To support our mission to create prepared, confident citizens of the world, to engage in respectful dialogue around important issues, and to support our community of parents, students, faculty and alumni, Pace Academy frequently welcomes guest speakers. See below for information regarding upcoming events.

2018-2019 Speakers

Join the Parents Club in welcoming New York Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims to Pace on Nov. 13 and 14.

Lythcott-Haims’ How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success is “a provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.”

How to Raise an Adult emerged from Julie’s decade as Stanford University’s Dean of Freshmen, where she was known for her fierce advocacy for young adults and her fierce critique of the growing trend of parental involvement in the day-to-day lives of college students. She received the university’s Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for creating “the” atmosphere that defines the undergraduate experience, and toward the end of her tenure as dean, she began speaking and writing widely on the harm of helicopter parenting. How to Raise an Adult has been published in over two dozen countries and gave rise to a TED talk that became one of the top TED Talks of 2016 with over three million views, and counting, as well as a sequel which will be out in 2019.

Julie is a graduate of Stanford University, Harvard Law School and California College of the Arts. She lives in Silicon Valley with her partner of 30 years, their two teenagers, and her mother.


Lythcott-Haims will speak to parents on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 13. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register today. In addition, in advance of Lythcott-Haims’ visit, our counseling team will host book club sessions for parents in all divisions to discuss How to Raise an Adult.

So, as you plan for the weeks ahead, please make note of the following dates:

  • Monday, Oct. 29: Parent Book Club at 6:30 p.m. 
    Fuqua Presentation Room, Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School, fourth floor
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30: Parent Book Club at 8:15 a.m.
    Middle School Conference Room, Garcia Family Middle School, fifth floor
  • Tuesday, Nov. 13: PARENT PRESENTATION (Please register)
    Fine Arts Center
    • 7 p.m. - Presentation, followed by book signing
    • 6 p.m. - Doors open, books available for purchase

Parent Presentation Registration

Past Speakers



Learn about the dangers of social media and how to help children navigate and use this technology responsibly. Topics will include technology addiction and anxiety, communication and social skills, hateful posting, cyberbullying and digital safety. Parents will leave with helpful tips and resources.


Gain new perspective on the influences and trends surrounding teens and substance abuse, and learn how to influence healthy decision-making. Topics will include teen influences and manipulation, alcohol, e-cigarettes, marijuana, prescription-pill abuse and the heroin epidemic. Parents will leave with tips and communication techniques.

About the speaker
Robert Hackenson is the founder of Dynamic Influence and a professional “edutaining” speaker and trainer. Hackenson has spoken across the U.S. and Canada, and has appeared on NBC, CBS, PBS, iHeart Radio and other media outlets.



In today’s world of high expectations, many individuals — regardless of age — feel an underlying or overarching anxiety of never being good enough. They often believe that something is “missing” in their pursuit of achievement, success, and happiness. It doesn’t have to be this way! Recognizing that we each have our own internal definition of perfection is often the first step in redefining and honing our values, developing healthy habits and pursuing a purpose-filled life.

About the speaker
Ana Homayoun is a nationally recognized counselor, author, speaker and educator. Homayoun has been quoted or featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Chicago Tribune and on ABC News. She is a frequent guest on NPR.

Fuqua Presentation Room, Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School, fourth floor
Open to all ninth-grade parents


To complement the drug and alcohol education happening in the classroom with ninth graders this week, the FCD Prevention Specialists will present a parent workshop for ninth-grade parents to offer support and guidance in helping children enjoy a drug-free adolescence. Some of the topics to be addressed include:

•Effective ways to communicate with your child about drugs and drug use
•Up-to-date facts about current drug use and trends
•What to say about your own experiences with alcohol and/or drug experimentation
•How to spot early warning signs of trouble and effective ways to respond

About the Speakers
FCD Prevention Specialists are highly trained professionals who have achieved long-term recovery from alcohol or other drug addictions. This unique perspective enhances the credibility of their message and provides students with role models for happy, healthy, drug-free living.


allie armbruster '04

Students are invited to a panel discussion and question-and-answer session featuring Pace alumna Allie Armbruster ’04, her mother, Belinda Pattillo, and psychologist and pace parent Dr. Dina Zeckhausen.

Armbruster, a Princeton graduate, will share the story of her struggle with drug addiction and her path to recovery. Now a student at Georgia State University College of Law, she hopes to help drug offenders get treatment instead of jail time.

Armbruster will shine light on the factors that contributed to her addiction, as well as what’s helped her turn her life around. Her mother will talk about her experience as the parent of an addict and discuss early warning signs.

Zeckhausen, chair of the Parents Club’s Pace LEAD (Leadership and Education on Alcohol and other Drugs) initiative, will moderate the conversation. Please bring your questions as this distinguished panel shares practical advice and strategies for helping children navigate their teen years.

Questions? Contact Dr. Dina Zeckhausen at drdinazeck@gmail.com.