Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting is delivered by a global network of trainers and facilitators. Their training is carefully laddered so that the program is delivered consistently, wherever it is offered.

Trainer triangle

The 5 Master Trainers are a multi-disciplinary team of experts in child development, parent education, and child health promotion. They are all involved in the ongoing development and evaluation of PDEP. They train and mentor Regional and Country Trainers.

Country Trainers are located in many parts of the world. They are experienced in group facilitation, and may have special qualifications in child development and/or adult education. Once they have been trained and mentored by Master Trainers, they can train Program Facilitators in local communities. 

Program Facilitators deliver the program directly to parents. They are community-based educators working in agencies serving children and families. They have been trained by Master, Regional or Country Trainers. There are hundreds of PDEP Program Facilitators spread throughout the world.

Meet Our People

Master Trainers

Photo of Christine Ateah.

Christine Ateah | A nurse by profession, Christine has an Interdisciplinary PhD and works in the field of child and family health promotion. She has taught at the university level for 20 years. Her research focuses on parents’ ideas about discipline and the needs of expectant and new parents. She also has a strong interest in infant and child safety.

Christine co-authored the Canadian edition of Human Development: A Life-Span View and co-edited Within Our Reach: Policies, Programs and Practices to Prevent Abuse across the Lifespan. As a member of Manitoba’s Provincial Advisory Committee on Child Abuse, she has contributed to policy papers and public education materials on child maltreatment and injury prevention. In 2008, she was awarded the Excellence Award in Professional Nursing (Education) by the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba. 
The mother of two grown daughters, Christine is a strong advocate for children’s rights and is dedicated to helping parents promote the healthy development of their children.

Photo of Joan Durrant.

Joan Durrant | Joan was trained as a Child-Clinical Psychologist, with a specialty in working with children with learning and behavioural challenges, and their families. She realized that, in many cases, parents and children viewed these challenges very differently. What parents were likely to see as compliance issues, children were likely to see as support needs. She became very interested in understanding why parents so often punish children. She began a program of research to understand the role of parents’ emotions, beliefs, and experiences in their use of punishment, particularly physical punishment. Her interests took her to Sweden, the first country to abolish all physical punishment of children, where she came to understand the importance of culture and law in shaping parents’ beliefs and behaviours. She realized that the physical punishment of children can be greatly reduced by providing support and information to parents. She also came to understand that children are less likely to experience violence – and more likely to be healthy and successful – when they are understood as people with valid perspectives and fundamental human rights. 

Today, Joan is a Professor at the University of Manitoba, where she teaches courses on human development and violence against children. Her research focuses on physical punishment and on the evaluation of Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting. She works with people around the world to help them adapt the program for diverse cultures and situations. Joan is the mother of a teenage son who she considers to be her greatest teacher.

Photo of Ashley Stewart-Tufescu.

Ashley Stewart-Tufescu | Ashley began her career as a forensic archaeologist, spending time in South Africa investigating the outcomes of human rights abuses there. Her experiences led her to find ways of preventing violence through respecting human rights. She obtained a Social Work degree and entered the field of child protection. She also worked as a crisis counsellor and a public educator for sexual assault survivors. From there, she became increasingly committed to preventing violence against children by working supportively with their parents, so she obtained a Master of Sciences degree focused on child developmental health and family violence.

Now, Ashley is a faculty member in the Department of Early Childhood Education, School of Health Sciences and Community Services at Red River College, Winnipeg, Canada. In 2011, Ashley and her team were awarded the Research Innovation Award for their work on the multi-media online resource, the Science of Early Child Development, at Red River College. Ashley is completing her PhD in Applied Health Sciences, and conducts research on the impact of family violence on children, children’s rights, and children’s health. She leads the Canadian pilot of the Children’s World: International Survey of Children’s Well-being. As the mother of two young children, Ashley is a strong advocate for children’s rights and children’s knowledge of their rights.

Jean Tinling

Jean Tinling | As Director of Family Programs at Mosaic-Newcomer Family Resource Network in Winnipeg, I train and mentor newcomers to Canada to facilitate parenting and family literacy programs in many communities across the city. This is my second career after enjoying over 30 years as an early years teacher and parent educator in Winnipeg School Division, where I was involved in introducing Parent-Child centres into schools. 

