Board of Directors

2015-2016 Board of Directors



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Karabelle Pizzigati


Kind. Driven. Insightful. Compassionate. Graceful. A loving parent and grandparent. And a dear friend.

To say Karabelle Pizzigati made a difference in Parents as Teachers would be an understatement. Her transformational leadership during her time on our board made an indelible mark on the organization, which will be felt and honored always.

“Karabelle had a long history of working to support vulnerable children, and at Parents as Teachers she was always focused on mission, high quality interventions, strong research for the purpose of having the greatest impact possible, and the moving forward of child friendly public policies. Even over the last few months, Karabelle maintained her active involvement on the Board and was a great source of support for board and staff leadership. I will personally miss her wisdom and friendship very much.” – Scott Hippert, President and CEO of Parents as Teachers.

Karabelle served on the Parents as Teachers Board of Directors from 2004 until her death in June 2015. During that term, she served as chair from 2008 to 2013.

“Where there is love, there is life.”
Mahatma Gandhi



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.


T. Berry Brazelton is Clinical Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He established the Child Development Unit, a pediatric research center and the Brazelton Touchpoints Center (BTC) at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Brazelton has been president of the Society for Research in Child Development and one of the founders of the Zero to Three. He is a strong parent advocate, appearing before Congressional committees in support of parental and medical leave bills and continues to promote strengths-based, family-centered care in pediatric and early education settings around the world.

One of Dr. Brazelton’s most notable achievements in pediatrics is his Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), an evaluation tool used worldwide to assess not only the physical and neurological responses of newborns, but also their emotional well-being and individual differences.


Sheila Casey is chief operating officer of The Hill Newspaper, a paper that reports on the U.S. Congress. Prior to joining The Hill in 1997, she was director of finance at the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas. She also spent seven years at Grant Thorton, a national CPA firm, where she was an audit manager. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in accounting.

Casey is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Military Families Association, a nonprofit organization that is the voice for military families, and on the advisory boards of The Discovery's Military Channel and ThanksUSA.

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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 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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Luis A. Hernandez has served on the board of the Parent Services Project in California, the Florida Children’s Forum, the Child Care Workforce, NACCRRA and the Advisory Council for Accreditation at NAEYC. Currently, he serves on the board of the National Latino Children’s Institute and the Advisory Board of the McCormick Tribune Center for Early Childhood Leadership.

Hernandez holds a master of bilingual/multicultural education degree from the University of San Francisco. He speaks at many national, state and local conferences on early literacy, second language learning, collaboration and partnerships, changing demographics and diversity, adult learning, and ECE management topics.


Stephanie Jones is associate professor in human development and urban education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She also serves as a faculty affiliate at the Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University. 

Dr. Jones holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Yale University. Her research focuses on the effects of poverty and exposure to violence on social and emotional development in early childhood and adolescence. In addition, she conducts evaluation research on the developmental impact of school based interventions. She was awarded the Grawemeyer Award in 2008 for her work on A Vision for Universal Preschool Education.


Patricia Kempthorne (Vice 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.

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Colleen Kraft, M.D., is Medical Director, Health Network, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She previously served as professor of pediatrics at Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va., and as a primary care pediatrician with Carilion Pediatric Associates.  She is past president of the Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and now serves on the National Medical Home Initiatives Project Advisory committee. 

Dr. Kraft received her M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia and did pediatric training at the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals and often speaks about the return on public investments in children's health.

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Michael L. López, Ph.D. is Principal Associate at Abt Associates, is a national expert with more than 20 years of experience conducting applied early childhood research, with emphasis on low-income or culturally and linguistically diverse populations. He also is Co-Principal Investigator for the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, conducting research to help inform relevant Administration for Children and Families (ACF) programs and policies. Previously, he was the National Center’s executive director and also directed ACF’s Child Outcomes Research and Evaluation team, where he developed and directed large-scale, national research studies, including the National Head Start Impact Study, which examined the impact of Head Start on children’s school readiness.

His publication record reflects a commitment to the implementation and dissemination of high quality, applied policy research relevant to at-risk, low-income culturally and linguistically diverse children and families.

Losos_bw 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.

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Mary Anne Mathews is director of Parenting Programs for South Carolina's early childhood initiative, First Steps to School Readiness. During her 37-year career, she has worked to improve quality services for children and families in both North and South Carolina, having previously taught infants/toddlers, teen parents and teachers candidates in early childhood education. Mathews has managed several early education and parenting programs for at-risk children, including Early Head Start, Head Start, Even Start and Parents as Teachers. As a current Parents as Teachers state leader in South Carolina, she provides training and technical assistance to the state's 46 First Steps county partnerships. She also is a member of the state leader group's advisory committee, which works directly with Parents as Teachers staff.

Mathews has a master's degree in family/child development from North Carolina Central University and undergraduate degrees from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Mars Hill College.


