Positive Discipline Community Resources’ staff, Board of Directors and Advisory Committee members all share the vision that relationships based on mutual respect and dignity lead to healthier, safer, and more just societies for present and future generations. Together, we represent a diverse community of families, schools, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, represent a diverse community of families, schools,
nonprofit organizations, community leaders, social and family service providers, and businesses. PDCR’s team is passionate about and proud to be teaching Positive Discipline in communities throughout Santa Cruz County, Monterey County, and other regions of the California Central Coast.
Stephanie Barron Lu, PDCR Executive Director
Stephanie comes to us from UCSC, graduating in the top 2% of her class Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors in Psychology. She is a Certified Positive Discipline Classroom and Parent Educator. Her experience both as a researcher in social psychology and as an intern within the criminal justice system with Friends Outside has fueled her desire to continue working in the community. Serving as a lead researcher in both the Politics, Culture, and Identity and the Identifying Barriers to Education labs, she is well attuned to the importance of collaborative community work. Proudly embodying PD with Stephanie is her amazing partner of 9 years, Margarito and their wonderful son Nicholas.
Adriana Melgoza, PDCR Community Engagement Coordinator
Adriana is proud to come from a family of farm workers who have always worked for human rights in different capacities. She has graduated from CSUMB with a major in Human Communications. She has worked for the Watsonville Law Center as Chief Programs Officer and former Central Coast Coordinator for the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice (CCIJ). She has worked with other community leaders to provide thousands of hours of volunteer service in legal aid and community organizing on the Central Coast on social justice movements. She organizes and provides community education and staff training for community organizations serving immigrants in the Central Coast. She also worked with the American Civil Liberties Union as a Field Fellow developing leaders in her community by providing trainings and public education. She is part of different organizations in her community working for rights and justice for all.
She is passionate about human rights and social justice because she believes in recognizing the dignity of every person. She wants to continue to advocate for underserved populations in a bigger capacity by continuing to work in the nonprofit world and to give back to the communities that have supported her growth. Adriana is a firm believer of alliance and solidarity for human rights, and knows that it is only through direct communication and involvement of impacted community members in all capacities that a better world will be reached.
Board of Directors
Theresa M. Cariño, PDCR President, Founder and Executive Director of Salud y Cariño
Theresa is the founder and Executive Director of Salud y Cariño, Inc., has a Master’s in Multicultural Education and has nearly 20 years of experience working with youth in various capacities. Theresa also serves as the organization’s lead facilitator for its after school program for middle school girls – Girls Group – in Live Oak. Prior to Salud y Cariño, Theresa was a teacher at Chicanos por La Causa’s (CPLC) charter school and Principal at Hiaki High School on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation in AZ, then becoming a Public Health Educator with indigenous communities and adapting a culturally based curriculum on HIV/AIDS Prevention for Native American women.
Bret Smith, PDCR Vice President, Performance Consultant, Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator
Bret Smith is a Performance Consultant, a Certified Positive Discipline Educator, and a joyful parent to two teenage sons. A graduate of San José State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Bret is an expert in communications and has more than 25 years of experience in Director level positions within resorts, stadiums and hotels. Nowadays, he focuses on building community and supporting people to help restore love and affinity in their lives both as individuals and as members of their families.
Jane Weed-Pomerantz, PDCR Co-Founder and Former President, Board of Supervisors Appointee to Childcare Planning Council
Jane Weed-Pomerantz, a community activist and resident of Santa Cruz for over 40 years, is a Positive Discipline Association Certified Lead Trainer helping others to become parenting educators or teachers educating students with this Adlerian approach. Jane is a seasoned facilitator in correctional facilities, an experienced teacher trainer in school settings in districts throughout many counties, and has also done trainings for health providers and in the clinic setting. Jane also serves as a Board of Supervisors Appointee to the Childhood Advisory Council, is the former Mayor of the City of Santa Cruz, and is the wife of a retired firefighter, mother of four now adult children and now grandmother!