I have always been a strong believer in the importance of supporting parents in their difficult job of parenting, and a strong advocate for children’s rights. Several years ago, I connected with PDEP and immediately knew that it fit with everything I believed and valued. To me, it felt like coming home.

At Mosaic, I work with team of PDEP Country Trainers to offer approximately 25 PDEP programs a year, several of which are offered in the parents’ first language. We also mentor over 20 Mosaic PDEP facilitators, all of whom speak at least one other language in addition to English. Together, they can deliver PDEP parent programs in 18 languages. Mosaic developed the Home Visiting version of PDEP, which is delivered by our team of ‘Peer Mentors’. We also created a supplementary kit of hands-on interactive materials and activities to help parents practice and internalize PDEP, which has been exciting to integrate into the program. 

My greatest resources in my life-long learning are my four children and six grandchildren, who never cease to amaze me and keep me grounded in the realities of everyday parenting.

Country Trainers

Photo of Rudina Ademishala.

Rudina Ademishala | I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, and a Master’s degree in Psychology (Counselling and Research). I also have academic background in early childhood care and development. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, and a Master’s degree in Psychology (Counselling and Research). I also have academic background in early childhood care and development.

At Save the Children in Kosovo, my work focuses on the development and evaluation of programs in inclusive education, child protection and child rights governance. For more than 9 years, I have worked in partnership with governments and international organizations to promote children’s rights. 

I am a mother of two lovely daughters. PDEP gives me opportunities to talk with many professionals and parents, opening all of our eyes to a new vision of parenting.

Photo of Abdikheir Ahmed.

Abdikheir Ahmed  | My educational background is in International Development and International Peace and Conflict Resolution. I have extensive experience in supporting newcomers to Canada. Currently, I am the Director of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg at the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg

I have delivered PDEP to many parents in Winnipeg. I regularly offer the program to fathers in the Somali community. I also provide the program to parents in their homes, if they are unable to participate in group programs. My personal experience of being a dad to three wonderful young boys, my understanding of the real everyday challenges of being a busy dad, and my experience as a newcomer to Canada have greatly enriched my work with parents.

Photo of Gabriela Gall.

Gabriela Galli  | In 2010, I came to Canada from Argentina where I studied child development at the University of Buenos Aires. When I arrived in Winnipeg with two young children, I received incredible support from Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network. As I took PDEP there as a parent, I began to see my children as learners and understood better why they behaved as they did. I learned how to solve problems with my children and how to teach them about empathy, respect and non-violence. My goal is to ‘pay it forward’ by helping and supporting other parents.

Photo of Lois Goertzen.

Lois Goertzen    | I was an early childhood teacher for more than 30 years before I became a facilitator and Country Trainer for Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting. When I participated in the program for the first time it was as if I had found my place. PDEP resonates with my values and belief system.

As well as being a retired teacher, I am also a counsellor. I work with individuals, couples, families and children. I know that my involvement with PDEP has also enhanced my counselling practice. The power of healthy relationships, brain development, the understanding of trust and attachment are key to both PDEP and helpful counselling goals.

As a PDEP facilitator and Country Trainer, I have worked with parent groups and individuals in the 1 on 1 program. I also have the good fortune of working with the Mosaic-Newcomer Resource Network team in training new PDEP facilitators as well as providing refresher opportunities for previously trained facilitators.

I am fortunate to be the mother of 2 adult children. My life has been enriched immeasurably with the birth of my grand daughter Libby.

Photo of Maisaa Haj-Ahmad.

Maisaa Haj-Ahmad   | I am a Canadian of Middle Eastern descent. I was born and grew up in Jordan where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from the University of Amman. I joined the staff of Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network in 2014, and I have been steadily increasing my knowledge of parenting and child development. Today I am a Family Program Lead Mentor and PDEP Home Visit Coordinator at Mosaic. I deliver programs in both English and Arabic, my native language. Being bilingual has helped me meet the needs of many newcomer families as well as established Canadians.

