ParentNet Founders

The vision for ParentNet's possibilities and the leadership to make it successful sits squarely on the shoulders of two women – Marilyn Price-Mitchell and Susan Grijalva. Their friendship, partnership and passion for increasing meaningful parent engagement in education began in 1996 when both had children in middle school. Little did they realize that their different professional backgrounds would synergize to create a program that would fill an unmet need in many American schools.

Like many partnerships, their work began as a small project – two parents taking on a leadership role to make their children’s school a better place. Their success spread by word of mouth.

When additional schools asked for their help to start ParentNet, they enthusiastically volunteered their time. As new schools worked together to improve the program, they responded with consistent leadership. Today, ParentNet and similar programs that offer a process for community-building in schools is beginning to resonate around the country. Their shared vision is to see programs like ParentNet succeed in all types of schools, particularly those that serve the most disadvantaged children. 

Marilyn Price-Mitchell
Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D.

Marilyn is a developmental psychologist, educator, entrepreneur, organization development professional, businesswoman, researcher, writer, parent, and grandparent who is passionate about helping people and organizations achieve their highest potential. Her current work focuses on how adults foster the development of positive internal strengths in young people and how youth become engaged citizens in a democratic society. Read her blog, Roots of Action: How Families, Schools, and Communities Help Kids Thrive.

Marilyn holds an M.A. in Human & Organizational Systems and a Ph.D. in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara.

Committed to creating a paradigm shift in how parents and schools work together to benefit kids, Marilyn has spearheaded the development of www.ParentInvolvementMatters.Org and currently serves as president of the National ParentNet Association. A mother or step-parent to six adult children, Marilyn lives in Bainbridge Island, WA with her husband Jay.

View Marilyn's website

Sue Grijalva
Susan Grijalva, M.A.

Susan is an educator, consultant, trainer, and advocate for parent education and family engagement in schools. With more than thirty years experience in the field of education, teaching, and non-profit management, she has organized parent education programs in numerous communities in the U.S. and abroad and has served the National ParentNet Association as its Program Director since its founding. 

Sue holds a B.A. in music from Oberlin College and received her M.A. in education and teaching from Stanford University.

Committed to the belief that educators must find improved ways to collaborate with parents on behalf of children, Sue remains actively involved with the National ParentNet Association as a member of its Board of Directors. She provides consulting services to schools wanting to start ParentNet or those seeking to develop a foundation of parent leadership. The mother of two, Sue lives in Redmond, WA with her husband Frank, Head of The Overlake School where ParentNet began its development in 1996.


"School offers other opportunities to connect with parents, but ParentNet specifically connects us around parenting issues. I feel like I have a community of other parents I can go to if I'm struggling with an issue. I have a connection I wouldn't otherwise have. The ParentNet program keeps parents within a structured framework for positive problem-solving that isn't antagonistic, and that builds community with parents, teachers and administration. I also like how the structure of the meetings makes you step into the best possible persona that you can adopt as a parent."

Lynne Muñoz
ParentNet Co-Chair
The Overlake School
Redmond, WA

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