The Programming Committee plans events throughout the year. Contact Bori Stoyanova and Karen Ghiron at for more information.

April 7th:  Healthy Relationships & Safe Social Interaction: 

Help your children to navigate (un)healthy relationships and social interactions
while remaining joyful, healthy, safe and strong.

Event Description
This event will discuss how we can support our children to have healthy relationships and safe interactions in the complex world teens live in today. We will discuss what you can do as a parent to identify unhealthy relationship and support your child when they are in one. Parents will learn specific actions they can take to support their children and useful resources at Newton North and beyond. Attendees are encouraged to bring their question. 

This event will help families establish guidelines and promote behaviors for your children to live by to stay safe as they venture outside the home and into the adult world post-graduation.  Speakers are Amy Carpenter and Shani Leichter.  See their bios below.

See the presentation here;

Speaker Bio – Amy Carpenter 

Amy Carpenter has worked for twenty-five years as a psychotherapist and relationship coach. Her book, Be Strong, Be Wise: The Young Adult’s Guide to Sexual Assault Awareness and Personal Safety, teaches risk reduction to boys, girls and non-binary youth in a way that empowers students to feel informed, not afraid. The curriculum is based on her work with high schools and colleges and organizations such as Mainely Girls and Girls Inc. Be Strong, Be Wise incorporates the safety “tools” that enhance personal and group awareness, supporting healthy relationships for young people from all walks of life. A long-time youth advocate, Amy believes every young person deserves to learn how to create healthy partnerships and avoid toxic ones. Her book explores sexual ethics in straightforward terms that build self-knowledge in young people and confidence in adults. Amy lives in Rockport, Maine with her husband and daughter.  Find her at


Speaker Bio – Shani Leichter, NNHS Guidance Counselor and 

For the past 6 years, Shani has worked with NNHS students around issues of dating violence and healthy relationships.  Her support group is aligned with a national organization called One Love and through her work student leaders facilitate peer-led workshops meant to increase awareness and conversation about the under-addressed and nuanced topics around relationships. Shani is a graduate of Lesley University with a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, School and Community Specialization. After completing clinical training, Shani completed school-based training at NNHS during the 2013-2014 school year and joined NNHS full-time as a school counselor. She has a caseload of roughly 180 sophomores and seniors this year.

Past Programs: 2020-21

March 9:  Making the Most of Your High School Years

Join the PTSO and Newton North experts for a discussion of how to help your teen get the most out of their Newton North experience. Topics will include course selection and the course registration process; teen development; and academic, social and emotional balance. Parents/guardians and students invited.

Speakers: Amy Winston, Vice Principal, NNHS; Kathleen Duff, Director, Business, Career & Technical Education; and Todd Young, Chair of Fine and Performing Arts.

View the presentation here:

March 3: Why Gap Years Matter More Than Ever

Are you wondering about the benefits of a gap year, and realistic options amidst COVID and the disruption of higher ed? Join Katherine Stievater, founder of Gap Year Solutions, for a presentation and Q&A about the benefits of a gap year and what gap years look like when international travel may be limited.  Parents/guardians and students invited. 

Katherine Stievater founded Gap Year Solutions to help students successfully transition to college with a customized plan that builds life skills through “Real World Learning.” Based in Belmont, MA, she is accredited by the national Gap Year Association, and is a professional member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Katherine speaks and publishes regularly about Gap Years and how they fit into college planning.

Past Program: 2019-20

Nov. 17: Support LGBTQ+ Youth

Learn more about LGBTQ+ issues and identities with a representative from Greater Boston PFLAG, an organization whose mission is to provide support for families with LGBTQ+ youth. During this presentation, we will explore topics related to having productive conversations, regardless of whether or not your student  identifies as LGBTQ+. Plus, we will discuss the language and tips for having conversations about LGBTQ+ topics:

  • Understand background information to provide context
  • Learn correct and up to date LGBTQ+ language and terminology
  • Understand the difference between gender identity, sex assigned at birth, gender expression and sexual orientation
  • Learn specific practices to make your community a more safe, inclusive and welcoming space
  • Learn to become a more effective ally to students and young people
  • Having conversations about LGBTQ+ topics and identities at home

Please sign up to join us on Nov. 17.

Nov. 19: Q&A with Superintendent, Committee Chair

Q&A with Superintendent David Fleishman and School Committee Chair Ruth Goldman: Mark your calendar to attend this special Q & A with Superintendent David Fleishman and School Committee Chair Ruth Goldman on Nov. 19, 7:30-8:30 pm. Click here to submit your questions in advance. The link for the meeting will be shared as we approach the date. 

Oct. 14: Support Teen Civic Engagement

Join us for a special virtual panel discussion, Supporting Your Teen’s Civic Engagement, 7:30 to 8:30 pm, Oct. 14, and learn about the value of civic engagement and the many ways Newton North students can get involved in their community.  A panel of students, community leaders and faculty will discuss current opportunities and the impact students can make. The conversation will be led by NNHS Center for Civic Engagement and Service Co-Directors Claudia Wu and Terry Yoffie.

Virtual Program with Newton Food Pantry – The Newton North PTSO hosted our last program of 2019-2020 on May 14, 2020, with Carol Berlin of the Newton Food Pantry. We thank her for facilitating a discussion with over 50 parents, guardians and students. We learned about the 250 percent jump in people served by the Newton Food Pantry. The pantry is asking for donations of double-bagged paper grocery bags and for individually bagged homemade cloth face masks. Also, applications remain open for the Pantry’s Teen Ambassador Program. Thank you, Carol!

Navigating an Uncertain Future: Applying the New Science of Purpose in School, Career and Life – This webinar was presented by Dr. Belle Liang, PhD, Professor, Boston College and Tim Klein, LICSW, Project Lead, True North, Boston College on April 2, 2020. Parents learned how to support their teens in the face of adversity and also how to make meaningful decisions in a rapidly changing educational landscape.

Adolescent Psychology: The Parent Version – Prominent child development and parenting expert Joani Geltman, the author of “A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens,” offered insights and advice about adolescent behavior on November 19, 2019.

Screenagers The Next Chapter – On October 10, 2019, this film was shown in the NN Auditorium and was followed by a panel discussion with Newton Wellesley Hospital experts in mental health and resiliency, along with Matthew Ford, Newton North School Guidance Counselor.