For more information contact:
Director: Rosemary S Tisch
Email: email@example.com or
||Project Director: Mary Gardner
Director. Mrs. Tisch is lead author for Celebrating Families!™,
SCRIPS, the YWAS series, START of California and co-author for Keys
to Healthy Living. Rosemary was the founder of Kids Are Special
and Family Education Foundation, nonprofits focusing on the
prevention of substance abuse in high-risk populations:
children of alcoholics/addicts, sexually active teens,
and individuals with learning differences and those
exposed in utero to alcohol and other drugs. Group
models created by KAS and FEF have been successfully
replicated throughout the US, Mexico, and Russia,
where Rosemary was the lead trainer.
Rosemary has vast experience in non-profit organizations and
the development of programs to address substance abuse problems.
She was the chair of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Clinic Development
Committee and the Co-Chair of the Santa Clara County Community
Learning Assessment Task Force. She has been a member of the
March of Dimes Health & Policy Committee, past President of
the National Prevention Task Force, served on the Vestry and
Community Ministries Board for St. Andrews' Episcopal Church
and was a member of the Alcohol & Drug Master Plan Review
committee for Santa Clara County, serving as chair of the
Perinatal Focus Group.
Honors include: 2008 selection as one of NACoA’s 25 individuals who “save, protect and guide
children of alcoholics”, 2007 Crystal Bowl Winner, Outstanding Community Volunteer by Junior
League of San Jose, 2001 selection as one of three Women Who Care by South Bay Accent; nominated
as Woman of the Year, Santa Clara County; the Penny Golden Rule Award; and listing in Who's Who
Among Human Services Professionals. Ms. Tisch holds Master Degrees in Counseling Psychology from
Stanford University and in Piano Performance from College of Notre Dame.
She is married with two grown daughters.
- MARY GARDNER
Project Director & Trainer. Currently Ms. Gardner assists the Director
in the administration of Celebrating Families!, particularly those
participating in the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health
grant in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, CA. Retiring after
eleven years as Superintendent of Saratoga Union School District
(Saratoga, CA), Ms. Gardner currently consults with non-profit
organizations and school districts. Mary Gardner was a school
teacher and administrator for 42 years. After one year at
Harvard's Graduate School of Education as an instructor and a
visiting practitioner, she taught courses in educational leadership
at California State University at Hayward. CA. She has provided
keynote speeches and workshops on women's ways of leading, co-authored
two books on leadership, and a book for parents to help children with
homework. Her passions continue to be building communities of
learners and leaders ensuring that all families and children have
the environment and support to be successful. She has completed
doctoral courses at the University of California at Berkeley
and has an MA in Education Administration from the University
Co-Author, Fidelity Coordinator, and Trainer. Ms. Sibley is the
co-author of Celebrating Families! and the team leader/co-author
of Keys for Healthy Living, a prevention program currently being
used throughout Russian speaking countries. Linda is the author
and founder of Confident Kids Support Groups, an organization
which has provided resources and training for children's support
group ministries throughout the United States and other parts of
the world for more than 25 years. In addition to the Confident
Kids curriculum, she authored the Guides for Growing a Healthy
Family Book Series (Baker Book House), contributed to Sunday
School curriculum projects for Standard Publishing and
David C. Cook Publishers, and has contributed to Christian
Parenting Today and STEPS magazines.
Coordinator. Ms Heller provides technical assistance and model fidelity
oversight for Celebrating Families! in Santa Clara County, CA, and for
DEC sponsored sites in Kentucky. Ms. Heller's educational background
includes a BFA from University of Southern California and a Masters
of Social Work from San Jose State University. As an LCSW she
continued academic studies in a doctoral program at the California
Graduate School of Family and Marital Therapy in San Rafael, Ca.
Her professional work includes junior high school teacher in the
LA Unified School District, Psychiatric Social Worker at Good
Samaritan Hospital (San Jose, Ca), staff therapist
(Outpatient Mental Health, Santa Clara County, Ca.)
and private practice as a LCSW, Program Manager for
Family Education Foundation, Writer for Silicon Valley Business Ink,
and substitute teacher for San Jose and Los Gatos Unified School
Districts. Her community work includes (1) sustaining advisor
for the Junior League of San Jose: Georgia Travis Shelter for
Women and Children and for East Valley Mental Health; (2) Board of
Directors and Charity Review Chair for Valle Monte League
(San Jose, CA.), (3) President of Santa Clara County Medical
Association Alliance, (4) Co-chair for the Medical
Alliance "Violence in the Media" conference for Santa
Clara County Medical Physicians (5) Consultant for the
California Medical Association Alliance for the ADD/LD
Health Program, (6) President Family education Foundation
Board of Directors, (7) Chair of the Advisory Board for
the START Program (FEF, San Jose, CA.)
