Education Speaker Series

ESS 16-17 lineup

SpeakerSeriesLOGO small copy


The Education Speaker Series (ESS) returns for the 2016 – 2017 school year with an exciting mix of programs related to raising healthy children and young adults. The Education Speaker Series is presented by the Piedmont Unified School District and Piedmont Adult School, with the generous support of the Piedmont Parents Network, ESS Speaker Circle, and individual contributors.

Registration & Reservations

  • The full series is currently only available for PUSD families via the Piedmont Store. General subscriptions will be available soon.
  • Individual tickets: At this time, tickets for individual events cannot be purchased in advance.


All events will be from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.


All events will be held at Piedmont High School (800 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont)
unless otherwise noted.

More Information

Please email su.ac1498163413.21k.1498163413tnomd1498163413eip@s1498163413eires1498163413rekae1498163413psnoi1498163413tacud1498163413e1498163413.


2016-2017 Series

Dr. Alison Briscoe-Smith

Dr. Alison Briscoe-Smith

Talking With Your Kids About Race
September 13, 2016

How can parents and educators best address children’s concerns and questions about race and racism? Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith is a child psychologist and professor at the Wright Institute, whose research has focused on how children understand race, and how racial socialization plays out at home and in the classroom. She earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from Harvard University and a clinical psychology Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley.


Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward

Developing Independent Executive Function Skills
October 3, 2016

Children and teens who have trouble with executive function may have challenges in planning ahead, taking initiative, inhibiting impulses, managing time, completing tasks, and seeing “the big picture.” Sarah Ward is a nationally-recognized expert on the topic of executive function. She regularly hosts workshops for a variety of professional and parent organizations, school and lay groups. She has presented to, and consulted with, over 350 public and private schools across the United States. Ward will share ready-to-use strategies and tools for teaching children how to develop independent executive function skills.She is a former Graduate Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

Updated book recommendations

Piedmont presentation 10/3

Article for CHADD Being a Beat Ahead

Ron Leiber

Ron Leiber

How to Talk With Your Kids about Money
October 18, 2016

Ron Lieber writes the Your Money column for The New York Times. In his 2015 book, The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money, Lieber explains how talking openly with children about money can help them develop into financially wise young adults. In his popular talks,he helps parents understand the basic financial behaviors that are not only increasingly important for young adults but that also imprint lessons about what the family truly values. Lieber’s advice is applicable to parents with children of all ages.



“Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age”
November 15, 2016

Join ESS for a screening of the award-winning 2016 documentary by physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston, who takes a deeply personal approach as she probes the vulnerable corners of family life, including her own, to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. The one-hour viewing will be followed by a panel discussion led by Piedmont Unified School District Wellness Center Clinical Supervisor of Interns, Alisa Crovetti.


Julie Lythcott-Haims

Julie Lythcott-Haims

How to Raise an Adult
January 17, 2017

In her bestselling book, How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims draws on research, conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers, and her own experience as a mother and former student dean at Stanford University to explore how over-helping harms children. While empathizing with the parental hopes and fears that lead to over-helping, Lythcott-Haims offers practical alternatives that allow children to make their own mistakes and develop the resilience, resourcefulness, and determination necessary for success.


Peggy Ornstein

Peggy Ornstein

Girls & Sex in the Digital Age
February 14, 2017

Peggy Orenstein, the New York Times best-selling author of Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape, explores how casual sex, pornography, alcohol, celebrity culture, and social media are impacting the intimate lives of girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, parents have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually, or how they feel about it. Orenstein will discuss her findings and explain how parents can help their sons and daughters balance the risks and dangers of sexuality with the pleasures and the joys.


Rick Lavoie

Rick Lavoie

Supporting a Student who Struggles in School
March 21, 2017

How can parents help and support students with issues such as dyslexia, ADHD, low motivation, or behavioral disorders? Rick Lavoie is a nationally-known expert in special education who will help parents better understand the struggling child and present specific techniques for improving parent/teacher communication, student motivation, reading skills, and more. Lavoie has administered programs for children with special needs since 1972 and is well-known for his award-winning films on special education and the social implications of learning disabilities.