Parent Speakers

Viewpoint School’s Parent Education Speaker Series program brings together parents and members of our school community with experts in a variety of fields to engage in timely, thought-provoking discussions that inform and enrich our relationships with the children under our care and ourselves. Participants should expect to take away with them important information, a stronger sense of community and, at times, a completely new perspective. Please join us and bring your friends from Viewpoint, as well as other schools!

To learn more, contact the VSSA’s Parent Education Co-Chairs, Susan Kresnicka ( and Kate White (

Events subject to change.

Please click on "Parent Education 2019-20" at left for the current year's program.


List of 5 items.

  • Dr. Chris Fulton - Helping Our Children Cope in Healthy Ways with Stress and Anxiety

    September 14, 2018
    Presented by Viewpoint Parent Education Series
    Helping Our Children Cope in Healthy Ways with Stress and Anxiety
    8:30-10:00 a.m. • Fletcher Family Library

    How can we help our children find a healthy balance with stress – experiencing just enough to keep them motivated but not too much to erode their well-being? In this presentation, Dr. Fulton, a clinical psychologist who has been working with children, adolescents, and adults in the Calabasas area for more than 20 years, will discuss the differences between healthy and problematic approaches to stress and anxiety and share parenting strategies that can help our children approach stress in healthier ways.

    To watch a recording of this event, click here.
  • Jason David - Building Multi-Cultural Community: Developing an Anti-Racist White Identity

    October 10, 2018
    Presented by Parent Partnership for Diversity and Inclusion
    Building Multi-Cultural Community: Developing an Anti-Racist White Identity
    8:30-10:00 a.m. • Fletcher Family Library

    As parents, we want to raise children who value inclusivity and embrace the value of diverse communities, but race and racism can be incredibly difficult to understand and to address effectively as parents. Jason David, a life-long resident of Los Angeles, is an educator who has taught humanities and is a co-founder of the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere Los Angeles (AWARE-LA). In this presentation, he will outline some of the factors that make race and racism so challenging to discuss and offer pathways for parents to navigate this difficult social terrain. Join us for this important conversation that will help us guide and mentor our children on this most relevant topic of our times.

    Mr. David will address our students in Grades 9-11 the same day.
  • Dr. Jonathan Haidt - Are Bad Policies and Paranoid Parenting Making Kids Too Safe to Succeed?

    October 17, 2018
    Presented by Viewpoint Parent Education and the School Speaker Alliance Los Angeles
    Are Bad Policies and Paranoid Parenting Making Kids Too Safe to Succeed?
    Check-in, 7:00 p.m. Presentation, 7:30 p.m. • American Jewish University, Gindi Auditorium, 15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air

    Something has been going wrong on many school campuses in the last few years. Speakers are shouted down. Students, teachers, and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising – on campus as well as nationally. How did this happen? Join us as we explore these issues and possible solutions with social psychologist Dr. Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at NYU’s Stern School of Business. Dr. Haidt has published a number of books including The New York Times’ bestseller The Righteous Mind – Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion and his latest, The Coddling of the American Mind – How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure, among others.

    RSVP details to come soon! Space is limited.
  • Mary Hofstedt from Challenge Success - Making Homework Work

    February 13, 2019
    Presented by Viewpoint Parent Education Series
    Making Homework Work
    8:30-10:00 a.m. • Carlson Family Theater

    Homework is the one place where school and home come together, and there is no
    guidebook for how to make this union work. As parents, we want to support our children
    without stifling their sense of responsibility and autonomy. Learn why the dynamics of
    homework have changed in recent years, what you can do to minimize homework stress, and how to establish healthy homework habits without being the homework police.

    Viewpoint School is a member of Challenge Success, an organization that supports families and schools by providing practical, research-based tools to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for students.
  • Cindy Pierce - Helping Kids Navigate Their Culture and Peer Pressure to Develop Healthy Relationships

    March 12, 2019
    Pressented by Viewpoint Parent Education Series
    Helping Kids Navigate Their Culture and Peer Pressure to Develop Healthy Relationships
    8:30-10:00 a.m. • Carlson Family Theater

    As parents, it can be overwhelming to imagine what our children are absorbing from the
    constant influence of their peers and social media in their lives. Our desire to protect them from content we might deem inappropriate is not always successful. So how do we best help our children navigate the social pressures in their world and to cultivate healthy relationships with one another and social media? Cindy Pierce is a social sexuality educator and comic storyteller who is on a mission to give students perspective and information and to equip parents and educators with key information to help us guide our children through these murky waters. Join us as we hear expert opinions, personal anecdotes, and the real feedback of today’s students, to help make those ‘difficult’ conversations a little less difficult for everyone. Cindy is the author of Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World and Sex, College and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture.

    Ms. Pierce will address our students in Grades 11-12 and faculty the same day.


List of 6 items.

  • Dr. Jean Twenge - iGen: The Smart Phone Generation & Finding a Balance with Technology (SSALA)

    As a member of SSALA (School Speaker Alliance of Los Angeles), an alliance of Los Angeles schools dedicated to bringing inspiring, relevant speakers to the LA parent community, Viewpoint parents are invited to a presentation by psychologist and author Jean Twenge.  Dr. Twenge will be speaking at Brentwood School on March 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and at Campbell Hall March 13, 2018 at 7:00 p.m., sharing a talk entitled iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.
    In this lively talk, Dr. Twenge will explore the idea that the iGeneration may be growing up more slowly than previous generations. Learn how and why this generation is distinct from those who came before them. Also, learn what practical tools can we, as iGen’s primary caregivers and advocates, can utilize to best meet the developmental needs of our children and encourage their independence and autonomy.
    Dr. Twenge is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and an author of more than 130 scientific publications and six books, including iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy–and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood.