- CARI SANTIBANES
Coordinator & Trainer. Ms Santibanes provides technical assistance and
model fidelity oversight for Celebrating Families! in Santa Clara
County and Kings Counties, CA. Cari is the Program Director of
Friends Outside of Santa Clara County. She holds a Montessori
Master's Degree, California licenses as a K-3 teacher and as a
Marriage & Family Therapist and a Certificate as a Learning Disability
Specialist. She graduated with a B.A. in Humanities from UC Berkeley.
She is experienced counselor having worked at Giaretto Institute,
Director of Rape Crisis Center at Mid Peninsula YWCA - Palo Alto,
Clinical Director of Kids Are Special, Clinical Coordinator at EMQ
Family and Children's Services, Juvenile Court Liaison at Family
Education Foundation and served on the Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic
Team at Valley Medical Center, San Jose, CA,. In addition to
her work for PPI, she is currently Program Director of Friends
Outside of Santa Clara County working closely with the
Executive Director and Board and. providing supervision of
Program Managers and oversight for all of the programs,
including Celebrating Families! in Santa Clara County, CA.
Previously at Friends Outside she was the Program Manager
of Steps Ahead - In Home Visitation program for children
birth to five and their families of Friends Outside of
Santa Clara County, CA.
Fidelity Coordinator & Trainer. Ms. Santos-Carthen provides technical
assistance and model fidelity oversight for Celebrating Families! in
Santa Clara County and Sutter/Yuba Counties. Melissa is a graduate
of the Rhode Island College School of Social Work where she earned
her Bachelor of Social Work degree. She has worked for nearly
ten years with families impacted by substance abuse and the
dependency system as a home visitor and advocate, including
creation of a pilot program at Child Advocates within the
Dependency Drug Court, in collaboration with Leslie Kim and
Judge Len Edwards. Melissa has facilitated both the parent
and preschool groups of the curriculum. She is also the Steps
Ahead Program Manager at Friends Outside in Santa Clara County
where she also oversees the CF! program.
Associate. Lourdes is a 2006 graduate from Mills College,
Psychology Major. She has facilitated Celebrating Families!
parent groups and assists with grant writing, editing and
research. Before coming to PPI she served as a hotline
counselor for sexually assaulted victims, continuing to
advocate for survivors. Her interest in child development
led to her participation in a three year research project
addressing at risk children and developmental trauma.
She is currently applying to doctoral programs in clinical
psychology where she will focus on children and families.
- CEO of Family
Resources International (the 501c3 parent company for PPI), David brings
experience in sales and marketing with the Coca-Cola Company and
Vice-president of Southern California Safe Company. Along with Linda
Sibley, he presents seminars and training events promoting the Confident
Kids Support Group program for children in the US, and also in Russia,
Germany, Finland and Sweden.
- SHIRLEY N. SPARKS-GRIEF
Consultant. Ms. Sparks, MS, CCC-SLP oversees Celebrating Families!
evaluation process. She is associate professor emerita, Western
Michigan University, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology.
Shirley retired recently as adjunct associate professor at Santa
Clara University, Early Childhood Special Education, Santa Clara, CA.
She is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
and is a member of the original Board of Specialty Recognition in Child Language.
During her 15 years at WMU she published and was a frequent speaker on the
subjects of genetics, fetal alcohol syndrome, and early intervention.
Shirley received a BA degree from the University of Iowa, MS from Tulane
University, and while at WMU, undertook Ph.D. studies at the University
of Michigan, School of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Education.
She moved to California before completing that degree. As a clinician,
she served on the Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic Team at Valley Medical Center,
San Jose, CA, and has been a home visitor for children aged 0-3 for the past
12 years. She presently is a home visitor for early intervention in speech,
language, and feeding for HOPE Homestart, San Jose, and is writing a book on