Rob Baggett - Horse Sense for Parents
Location: Northeast Richland
Life: Married with two grown children. Guidance counselor at Blythewood Middle School, Minister of Music at Greenlawn Baptist Church and a horseman. His recent book, Character Connections, is filled with stories, quotes, philosophy and even, a little theology, to help children do good and do well. Wife Teresa is a pediatrician.
Why he’s here: Rob knows that the most successful parents, like the best horse trainers, are kind and firm. He hopes that by sharing his horse stories, he may be able to help parents see the importance of being both demanding with and emotionally responsive to their children.
Denise Dunn - Parents are People, Too
Life: Married with two daughters, ages 20 and 14. Has written a book called "Superwoman Has Left the Building, A Professional Woman's Journey from the Office to the Home" that has not yet been published. Has hosted a radio show called "Parents are People Too" and facilitated a workshop for full-time moms.
Why she’s here: Denise hopes to create conversations around topics that are relevant to parents/grown-ups, rather than their children only. She says, “Topics could include how relationships between partners change once a family is started and how full-time parents can unexpectedly lose their sense of identity.”
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Rozalynn Goodwin - Mommy Advocate
Life: Married ten years with a 4 year-old daughter and infant son, Rozalynn is director of policy research and a lobbyist for the South Carolina Hospital Association. A blogger for Disruptive Women in Health Care and Working Mother Media, she is also founder of The Motherhood Priority (themotherhoodpriority.com), a nonprofit organization working to strengthen mother-friendly policies in the workplace.
Why she’s here: Rozalynn believes the Parents Panel can be a resource to strengthen families in the Midlands and seeks to add her perspective as a new mother and an advocate for working mothers. She says, “Becoming a mother changed my priorities almost instantly. I realized then the awesome responsibility of motherhood and how much mothers need support from family, society and work environments to function effectively in the most important job in the world – nurturing future generations.”
Julie Stensland - Speaking of which ...
Location: Southeast Richland
Life: Married 10 years with two children — daughter, 7, and son, 4. Former elementary classroom teacher turned early childhood consultant for Richland One and contributing writer to Palmetto Parent Magazine.
Why she’s here: Julie stays current with the latest research and headline news stories on family and parenting topics. She feels her experience in the classroom and now as a parent will spark lots of interesting discussion topics for Midlands families. “A sense of humor is really important — and there’s nothing better than another Mom (or Dad!) to share the good, the bad and the ugly with!”
Stephanie Trevitz - Are All of Those Yours?!
Location: Forest Acres
Life: Stephanie is married to Rex, and 11.5 years ago they were blessed with their first child. Fourteen years later, they have six children ranging in age from 10 to 18, all adopted from foster care and all having special needs. Stephanie is a humorist and has a blog about raising her children whom she refers to as “The Hoovers” — high powered vacuums that suck up everything in their path (www.parentingthehoovers.blogspot.com). With modern technologybeing easier to use, the Hoovers are about to launch their own You Tube series, “Life with the Hoovers”. It is through writing that she decompresses from the stress of her everyday life. As blogging and videoing don’t pay the bills, Stephanie works as a teacher of special needs children and has earned the distinction of being an Exceptional Needs Specialist with National Board Certification. She also trains attorneys on special education issues and serves as an expert witness on cases involving the abuse of special needs children. In her previous life (14 plus years ago), she earned a doctorate from Vanderbilt University and lived a very non-domesticated life in Nashville, TN.
Why she’s here: Stephanie believes that this panel would not be complete without having the voice of a parent of non-typical children. She offers perspectives from a large family, adoption, and parenting special needs children. She says, “I’m very realistic about parenting, and I have given up on that ‘Mother of the Year’ award.” She also believes that it is a survival skill for parents of children with special needs to embrace the humor in their circumstances.