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Parent University

Education for raising children today

Parent University is an annual parent and guardian education series for the entire Seattle community. Parent University offers virtual seminars throughout the year culminating in a half-day, in-person conference at the end of April on The Bush School campus. Each Parent University lecture features a relevant topic about raising children in today’s society. Previous topics have included childhood anxiety, citizenship, parenting to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion, learning differences, and digital safety.   

In an effort to make parenting resources more accessible to families, all virtual Parent University events are free to the parent/guardian community, but please be sure to register in advance.


Each year, our children confront new challenges that keep parents/guardians eager to learn how best to support them. Bush’s Parent University is a constant in the Seattle parent education landscape. This event allows parents/guardians the opportunity to learn in community with others from experts in the fields of neurodiversity, teen mental health, effective communication, boundary-setting, and the college landscape among other topics that inform and support us in raising children to be healthy, compassionate, and ethical community members.

EventsParent University Conference | Saturday, April 29

This spring, we were pleased to host the 2023 Parent University Annual Conference in-person on the school’s Seattle campus on Saturday, April 29. The half-day event was headlined by keynote speaker, Tonya Mosley.

This year's program explored a variety of topics relevant to raising children in today's society including areas such as digital safety, neurodiversity, and building resilience. 

Parent U 2023 Photos

Parent U 2023 Speakers

List of 11 items.

  • Keynote Speaker - Tonya Mosley

    Tonya is a contributing host to Fresh Air w/ Terry Gross, one of the most listened-to podcasts and radio programs in the world. She’s also the creator and host of the 2022 Webby award-winning podcast Truth Be Told. Previously, Tonya was the co-host of NPR’s midday program Here & Now. Tonya has also served as a television anchor, producer, and correspondent. She has won several awards for her groundbreaking journalism including a 2016 Emmy Award for her PBS series Beyond Ferguson and an NABJ and RTDNA Award for best series Black In Seattle.
  • Dr. Nicole K. McNichols

    Young People, Sex and Dating: The New Norms

    About: Nicole K. McNichols Ph.D. is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. Nicole's course, "The Diversity of Human Sexuality," is the largest and most popular undergraduate course in the university's history with four thousand enrolled students each year. Nicole is the co-author of the textbook “Human Sexuality In A Diverse Society" and the Ted Talk "Students On Top: A Vision for 21st Century Sex Education." She also writes frequently for various publications including Psychology Today, The Seattle Times, and The Conversation and is a frequent guest on podcasts such as NPR, Kelly Corrigan Wonders and Sex and Psychology. 
    Follow Nicole's work at www.nicolethesexprofessor.com and on Instagram at @Nicole_TheSexProfessor.
  • Kelli Burns

    Kids Safety In Our Digital World

    About: Kelli Burns is a visionary leader, champion in DE&I, public speaker, and board member. She serves as SVP, chief information security officer at Accolade. She leads a team of information security professionals supporting Accolade's vision to create and maintain a best-in-class information security and privacy posture supporting growth and maintaining the trust of customers and members. Burns also leads a team of engineers that support the employee experience for all Accolade employees. Before joining Accolade, Burns held multiple positions at Symetra Financial including CISO. During this time, she was pivotal in building out the cybersecurity program and enabling the business to make decisions swiftly while protecting the data of customers and employees. Expanding her leadership role beyond her technical capabilities, Burns was the founding leader and executive sponsor for Symetra’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and developed their IT Emerging Leaders enterprise program. She is well-regarded in the Seattle community for mentoring women in cybersecurity and technology. Burns holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from the University of Montana.
  • The Reverend Doyt L. Conn, Jr.

    The Reconstruction of Community in a World Changed by the COVID Pandemic: Five Requirements of Belonging with Renewed Expression of Values Built on Purpose and Heart

    About: Doyt grew up in Rochester, MN and received his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in 1989. After college he worked as a Project Director for the international relief organization AmeriCares. In 1992 he joined the Hawk Group of Companies in Cleveland, OH where he worked as a product manager, and in mergers and acquisitions. His final posting with Hawk Group was as the Director of Corporate Strategy. In 1997 Doyt received his MBA from Case Western University. Doyt was called to the priesthood from St. Paul’s Cleveland Heights, and ordained by the Bishop of Ohio in 2003. Upon graduation from Virginia Theological Seminary he worked as Associate for Pastoral Care at All Saints Beverly Hill, and in 2008 was called as the 10th Rector of Epiphany Parish Seattle.

  • Amy Paulson

    Forefront Suicide Prevention Parent LEARN Training: Suicide Specific Skills Every Parent Needs To Know

    About: Amy has been involved with Forefront Suicide Prevention since 2017 and currently serves as the Training of Trainers Specialist at Forefront. Amy has over twenty-plus years experience as a program manager, community trainer and coach developing and facilitating social impact educational programs, leading crisis intervention, and providing youth and college student behavioral health support - across communities, secondary and higher education, and corporate arenas. Her passion is to equip youth and adults in the areas of mental health, caregiver support, and leadership development. Amy received her MSW from the University of Washington School of Social Work and is a Certified Professional Coach.
  • Dr. Brock Eide

    Complementary Minds: The Hidden Message of Neurodiversity

    About: Brock L. Eide, has an MD from the University of Washington School of Medicine, (’88), an MA from the Committee on Social Thought of the University of Chicago (’01). He received his post-graduate medical training at the University of Pennsylvania (‘88-‘91) and University of California, San Francisco (’91-’95). He is co-author with his wife, neurologist Fernette Eide MD, of the books, The Mislabeled Child (Hyperion, 2006) and The Dyslexic Advantage (Penguin/Hudson Street, 2011; Revised and updated 2023).
  • Emma Dubery and two Bush Upper School students

    What ARE the Kids Saying?

