About Us

Message from Cynthia Martin, President

The early years in a child’s life are critically important. A newborn baby has about 2,000 days to get ready for kindergarten. That means that every day counts.

Parenting Matters Foundation is here to help parents do an excellent job of raising their children. We want to encourage them be involved parents because their job is such an important one. Children who enter school ready to learn have a huge head start over children who aren’t ready.

Ready for school means the child is excited about learning, can manage her emotions and behavior, can work with other children, can stay focused on what she is doing, and is familiar with books, letters, sounds, shapes, colors and numbers. All of these are areas that parents provide help, encouragement and opportunities for the child to become ready for school.

Reading a book each day with your child helps your child be ready for school. If you read a book or two each day, by the time he enters kindergarten, he will have read over 3000 books. Just think of the advantage that child has over a child who has not had anyone read a book with him. A survey of kindergarten teachers reported that only 44% of children start school with the skills they need. This daily activity will help your child be ready.

We know that the human brain develops faster in the first years of life than at any other time. In fact, 85% of brain development happens in the first three years of life. At the same time, only 5% of public investment in children occurs during these first years of life. There is a lot that needs to be done.

Dr. Cynthia Martin

Executive Director - Cynthia Martin, Ph.D. has spearheaded the development of Parenting Matters Foundation. She has worked as a psychologist in the state of California and a registered counselor in the State of Washington. She is a mother of eight children, a past teacher of grades 7 through college, a counselor and administrator in public schools, and an author of a book on adoption. She received her MA at the University of San Diego and her Ph.D. in Human Behavior at United States International University. She received the Washington Association of School Administrators Community Leadership Award for her involvement in the First Teacher Program. She has authored several books, most recently, Beating the Adoption Odds. She understands the importance of preventing problems rather than waiting to solve problems. She is a regular columnist for the Sequim Gazette.

FirstTeacher.org would not run without some wonderfully dedicated staff...


Cynthia Martin, Ph.D., President

PO Box 3323, Sequim, WA 98382-5021

(360) 681-2250, Fax (206) 866-1252

Program Highlights: Oversees First Teacher and Parenting Matters Programs. Coordinates grants and parenting classes. Development of Community School Playground.

Shaine Schramling, MA, Program Manager

13848 Manzanita Rd NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

(206) 855-9189, Toll Free (866) 943-5437, Fax (206) 866-1252

Program Highlights: Responsibilities: Coordinates First Teacher & Parenting Matters programs with each school district - Bremerton, Cape Flattery, Crescent, Dayton, Forks, Port Angeles, Sequim. Database management, day to day operations.

Jennifer Taulbee, Publishing Director

PO Box 3323, Sequim, WA 98382-5021

(360) 681-2250

Program Highlights: Coordinate desktop publishing and distribution, coordinate book orders, grant management, research articles, work with all programs and all levels, assist President with daily activities.

Fanny Marchevsky


Program Highlights: Spanish Translator & Editor

Nicole Brewer, Program Director

PO Box 3323, Sequim, WA 98382

(360) 681-2250

Board of Directors...

Ken Anderson

Past President - Kenneth W. Anderson is a retired school superintendent. He has been also been employed as a teacher of children from elementary through high school and an elementary school principal. He most recently worked as associate superintendent at the Cape Flattery Correction Center Campus. His experience has been in the Washougal School District, North Mason School District and Sequim School District. His higher education was at Central Washington University and the University of Washington. His involvement with youth included helping to raise three children.

DeWayne Boyd

DeWayne has been actively involved in public education for over fifty years. His experience includes: teaching at all levels from elementary school to university post graduate, educational administration from elementary school principal to district superintendent, and internship supervisor for prospective teachers and for prospective school district superintendents. He has also served as an educational consultant. Currently, he is completing his second four-year term as an elected school board member. During his term of office, the Bremerton school district has developed and implemented an early childhood education program that is nationally recognized for its effectiveness and replicability.

Alberta J. Conrad

Alberta currently works for Youth Eastside Services in Bellevue, WA. She supervises the School-Based Counseling Program as well as the Clinical Intern Program and has worked with the Young Family Independence Program. She also maintains a private practice for adults, and has a wealth of knowledge about parenting skills, adoptee issues, life skills for young adults, relationships, depression, loss and life transitions. She has also worked in several school districts. She has presented several workshops about divorce, talking with your children about sex, better communication with you adolescent, and improving relationships.

Donovan C. Wilkin, Ph.D.

Donovan is a retired professor and extension specialist in Community Development from the University of Arizona. Professor Wilkin's research and teaching have been predominantly in the realm of Human Ecology, applying ecological principles to sustainability and productivity in human ecosystems. He believes strongly in the necessity for teaching children sustainable principles from the outset, most importantly the value of taking care of one another and the lasting ecological benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Carol Kruckeberg

Vicky Murray

Kathy Withey