Our Staff and Advisory Board
The Parenting Center

Helping parents grow!

Parenting Center Staff

Jenni Watts Evans,
Program/Outreach Manager

Jenni has been involved in early childhood education and development from many angles. Beginning in the classroom as a preschool teacher, Jenni moved into advocacy work and adult education as a parent counselor at Child Care Resources of Agenda For Children where she helped parents find quality child care and trained teachers of young children.

Jenni serves as the Chair of the Board of the Greater New Orleans Association for the Education of Young Children and was on the Anti-Bias Education Leadership Project team. Jenni joined the staff at The Parenting Center in 2002 and became Assistant Director in February 2012.

She has two teenage daughters. Jenni shares in staffing The Metairie Center a few days a week and teaches activity, child development, and discipline classes for parents of young children as well as develops the programming for The Parenting Center.

X. Patrice Wright, M.Ed.
Administrative Manager

Prior joining the Parenting Center Team, Patrice began her career in education as a kindergarten teacher. She then became a math coach, a Louisiana State Department employee, a school administrator, and also worked in central office.

Throughout her 22 years in education, she thoroughly enjoyed providing professional development and coaching to teachers. Her passion for working within the early childhood sector never faded, and she firmly believes that giving children a solid foundation in their early years sets their path for academic success.

She received an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Educational Administration from UNO. She is a Louisiana Pathways Trainer and a toddler CLASS observer. A mother of one daughter, Patrice teaches school readiness classes, classes for parents of teens, and shares in staffing the Metairie Center.

Lisa Phillips, MSW, LMSW
Parent Educator

Lisa has been a Parent Educator at The Parenting Center since 2001. She received her BA from Occidental College and her Master’s of Social Work from Tulane University. Before joining the Parenting Center staff, Lisa worked as a school social worker.

She has two children, a daughter and a son. Lisa teaches parenting classes with a special interest in birth through five years.

Monet Somerville
Parent Educator

Monet received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan College. She then went on to receive her Master’s in Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from Capella University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Developmental Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. Monet is also a licensed Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner.

Prior to working to The Parenting Center, Monet worked as a Case Manager in a residential facility for adolescent girls who were in foster care but were unable to be placed in a foster home. She also taught foster parents about child development and the impacts that positive parenting can make on a child.

Beth Bailar
Program Coordinator

Beth joined the Parenting Center in 2001. She ensures the smooth operation of classes, coordinates The Parenting Center activities and community events, and oversees all aspects of membership and registration.

Advisory Board

Woman with young girl holding paint brushes in front of a painting

The Parenting Center Advisory Board is comprised of concerned parents, community leaders, pediatricians, a member of the Junior League of New Orleans and members of the Children's Hospital Board of Trustees. They provide invaluable guidance and direction to The Parenting Center staff, help assess the parenting needs of the community and ensure that the Parenting Center continues to fulfill its goals.

Parenting Center Advisory Board, 2019-2020

Chair : Leslie Compton

  • Renee Bigelow Kunian
  • Katie Rose Coffman, LMSW
  • Courtney Morse Costello
  • Ashley Stevens Farge
  • Stephen Hales, MD
  • Marcella R. Houser, MD
  • Jenifer Kelly-Strauss
  • Charlotte M Parent, RN, MHCM
  • Stephanie Condon Perry
  • Cathleen Randon
  • Scott Saltzman
  • Adrienne Shulman M.Ed
  • Angele Thionville
  • Ann Henderson Tilton, MD
  • Anamaria Villamarin-Lupin