Parent Education Committee

The purpose of the Parent Education Committee is to provide speakers, educational programs and resources to HPISD families concerning topics relevant to raising our children to become healthy and responsible young adults.

PAST Programs

April 29

MIS 5/6 Assembly Room

"The Parents We Mean To Be" Skype Event with Dr. Richard Weissbourd

                            In his book by the same title, Dr. Weissbourd shares 10 parenting strategies for raising kids who care.  Dr. Weissbourd is a child and family psychologist on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and School of Education...and a dad.  HPHS principal, Walter Kelly, has described this book as "transformational" and looks forward to personally introducing this relevant author and topic. Click here for an event flier     

Click here to download a handout that was used during Dr. Weissbourd's presentation 

 April 8, MIS/HPMS Auditorium

   (targeted for parents of children 5th -- 12th grade)

April 9, Hyer Elementary Auditorium

   (targeted for parents of children Pre-K through 4th grade)

"Maximizing Your Child's Potential: Healthy Brain Development in a Media Age"

  Gloria DeGaetano, an internationally and nationally acclaimed educator, author, and speaker, brings her 30+ years of experience to audiences who seek to better understand how to manage the use of media in their environments.  Gloria's parent education video by the same name was the first video in the nation about the impact of screen machines on young brains. Ms. DeGaetano is a respected voice for both children and parents.

Click here for an event flier

Click the following items to download resources and handouts for the meetings:

Please click here to download a letter from Ms. DeGaetano to parents written upon the conclusion of her programs with our parents and faculty

Gloria DeGaetano's program for parents of students in grades 5-12


Gloria DeGaetano's program for parents of students in grades Pre-K - 4

February 13 - Armstrong Auditorium (targeted for parents of children Pre-K through 4th grade) 

February 20 - MIS 5/6 Assembly Room (targeted for parents of children 5th-12th grade) 

"Brain Development, Basic Impact of Stress and the Role of Hormones and Where they Fit" 

   Karen Williams, MSSW, is a writer, speaker and curriculum developer known for her ability to explain the latest neuroscience and apply it to real life situations.  With 30+ years experience, Ms. Williams is special projects director for Rainbow Days, Inc., a Dallas-based non-profit known for its Curriculum-Based Support Group (CBSG) programs and its leadership in the field of children's behavioral health. Click here for an event flier.

Click here to access Karen's presentation handout which includes the book recommendation, Brainstorm by Dr. Daniel Siegel. Additionally, access to the brain development webinars produced by Rainbow Days can be viewed by going to and selecting the Online Webinar option.  Check that site for availability and potential pricing associated with viewing these resources.

January 23

University Park Elementary Auditorium

"Body Image and the Performance Trap in Both Boys and Girls"

Licensed professional counselors Angie Buja and Becky Page of Sparrow House Counseling of Dallas discussed the image and performance trap issues our kids face today. A video of the presentation is below:

The following links are handouts and the powerpoint from the January presentation:

November 12

3817 Centenary Avenue

Please join the CARE Community Luncheon at Noon on Tuesday, November 12th at 3817 Centenary Avenue for an informed discussion about the ramifications of a child's attending a party which was busted by the police.  Reservations are required.  Please click here for a flier with more details

November 14

Hyer Elementary Auditorium


In our ever-changing, visually explicit culture, parents need to know how to introduce and navigate the subject of sex education with their children. Come join the Parent Education Committee on Thursday, November 14th from 7-8:30 pm at the Hyer Elementary Auditorium located at 3920 Caruth Blvd. when they welcome Mary Flo Ridley as she presents "Sooner Than You Think--Simple Answers to Challenging Questions." Find out how Mary Flo can help you guide your children to a healthy sexual character. We look forward to seeing you on November 14th! Click here to view the event flier.

October 22

Highland Park Middle School


The Parent Education Committee is pleased to partner with C.A.R.E. during Red Ribbon Week to present an informative and relevant parent program.  Please join us at 10:00 am or 7:00 pm at the Highland Park Middle School Auditorium on Tuesday, October 22nd to learn more from our panel of experts as they discuss the latest trends in teen drug use.  We hope to see you there!

Click here for an event flier.

The Parent Education Committee is pleased to announce their first program of the 2013-14 school year, featuring Robyn O'Brien and Lisa Leake. The emphasis will be on nutrition and the food we eat.

October 8

Highland Park Middle School Auditorium

 Robyn O'Brien and Lisa Leake

The Parent Education Committee hosted its first program of the year with special guests Robyn O'Brien and Lisa Leake on the subject of nutrition and the food we eat.  The turnout was especially high as this subject is one our parents have requested we address.  Additionally, due to popular demand, this program is now available to be viewed on the PEC YouTube channel (search HPISD PEC on YouTube).  For those parents who could not attend, or for those who simply would like to see this program again, please click on the link below:

Karen Jacobsen, HPISD Food Services Manager, also attended the event and wanted to inform our parents of some steps being taken in our cafeterias to promote greater awareness of the food being served.  If you visit:  http:\\, you can view cafeteria menus for all elementary campuses and the MIS/HPMS campus (HPHS cafeteria menu coming soon).  By clicking on any given day's menu, you can understand the nutritional value of each item being served; allergy filters can also be selected so that you are better informed.  Currently, a one day gluten free menu is being test piloted at Armstrong elementary, and another elementary will be testing the menu in January.  Please note, for kindergarteners and first graders to participate in this menu, a doctor's directive must be submitted and approved.  Hormone and antibiotic-free beef is also being tested at certain campuses.  Based upon feedback, this item may be incorporated into the menus' ingredients.

A former food industry analyst, strategist, author and mother of four, Robyn O’Brien brings insight and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on our health.

Robyn graduated as the top woman in her class from business school before working as an equity analyst on a global portfolio team. She is regarded as an expert on children’s health policy, called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by The New York Times and has been named by SHAPE Magazine as a “Women To Shape the World”, by Forbes Woman as one of “20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter,” and by The Discovery Channel as one of its 15 Top Visionaries. Robyn’s work has also been recognized by individuals such as Dr. Oz, Robert Kennedy Jr., Ted Turner and Prince Charles. She is the founder of the visionary organization AllergyKids which is focused on restoring the integrity of the food supply and the health of children. Her work is seen in Food, Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner’s 2012 video, Labels Matter, and with Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.

Robyn has graciously donated copies of this book to each campus library.  Be sure to check it out if interested.

"Robyn O'Brien inspires us in THE UNHEALTHY TRUTH with the information that she has learned about our food supply and offers practical and affordable steps to take to protect the health of our families." -Dr. Oz

“In the absence of the truth, all of us stand helpless to defend ourselves, our families and our health, which is the greatest gift we have. Robyn O’Brien’s courageous pursuit is an example of how we can all do our parts to protect the health of our families." -Erin Brockovich

Lisa Leake, of "100 Days of Real Food" fame, approaches our diet as a real mom seeking real answers for today's busy families.  Her blog,, outlines her tireless quest to do the best for her family and others when it comes to the subject of what we eat, avoiding as much processed food as possible.