Derek Fohs, PDCR; CPA, Rieber-Fohs Accountancy
Derek Fohs is part owner of Rieber, Fohs & Associates Accountancy bringing 25 year of accounting experience to PDCR. He was formerly Treasurer of the Los Gatos Rowing Club and has graciously served as PDCR's Treasurer since its founding in 2009. Outside of accounting, he is an avid surfer, cyclist, and hiker who began section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2009 with plans to complete the 2600 mile endeavor before the year 2020.
Lis Dubois, PDCR Treasurer; MA, Director of Operations of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History
Lis is a huge fan of community-based arts organizations. Lis received a Masters degree in Arts Administration from Boston University and a B.A in Art History from Scripps College. She is part of the creative magic that makes the MAH run like a well-oiled machine, she is happiest when open-water swimming in the Monterey Bay and loves living in Santa Cruz with her partner Nick and their two kiddos under 5.
Ray Cancino, Chief Executive Officer of Community Bridges
Ray is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Bridges, a local nonprofit with a $15 million budget that reaches over 27,000 residents each year. Since 1977, its family of programs has met the needs of local children, families and seniors, and identifies emerging needs and collaborative solutions to issues such as closing the academic achievement gap, supporting seniors to live with independence and dignity, preventing child abuse through parent support and education, and increasing access to medical care and good nutrition. (www.communitybridges.org)
Laura Valdez Chávez, Program Coordinator, Castro Plaza Family Resource Center
Laura is the Founder of Motivando Corazones, which provides Positive Discipline trainings and consulting (particularly on Spanish speaking initiatives) all over the country. She emigrated from Mexico to the USA in 1994 and is the first Latina to provide the first PD certification workshop in Spanish “Teaching Parents with Positive Discipline” in 2006 for the Positive Discipline Association. She has been a Parent Educator for the past 10 years working for La Manzana Community Resources and currently Castro Plaza Family Resource Center in Castroville.
Yolanda Provoste-Fuentes, Parent Educator, Live Oak Community Resources
Yolanda is a certified parent educator at Live Oak Community Resources in Santa Cruz and also leads their parent-child playgroups in English and in Spanish. Yolanda is originally from Chile where she was an elementary school teacher in a poor neighborhood called Region 9, and then at a rural school in the countryside. Yolanda came to the USA a year after the Coup of 1973 in her native country. She attended UCSC and became a bilingual educator in Chualar and then moved to Salinas to run the High-Intensity Language Training at the adult school there. She was a founder of Creative Response to Conflict, Inc. and is currently involved with Three Americas and the Live Oak Grange.
Nancy Spangler, Faculty, Cabrillo College and ECE/Children’s Center
Nancy is an esteemed faculty member with Cabrillo College’s Children’s Center. Since 1995, she has had a variety of roles working in the lab school with children, families and college students. Additionally, she facilitates a mentor teacher group for Santa Cruz County and is a Quality Enrichment Coach for Encompass Community Services. Nancy is a parent of two now adult children.
Margarita Palacios, Educational Options Assistant Principal, serving North Monterey County
Margarita was born in the Dominican Republic, graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelors degree in Science from La Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo. She came to the U.S and settled in Watsonville in the 90's with her husband and two children, with the vision of continuing her education. Margarita has studied at Watsonville Adult School and Cabrillo, and has worked for the past 22 years at NMCUSD. She is currently the Assistant Principal of Education Options where she assists with the oversight of Central Bay High School and the North Monterey County Adult School with the designing, planning and implementation of programs that meet the needs of the students and families within our community.
Kirsten Matsumoto, Parent Educator
Founder/President, Edificando Vidas
former GEMMA Program Manager
Special Parents Information Network
Certified Positive Discipline Facilitator
Mentor, New Principals Project
Director, New Teacher Center
CA Center of Excellence forTrauma Informed Care
Certified Positive Discipline Trainer
Former Councilmember and Mayor, SC
Retired School Social Worker
Meghan Thomas, MD
Scotts Valley Medical Clinic
Superintendent, SC Office of Education
Jennifer Hastings, MD
Planned Parenthood and UCSF Faculty
Computer Consultant, retired Librarian
Retired ECE professor and author
Faculty Member, Cabrillo Comm. College