National Center for Parents as Teachers Names 25th Anniversary Event Chairs

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Celebration event set for November 7, 2009

Children don't come with instruction manuals, so for 25 years Parents as Teachers has been helping parents embrace their important role as their child's first and best teacher. In 2009, the National Center for Parents as Teachers will mark 25 years of providing parent education and early childhood development services to families throughout the world. Dee Joyner, senior vice president at Commerce Bank, and June McAllister Fowler, vice president at BJC Health Care, will co-chair a celebration event on Nov. 7, 2009, at The Chase Park Plaza to honor the many founders, supporters and champions of Parents as Teachers.

"These two women are outstanding examples of successful community leaders, who are as dedicated to giving back to the community as they are to their careers," said Susan Stepleton, president and CEO of the National Center for Parents as Teachers. "We are so grateful to have their support as we lay the groundwork for expanding to effectively serve more families."

Joyner joined Commerce Bank 18 years ago and has served in her current role for eight years. In this position, she oversees organization development for the entire corporation and community relations for the St. Louis region. Prior to joining Commerce Bank, Joyner served in several capacities, including chief of staff to the St. Louis County Executive and as director of community affairs for the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council.

Fowler serves as vice president overseeing corporate and public communications for BJC Health Care. In this role, she is responsible for media relations, executive communications, marketing, community affairs, public policy, and the employee newspaper, BJC Today. Fowler is an active volunteer throughout the St. Louis area, serving as vice president of St. Louis County Economic Council and as a board member of the St. Louis Science Center, Associated Industries of Missouri and Citizens for Modern Transit.

"In our first 25 years, Parents as Teachers has depended on our outstanding parent educators to arm new parents with the knowledge and resources necessary to build stronger families for tomorrow," said Stepleton. "This event will celebrate our many milestones and successes, and we're thrilled to have Dee and June lead us in highlighting how Parents as Teachers has benefited millions of families as we look to the next 25 years."

Jane Nelson, vice chair of the National Center's board of directors, has been tapped to lead the board campaign for the 25th anniversary. Nelson is general counsel and secretary of CPI Corp., a company which operates more than 1,000 portrait photography studios under a license with Sears. She also serves on the Express Scripts Foundation Board and the Friends Committee for the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and is a member of the Missouri Bar, the South Dakota Bar and the Association of Corporate Counsel.

In addition to the November celebration event, the National Center for Parents as Teachers will implement a 25th anniversary campaign in Missouri to raise additional funds for the National Center to support the expansion of services offered. Barrett Toan, former chairman and CEO of Express Scripts, and Don Hall, Jr., president and CEO of Hallmark, will co-chair that campaign.

The goal of the National Center's 25th anniversary campaign is to secure funding to strengthen the overall capacity of the Parents as Teachers network to provide parents with personal, ongoing, research-based information to help them navigate the crucial early years of their children's development.

About the National Center for Parents as Teachers
Based in St. Louis, the National Center for Parents as Teachers is the resource base and backbone of the largest parent education program in the nation. The nonprofit National Center oversees more than 3,000 Parents as Teachers programs nationwide as well as in Australia, Belize, Canada, China, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. For more information about Parents as Teachers, visit

Editor's Note: For digital photos of Dee Joyner and June Fowler, please email


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