania State University. She is a graduate of the Education Policy Fellowship Program.
Francis Vigil is from the Pueblo of Zia, and is also Jemez Pueblo and Jicarilla Apache. He is the Education Specialist for Native Culture, History, and Language for the Bureau of Indian Education. He is currently a PhD candidate at Arizona State’s School of Social Transformation. He has been an administrator, coach, mentor, school board member, and teacher in several educational settings and entities throughout New Mexico. Mr. Vigil continues to support the development and integration of Culturally and Linguistically Responsive and Sustainable Educational Methodology and Pedagogy as a best practice in various learning environments.
Mr. Vigil and his wife Stella, a preschool teacher, are most active in the lives of their seven children, whose ages range from 23- to 10-years old. He also has three grandchildren. Mr. Vigil is quite active in engaging the needs of his children, two of whom are deaf. Mr. Vigil has worked with several non-profit and state entities to engage communities in awareness, engagement, and enhancement of learning opportunities and understandings.
Renee Welch is the Director of eLearning and Instructional Services for the Ounce of Prevention Fund in Chicago, Ill. She is responsible for supporting and enhancing quality learning experiences and virtual professional development for early childhood professionals working in centers, schools and home visiting programs. As Director, Welch leads a team of instructional design and learning support professionals who engage with subject matter experts from across the organization to design and implement online learning that advances the field and scales the impact of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. She is also responsible for supporting professional development opportunities, viable communities of practice and peer learning models.
Prior to her current role, Welch served as Co-director of External Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was responsible for developing, directing and promoting the university’s online, blended and professional development programs. Known as a learning architect through her 20 years of professional experience, she holds a PhD in Educational Policy, Organizational Development and Leadership; a Master’s in Education; and a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
Patricia (PJ) West is the Program Manager of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visitation (MIECHV) program. Patricia has worked within the family support arena for 20 years as the coordinator of a local family support program that serves FIP families through in home visitation. PJ works with local MIECHV contractors as well as the state departments Healthy Families America funded programs. PJ serves as a trainer for both Lemonade for Life and the Futures without Violence Healthy Mom’s Happy Babies. She serves on several councils and committees specific to family support programming in Iowa. PJ is Iowa’s current Parents as Teachers state leader, providing continued support and technical assistance to the local Parents as Teachers programs.