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Our Mission​




The Common Ground Speaker Series is a parent education consortium on the San Francisco Peninsula. Each year we present a slate of cutting-edge speakers, topics, and special events designed to inform, engage and inspire our school communities.

Common Ground began with eight member schools in 2002. Today, we represent more than 15,000 families at over 40 schools, stretching from Hillsborough to San Jose. Our events take place at a variety of venues on the Peninsula and showcase the most current thoughts on education, health, and parenting. Our 2023-2024 Series will be a hybrid season with some events online and some in person.


Common Ground is led by representatives from each member school. Together, we work to provide a forum for parents and educators to learn, strategize and develop a sense of shared community.

We invite you to join us this season to explore innovative ways to keep our families, schools, and communities strong in the 21st century.



Common Ground Speaker Series is a parent education consortium dedicated to inspiring strong families and engaging school communities through distinguished speaker events.



Engaged Learning – We welcome fresh ideas, encourage curiosity and value new and old wisdom. We hope to inspire personal growth and offer opportunities to re-evaluate our assumptions and innovate in our own lives and in our communities.

Empowering Parents – The annual Common Ground Speaker Series is developed to bring distinguished experts in education, child development, and health who present practical parenting tools that support and inspire families. Our speakers communicate strategies that are flexible, experiential, and research-based.

Connecting Communities – We value collaboration and inclusiveness around the needs and aspirations of parents and children in our schools. Through the Common Ground Speaker Series, we foster dialogue with educators and families and offer opportunities to connect in meaningful ways to the broader San Francisco Peninsula community.

Providing Perspective – The Common Ground Speaker Series is designed with attention to both current best practices and to emerging ideas in the field of child development. We strive to remain open to new ways of thinking about parenting in a changing world and provide a forum to share trends and new understandings with our audiences.

Meet Our Team

Executive Director

Leslie Goldman

Clara Dye

Regional Team Leaders


Cristina Meiser

Carolyn Harnish


Patty Yang

Courtney Brooks


Jaime Young

Bridget Mercay

Social Media/Facebook

Juliette Kim

Special Events

Dillon Rasmussen

Swapna Pandey

Yixiu Bagley


Bhavna Sheth

Technology Operations

Dana Kravchick

Website/Zoom Production

Jennifer Jennings

Emma Marshall


Andrea Hineman


Marcia Plavcan

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Books by our speakers may be purchased from Books Inc.

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