    Click here for more information or to register.
  • Dr. Patrick Hunt - Hannibal's Secret Weapon

    Dr. Patrick Hunt
    Stanford Professor, Archaeologist, and Author                                                                                                                           
    Hannibal's Secret Weapon
    November 14, 2017 at 10:35 a.m.
    Fletcher Family Library
    Dr. Patrick Hunt believes the perceived boundaries between academic subjects are too often arbitrary and artificial, and thus explores junctions between many intersecting areas of interest across the broader Humanities, sciences and the arts. Dr. Hunt directed Stanford’s Alpine Archaeology Project between 1994-2012, continuing as the Hannibal Expedition. Along with monographs, novellas, and other writings, Dr. Hunt wrote the historical biography Caravaggio, Ten Discoveries that Rewrote History, Rembrandt: His art and Life, Renaissance Visions: Myth and Art, Cloud Shadows of Olympus: Collected Poems from 2006-2009, Myth and Art in Ekphrasis, Critical Insights: Inferno, and Puer Natus Est: Art of Christmas.
  • Cindy Pierce - Helping Kids Navigate Social Media and Peer Pressure to Develop Healthy Relationships

    Cindy Pierce
    Educational Speaker and Author
    November 8, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
    Carlson Family Theater
    Cindy Pierce is an author, educational speaker, storyteller, innkeeper, and mother of three teenagers. She was a teacher for ten years. She has spent years researching the various cultural pressures kids experience and how children should navigate through them in order to make healthy choices. Cindy and her family live in Etna, NH where they own and run Pierce’s Inn.  Cindy is the author of Sexploitation: Helping Kids Develop Healthy Sexuality in a Porn-Driven World and Sex, College and Social Media: A Commonsense Guide to Navigating the Hookup Culture.
  • Mitch Prinstein Ph.D. - Popularity in School: How Likeability, Not Status, Can Provide a Lifetime Advantage

    Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D.
    Clinician in Child and Adolescent Psychology

    October 10, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.                          October 11, 2017 AT 6:00 p.m.
    Oakwood Secondary School                              Harvard-Westlake Middle School
    Sponsored in conjunction with SSALA (School Speaker Alliance of Los Angeles), Mitch Prinstein, Ph.D. currently serves as the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and the Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Prinstein is the author of Popular, the Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World.
  • Ross Szabo - Mental Health

    Viewpoint’s Human Development Program is excited to welcome is Ross Szabo (ZAY-BO) to our campus to speak with Upper School Students on Wednesday, October 11 and on Thursday, October 12 to speak with our family community. Ross is the CEO of the Human Power Project, a company that creates cutting edge mental health curriculum. He’s an award winning speaker, author, trainer and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.
    Ross was the Director of the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign for 8 years. In that time he spoke to over one million people, created the first youth mental health speakers’ bureau in the country, reached millions in media appearances and wrote a book titled, Behind Happy Faces. After 8 years on the road he burned out, so he did what anyone would do when they’re exhausted. He joined the Peace Corps.
    Ross served in Botswana for 2 years. When he came home he decided to start his own company to create mental health curriculum for people of all ages. His first curriculum also titled Behind Happy Faces is being used by over 100,000 students.
    He’s a social pioneer who has led the youth mental health movement, a blogger for the Huffington Post, a former model and knows how to track lions by watching the movements of other animals. Ross Szabo will be speaking with students in grades Nine, Ten and Eleven on Wednesday, October 11 during the afternoon seminar on PSAT Day. The following evening, families are encouraged to learn more about what their children heard the day before. Mr. Ross Szabo will speak to our community about mental health. Get ready to laugh and change. 
  • Vicki Hoefle - The Pressure to be Perfect

    Vicki Hoefle
    Professional Parenting Educator and Author
    September 20, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
    Carlson Family Theater
    Vicki Hoefle, a professional parent educator, is the founder of the renowned Parenting on Track Program. She has 25 years of experience teaching parents, educators and caregivers how to raise respectful, responsible and resilient children. She combines her expertise in Adlerian psychology with an International Coaching Federation certification to bring parents sustainable, proactive strategies for nurturing happy families. Vicki encourages parents to stop helicoptering and instead enable their kids to develop confidence through solving their own problems. Vicki is the author of Duct Tape Parenting, Straight Talk on Parenting, Parenting as Partners, and Real Parents. Real Progress.


List of 6 items.

  • Betsy Brown Braun - "Cultivating Resilience"

    Author, Child Development, and Behavior Specialist 
  • Brad Friedel - "How To Achieve Balance With Competitive Sports"

    Professional Soccer Player 
  • Film: Miss Representation

    Summary: Explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America, and challenges the media's limited portrayal of what it means to be a powerful woman. Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, Condoleeza Rice, Gloria Steinem and others discuss sexism in American society and the media
  • Film: Most Likely to Succeed

    Summary: Sundance documentary examines how many American educational methods have remained in place for far too long, as well as how the problems in the system are having a profound impact on the U.S. economy.
  • Film: Screenagers

    Summary: SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists’ solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world. 
  • Film: The Mask You Live In

    Summary: Boys and young men struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America's narrow definition of masculinity.


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