Meet our Advisory Committee
Our advisory committee represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. They work hard to support and promote our program and families.
Lisa Brown: Administrative Director at Foundations Early Care and Education
My favorite thing is to play with my daughter either outside or making crafts. The quickest way to my heart is through chocolate chip cookies and being willing to be goofy with me. I am passionate about PAT because they put families first and make parenting fun!
Sheena Hixson: Prevention/Early Intervention Coordinator at Mercer Family Resource Center
I support Parents as Teachers because I believe whole heartedly in their mission of empowering caregivers to embrace the best parts of themselves as parents. The Family Support Specialists are some of my favorite change makers and they all have played an important role in my own growth as a parent in the program and as a professional working with families myself!
"Parents create the environment in which learning happens, therefore they are their child's first and most important teacher." ~Mahatma Ghandi
Dana Howie: Board Trustee, Natrona County School District
I am a former teacher of Family Life and Child Development at Kelly Walsh High School for 28 years. I am a mom, a grandmother and love children. I am passionate about PAT because every child deserves the best possible start in life, and that needs to come from parents.
Rodney Oster: Lincoln Elementary Counselor
Rodney Oster graduated from the UW Masters of Social Work program in May of 2017. He graduated with his BSW in 2010 from UW and also received an Associates in Addictionology degree from Casper College. After graduating Rodney began a new journey and currently works for the Natrona County School District as a school counselor for Lincoln Elementary. Previously Rodney worked for Casper College in the GEAR UP program for two years. Rodney also completed an internship with Mercer House and was the Assistant Coordinator of the Youth Empowerment Council (YEC) for five years. Rodney has a great passion for working with the youth and enjoys making a difference in the lives of others.
Rodney has a wife and three beautiful children. His oldest son Michael is attending Stanford University to obtain a degree in Engineering. He also has a daughter Zuri and son Ziah still living at home. His wife has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from UW and is a fitness instructor. Rodney enjoys running, fishing, working with his hands, playing music and spending as much time as he can with his wife and children.
Mandy St. John: Parent Particpant
I am passionate about PAT because I have been personally impacted by the work this organization does.
“Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” – Carl Jung
Mary Longart-Parkinson: Multi Market Agent at New York Life Insurance Company
Hola! My name is Mary Longart. I am a previous bi-lingual Parent Educator. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. My son Thomas and I moved to Casper in 2015 from Caracas. My husband Philip and I married in 2016 and I became the proud stepmother for our daughter Esa.
I love helping people and support them because, as an immigrant, I know and understand the struggle of having family with different culture. My biggest struggle was learning the language and a new lifestyle.
I originally received my bachelor’s in accounting in Venezuela. However, I am passionate about helping families and children. I have access to resources that can help immigrant families and children.
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to start questioning." ~ Albert Einstein
Dirk Andrews: President of NC Education Association
My name is Dirk Andrews, and I was born and raised in Wyoming. I graduated from Douglas High School in 2002, and I still have family there. I received my bachelor's in elementary education in 2008 with an endorsement in special education. I completed my master's in elementary literacy in 2016. I taught for 9 years at Evansville Elementary prior to being elected President of the Natrona County Education Association in 2017. I do not have any children of my own, but I have students who will always be my kids.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest" Benjamin Franklin
Heith Attaway: Owner of Bluebird Fencing and Optimus Painting
I am a family man of 5. I have lived in Casper on and off all my life. I am now the owner of Optimus Painting and Bluebird Fencing. Kids have always been drawn to me because I am still a kid at heart.
Anna La Torre: Family Specialist at Mercer Family Resource Center
I am passionate about PAT because no matter how prepared or prepared you are for parenthood, PAT Family Support Specialists make parenting so much more fun by providing developmental activities in the home. They support families at all stages and are very important to the Casper community.
Keri Owen: Operations Assistance and Development Coordination at The Science Zone
I grew up in Casper and is passionate about supporting our nonprofit community. I hold two associate degrees from Casper College, Early Childhood Education and Social Work. I am currently pursuing a masters in Youth Development. My favorite thing to do is exploring the great backroads that Wyoming has to offer alongside my husband, daughter and 2 dogs.
"Hello! My name is Alaura, and it has been an honor to be a part of the PAT team. I moved to Casper in 2019 to continue my education, and received my Associate’s of Psychology from Casper College in spring of 2022. I was then able to complete my Bachelor’s through the University of Wyoming outreach program. I was fortunately able to maintain employment with Natrona County Parents as Teachers while finishing my degree, which allowed me to gain practical experience and hands-on skills. Recently, I’ve accepted a position as the GEAR UP Specialist at Casper College. I’m looking forward to building relationships with families and serving the community in a different way. While I’m currently focusing on older students and their families, I still believe that the first three to five years of a child’s life are vitally important, and impact every aspect of our work and community."
Under What We Do, you can also become familiar with our Partners.