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In Conversation with Dr. Tyler Thigpen on Parental Engagement

27.3.2021 | BY KATIJA ALADIN

After a successful Information Webinar on Parental Engagement in collaboration with our partners: Brookings, IDEO & Kidsburgh on Thursday. We are excited to keep the conversation going with Dr.Tyler Thigpen, Co-founder & Head of School of The Forest School. This conversation will focus on parental engagement in practice through the lens of self-directed learning and will create the space to connect and meet with like-minded people in the global community interested in this topic. 


Community Conversation on Parental Engagement with Dr. Tyler Thigpen

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More information on our keynote as well as special guests who will be joining the break-out rooms! Keep an eye out for them! 



Dr. Tyler Thigpen is the Co-founder & Head of School of The Forest School, Tyler grew up in Georgia and has worked in innovative district, private, and charter schools, as well as statewide and national nonprofits. Tyler is co-founder of The Forest School: An Acton Academy in south metro Atlanta, co-founder and executive director of the Institute for Self-Directed Learning, and Instructor and Academic Director at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Formerly, Tyler was partner at Transcend, a national nonprofit in school redesign, and worked closely on innovative school projects such as nXu, Whittle, The Academy Group, Washington Leadership Academy, Art in Motion, Hebrew Public, Teton Science's Place Network, EL Education, and the Brooklyn STEAM Center. Tyler also co-founded MENTOR Georgia, Transforming Teaching at Harvard, and the Chattahoochee Hills Charter School. Earlier, Tyler worked as head of the upper school at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, Spanish teacher in Gwinnett County public schools, and minister at the Grace family of churches where he led international development in Peru in areas of healthcare, education, poverty reduction, infrastructure, and human rights. Tyler holds a doctoral degree in education leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education, a master’s in public administration from Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a master’s in theological studies from Regent College of the University of British Columbia. Tyler has written about the future of learning in the Washington Post, Education Week, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Getting Smart, and others. Tyler lives with his four children, all of whom attend The Forest School, in Trilith.

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Shelly Brown is the Art Guide at The Forest School. A Fayette County native, Shelly Brown has always had her hand in the artistic community. After attending Georgia State university and earning a degree in Fashion Design from Bauder College in Atlanta, Shelly began her work in the creative industry at an online marketing agency, Moxie interactive, in Atlanta. With a passion for design, she later developed her namesake line of jewelry and accessories, which sold in national department stores. In 2018, Shelly made the career switch to the publishing world as Editor-in-Chief of Good Grit magazine. A native of the South and a lover of stories, she gets to share her love of home through the magazine. Shelly has worked with children through local organizations such as Wellspring Living, and sits on the board of Hands United, a local nonprofit building a better world for those enslaved by human trafficking. She loves helping things to grow, community, her children, and her garden. Shelly resides in Fayette County with her 5 children.  

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Rob Parker is the President Trilith Development, LLC. Transformational leader with 35 years of experience on a local, national and international level. Strong track record of success in multiple disciplines including innovative town building, commercial and retail development, music entertainment, non-profit leadership, marketing & branding and capital development. Rob has worked closely with Fortune 500 CEO’s, philanthropists, sports and entertainment figures, foundation leaders, and government officials in the US, and around the world. Currently leads a team of designers, architects, planners, and builders creating a 1000-acre master-planned residential and mixed-use development located in south metro Atlanta adjacent to Trilith Studios. Previously served as CEO of Southern Ground, leading both the business and philanthropic efforts of three-time GRAMMY-winning, multi-platinum artist, Zac Brown and Zac Brown Band, as well as Kiwanis International, Boys & Girls Clubs and Ronald McDonald House Charities. In parallel with these assignments, Rob leverages public speaking, coaching & consulting to help organizations thrive and flourish.  

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Braun England is a Parent at the Forest School. Brian is a married father of three. He has one child in middle school and two children in elementary. His children have been attending the Forest School for one year and are all excitedly looking forward to the next school year. He currently work in healthcare and enjoys playing with his kids, learning music production, and discovering vegan restaurants with his  wife (a full-time vegan, I a part-time me-gan). 


Lateral England is a Parent at The Forest School. Laterral and her husband have three children who attend the Forest school. Her oldest is currently in middle school and she has two children in elementary school. She is currently at Ga Tech as a Course Manager Coordinator, but her passion is Event Planning. She enjoys great vegan food, gardening, and playing board games with her family.


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