    About: Graduating from Bush in 2015 and then with a Bachelors in Art History (Scripps College ‘19)  and a Masters in Art Business (Claremont Graduate University ‘19), Emma has always had a passion for culture and storytelling. Culture happens in a variety of ways, socially, visually, historically, and linguistically, and culture is changing and evolving at a rapid pace. Sandwiched between two of the most talked about generations (Millenials and Gen Z), Emma has a distinct and unique perspective on today’s cultural norms. Emma  is also the Annual Giving Manager at The Bush School, a Bush Girls Soccer coach, and the Ethics Bowl coach, which have all given her the opportunity to work with students from her alma mater. 

    Emma will be joined by Bush Upper School students.
  • Melissa Lanctot and Bush Upper School students

    The Changing Landscape of College Admissions.

    About: Melissa Lanctot started at The Bush School as the Director of College Counseling in the fall of 2008 after having worked for eight years in undergraduate admissions as the Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at New York University and Director of the Visitors Center at Columbia University. In these roles, Melissa has read thousands of college essays, managed hundreds of student tour guides, and counseled over 650 high school juniors and seniors through the college application process.
  • Karen Summerville

    Your Child Was Born with a Constellation of Gifts – Have You Discovered Them?

    About: Karen Summerville can help you unlock your child’s potential by discovering their “constellation of gifts” – that unique combination of talents and interests that make us each who we are. As a career counselor with 25 years of experience, Karen has helped hundreds of professionals find success and satisfaction. Karen’s emphasis on identifying each individual‘s unique talents and finding the right environment set her apart. Her clients’ success also inspired and informed Karen’s approach to parenting, and she is passionate about sharing what she has learned so that you can parent with more confidence and curiosity – and less fear for your child’s future.
    By providing specific strategies to uncover and support their unique talents and interests, Karen ensures that children and teens have the opportunity to succeed and find fulfillment.
    Karen now speaks frequently to parents. In the past, as a UW Law School graduate and career counselor, she was a top - rated speaker by both the American and Washington State Bar Associations on the topic of career success and satisfaction. Now, she brings her message of finding success and happiness to parents and educators. Karen’s extensive experience will help you discover your child’s unique constellation of gifts and unlock the secrets to their future success!

  • Olaf Jorgenson and Sheri Glucoft Wong

    Raising Resilient Children

    About: Dr. Olaf “Ole” Jorgenson is a school leader and teacher who's supported parents at public and private schools in three states as well as in Asia, Europe, and Central America. Ole is head of school at Almaden Country Day School in San Jose, California, where he's served since 2008. He works closely with parents on a daily basis and is attuned to the prevailing needs, anxieties, and concerns challenging them today, especially in Silicon Valley’s fast-paced environment. Ole speaks and publishes widely, including dozens of conference presentations and journal articles and three previous books, across a range of subjects in education and educational leadership.
    Sheri Glucoft Wong, LCSW is a San Francisco Bay Area family therapist, parenting expert and school consultant who counsels and speaks nationally to hundreds of parents every year, both in her own practice and at independent and public schools, medical and mental health centers, businesses, law firms, nonprofits, and religious organizations. She served as the resident parenting coach for Apple, Gymboree, and Genentech, and has trained health care professionals at the Stanford Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Ms. Wong lectures at universities including Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, and U.C. San Francisco, has consulted with faculty at Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, and was a featured speaker at the “Pediatrics in the Pandemic Age” national conference for pediatricians. She is the author of a newly released book Raising Kids: Your Essential Guide to Everyday Parenting. She received her BA and MSW from the University of California, Berkeley. 

  • Closing Keynote Speaker: Maritza Rivera-Gaxiola

    About: Maritza is Mexican scientist now based in Seattle who has dedicated more than 15 years to learn, teach and publish about brain physiology in different universities across the world. She has earned that the interaction and collaborative work with parents (as a parent coach) or students (as a neurofeedback trainer or research mentor), and colleagues (working in a community) has no parallel in terms of the joy and professional satisfaction it brings to see people discover, design and implement goals for themselves and their families as they are empowered to use and develop the tools they already have at hand. Maritza is also a current Bush parent.

Parent U Conference Resources

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Learn More

Parent University is an annual parent and guardian education series for the entire Seattle community. Each Parent University lecture features a relevant topic about raising children in today’s society. Previous topics have included childhood anxiety, citizenship, parenting to embrace diversity, equity and inclusion, learning differences, and digital safety.   

Interested in speaking at a future Parent University? Want to learn more about ways you can connect? Contact us at parentu@bush.edu.
The Bush School is an independent, coeducational day school located in Seattle, WA enrolling 715 students in grades K–12. The mission of The Bush School is to spark in students of diverse backgrounds and talents a passion for learning, accomplishment, and contribution to their communities.

3400 East Harrison Street, Seattle WA 98112    (206) 322-7978
The Bush School does not discriminate in matters of employment, recruitment, admissions, or administration of any of its programs on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation. In addition, The Bush School does not discriminate in matters of employment on the basis of age or marital status.
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