Thomas Melzer (Chair) 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.

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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.

Nixon_bw Jeremiah (Jay) Nixon was elected as Missouri's 55th governor in November 2008 after serving a record four terms as Missouri's attorney general. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Nixon served as a state senator for six years. He is a native of De Soto, Mo., and earned his political science and law degrees from the University of Missouri–Columbia.
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Gregory L. O’Donnell is a training manager for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a public-private partnership based in Chicago, Ill. that provides programs, curricula, training and advocacy throughout the state to prepare children for success in school and life. As Illinois’ PAT state leader, he also serves as a liaison to the Parents as Teachers national office.

He has significant experience providing clinical home visiting intervention services in the Chicago area and preventative home visiting services throughout Illinois. O’Donnell also has managed several Federal and local preventative program grants. He has been part of numerous research projects, including the Harvard University’s Graduate School Three to Third Project, Chicago University – Harris School of Public Policy’s Chicago Readiness project, and MDRC’s Foundations of Learning Project.

He received his master’s in social work from the University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work.


Jane Paine is an active community volunteer and was instrumental in establishing several inner-city preschool programs prior to Head Start. She served as an urban education consultant for the Danforth Foundation in both public and private schools and initiated programs which dealt with teen pregnancy, parent education, family support and school and community collaboration. She was also the first executive director of the Conference on Education.

Paine has received a number of awards, including the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's Early Childhood and Parent Education Distinguished Service Award, and was the first recipient of the Association of Junior League International's Mary Harriman Community Leadership Award.

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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.

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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.

Roberts.D_bw Donald D. Roberts (Treasurer) has a progressive financial management background that spans 30 years. He currently serves as vice-president and chief financial officer of Mississippi Lime Company. Previously he held similar positions with IMC Agribusiness, Inc. and Big River Minerals Corporation.
Roberts is on the boards of directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Good Shepherd School for Children. He has also served as president of the Neurofibromatosis Foundation. He holds a degree in accounting from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and is CPA certified.
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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.


Richard Sems (Secretary) is president and CEO at Reliance Bank, having moved there in June 2013. Previously, he served as regional president for St. Louis and Southern Illinois at PNC Financial Services Group (formerly National City Corporation). There he oversaw PNC's area operations and community-based activities, including PNC's Grow Up Great program, a comprehensive corporate-based school readiness program to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

He is a board member for Maryville University, United Way of Greater St. Louis, International Institute, Operation Food Search, the Regional Business Council and the Regional Chamber and Growth Association.

Sems hold an undergraduate degree in accounting from Grove City College and a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in corporate strategy from the University of Michigan.


Don Senti has more than 40 years of experience in education and currently serves as the executive director of EducationPlus. Previously, Senti served as interim superintendent of the Parkway School District in St. Louis County. Earlier in his career he spent six years as Parkway's superintendent, and previously served that district as assistant superintendent, principal, assistant principal and teacher.

Between stints in Parkway, Senti served as superintendent of the Clayton School District for 15 years. He holds a doctorate and an educational specialist degree from St. Louis University, as well as master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Kansas.

 Vandeven Margaret_72_k Margie Vandeven, PhD, is the Commissioner of Education for the state of Missouri. She joined Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 2005, serving in various supervisory roles and most recently as Deputy Commissioner of Learning Services. During the past four years, she has assisted with the planning and implementation of the department’s Top 10 by 20 initiative. Dr. Vandeven began her education career in 1990 as a communications arts teacher in O’Fallon, Mo., and then taught high school English and served as a school administrator in Maryland for several years before returning to Missouri in 2003 as the administrator at St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon.

She received her bachelor's degree in education from Missouri State University, her master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Loyola College in Maryland, and her doctorate of philosophy in educational leadership from Saint Louis University.


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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.

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Sharon Wells is an expert on Native American programming, having worked for the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) for 35 years. She was one of the primary developers of the Bureau's Family and Child Education (FACE) Program, and served as the American Indian liaison/expert for the White House Task Force on Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities.

Wells holds a master's degree from East Central University in Ada, OK.

Zigler_bw Edward Zigler continues his lifetime interest in the motivational determinants of children's performance and the influence of life circumstances on children's behavior and development. This work includes the effects of socialization settings, child care, schools and schooling, intervention programs and family factors.

Dr. Zigler designed the School of the Twenty-First Century, a national program linking child care and family support services to the public schools, and has worked with the State of Connecticut to establish quality school readiness programs for low-income children. He continues his interest in the Head Start program, recently completing work with policy makers and administrators to revise the Head Start Program Performance Standards, establish Early Head Start for very young children and their families and design a research agenda. He is now working with Head Start leadership to develop assessment measures.

Dr. Zigler serves as a consultant to the Administration for Children and Families; the Administration on Children, Youth and Families; and the Government Accounting Office. He frequently advises members of Congress, Connecticut and other state legislators and the press.