As a mother of three young children, I have learned firsthand about the challenges of parenting and the importance of understanding child development. Both my professional work with families and my home life have given me a strong appreciation for the importance of building strong, healthy parent-child relationships.

Photo of Linda Hoxha.

Linda Hoxha  |  I have Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology. I have a PhD in Psychology and I teach psychology courses at the University of Prishtina in Kosovo. 

I work for Save the Children in Kosovo, evaluating the impact of inclusive education programs, as well as strategies to promote child protection and children’s rights. As a PDEP Country Trainer, I greatly enjoy training staff of community agencies to provide the program to parents throughout Kosovo.

Photo of Shamail Khalil.

Shamail Khalil  | I am originally from Sudan and grew up in United Arab Emirates, where I got a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. I also have a background in child development and I have worked closely with parents for several years. I lived in Winnipeg for 10 years and have now returned to the United Arab Emirates.

I first attended PDEP as a parent, through Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network. It had a big impact on how I parent my three children. I had an “aha” moment and that has led me to become a PDEP facilitator and Country Trainer. Now I have the privilege of seeing that spark in parents’ eyes that makes every day meaningful. 

In Winnipeg, I mentored all newly trained PDEP facilitators at Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network. I also coordinated the one-to-one home visiting version of PDEP, which was developed by Mosaic and is delivered in parents’ homes and in their first language. 

As my first language is Arabic, I am able to deliver PDEP in many different communities. I also have worked with Save the Children on the Arabic translation of the PDEP material.

Photo of Melinda Pascual.

Melinda Pascual  | I came to Winnipeg in 2011, as an immigrant from the Philippines. Although I had practiced Pediatric Medicine for 15 years there, I was unable to practice my profession in Canada. But as a mother of four children, I still had high hopes and great expectations. So I pursued my passion, which is to support children of all cultural backgrounds. I began working at Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network as a childcare assistant, then as a parent program facilitator. I eventually became the Family Programs Coordinator.

My journey as a PDEP facilitator was quite tough because I came from a culture where physical punishment is acceptable and where parents are quite controlling of their children. At first, it was difficult to grasp and accept the PDEP principles but as my knowledge of the program deepened, I began to practice PDEP with my whole heart and soul. I find it very helpful not only in dealing with my children but also in my everyday interactions with adults. I hope that someday I will help change the future of all our children by touching the lives of their parents through PDEP.

Photo of Rhonda Patterson.

Rhonda Patterson | As a public health nurse, I began facilitate parenting programs in the 1980s. I quickly found that I was learning as much as the parents were. I enjoyed it so much that I became a Trainer and Master Trainer in the Nobody’s Perfect program.

When I first read the book, Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting, I started promoting it to all parents. When I had the opportunity to become a PD Facilitator and then a Country Trainer, my mind was blown away! I have facilitated the program with parents of children of all ages. They are excited, hopeful and ready to embrace the challenges of parenting without using violence.

My own three children are amazing adults now and I am a grandparent. When I see my daughters embracing Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting, it feels right and good! The research on children and brain development has made grandparenting a whole new adventure.

Photo of Jennifer Schooley.

Jennifer Schooley  | I am a parenting professional at Haldimand-Norfolk REACH, a local Children’s Mental Health Agency. I have worked in the parenting filed for 15 years. I have a B.A. in Drama and Speech Communications, a diploma in Early Childhood Education, and I’m working on my Masters of Science in Family Relations. 

I was introduced to PDEP about 5 years ago, and have been able to create healthier and stronger relationships with my three children as a result. I love sharing my experiences and helping professionals learn more about PDEP!

Photo of Tanis Shanks.

Tanis Shanks  |  I am the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Prevention Institute. For almost a decade, I have worked with parents and children in numerous capacities, including program development, facilitation, mentorship, childcare, and administration. As a parent myself, I am very passionate about parenting education, healthy child development, violence prevention, and human rights.

I organize and deliver trainings, presentations, and workshops around Saskatchewan on the Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program and Positive Discipline in Everyday Parenting.

My educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) majoring in Native Studies from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. I am currently completing my Masters in Social Work through the University of Regina.