March 30, 2017

Join us for the first ever Town Hall on Social Media Parenting



Do you feel like keeping up with your kids’ social media is a full time job? You’re not alone. Parents today have it hard. We’re all playing catch up with the social media world and often feel overwhelmed by how to parent through it. We’re excited to host the first ever Town Hall on Social Media Parenting where parents and experts in our community can come together to discuss kids and social media.

Charlotte Smarty Pants is partnering with Providence Day School on April 30th at Providence Day School for this event. All parents from any school are welcome to join in on the conversation. Our goal is to bring knowledge, relief, and empowerment to navigate the iGeneration. And guest what? It’s FREE.

Our panel discussion will start with experts from schools from all over the city to speak on what’s really trending in our schools. Because let’s face it: what happens in my kid’s school affects what happens in yours thanks to social media. Our healthcare experts will address the affects social media has on our children’s health.

We’ll end the afternoon with a social Q&A with sweet treats provided by the delicious Sunflour Baking Company.

Event Details:
Sunday, April 30 from 2-4pm

Providence Day School
Dickson-Hemby Technology Center
5800 Sardis Road, Charlotte, NC 28270

Register here now. Spots are limited. Hope to see you there!

Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Our panelists include:

Jen Plym, Founder, Charlotte Smarty Pants

Jen Plym is the mom of four active kids from elementary school to high school. She and her best friend started Charlotte Smarty Pants as a daily blog in 2007 before social media even existed. With Jen’s leadership and vision, CSP now engages thousands of Charlotte parents each month and has become the ultimate parenting resource for our community.

Jen’s passion is connecting Charlotte parents with each other. She is committed to opening the communication lines between all parents and truly believes that when everyone is talking to each other, big things can happen.

Originally from Vero Beach, Florida, Jen graduated from the University of Florida with a BSBA in Marketing. She loves spending time with her family on the beach – especially during sea turtle season – and can be found at any number of Charlotte sporting events cheering on her kids.

Jen has been featured on Charlotte Today, WCNC, Fox News Rising and 107.9 The Link’s Matt & Ramona Show.

Cheryl Perry, Vice President, Charlotte Smarty Pants

Cheryl Perry is a mom of four school-aged children and Vice President of Charlotte Smarty Pants. Cheryl started with CSP in 2011 as a writer and now not only writes about life as a Charlotte mom, but works closely with CSP’s education, health, fitness, and all other partners to develop and implement collaborative, targeted messages on the CSP site and social media.

A Charlotte native, Cheryl graduated from Charlotte Catholic High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication. When not shuttling her kids around town or documenting the life of a mom, you can find her coaching her daughter’s middle school cheerleading squad and whipping the women of Charlotte into shape at Pure Barre.

Cheryl has been featured on Charlotte Today, WCNC, and 107.9 The Link’s Matt & Ramona show.

Alan Becker, Digital Literacy Director, Charlotte Latin School
Alan Becker coordinates digital citizenship and media literacy education at Charlotte Latin School, where he has been teaching various forms of “digital literacy” for the last seventeen years. He currently implements the School’s digital literacy curriculum for students in grades 3-8. In addition, he organizes presentations to CLS parents and CLS Upper School students on digital issues like screen time, safety, health, and family guidelines. Alan is also an Upper School English teacher and cross-country coach, and he represents digital literacy issues on the School’s Educational Technology Committee, its Family Task Force on Technology, and its Strategic Planning Committee.

Frank Gaskill, Ph.D., Southeast Psych

Dr. Gaskill is a founder of Southeast Psych, one of the largest private practices in the country with locations in Charlotte, Nashville, and New Zealand. He is the co-author of Max Gamer, a graphic novel about Asperger’s. He is also a contributing author to The Psychology and Pop Culture Series including chapters in Star Wars Psychology, The Walking Dead Psychology, and Star Trek Psychology. Dr. Gaskill is also the co-author of How We Built Our Dream Practice. His work has been featured in USA Today, NPR, and newspapers around the country. He gives approximately 25 presentations/conferences per year across the U.S.

Joe Hernick, Director of Educational Technology, Charlotte Country Day School

Joe joined Country Day as Director of Educational Technology in 2014. He is a Navy veteran and “second career educator” after working as a technology exec in financial services and publishing sectors. His past roles have included Director of Academic Technology and Dorm Head at Suffield Academy and Director of IT/Computer Studies Chair at the Loomis Chaffee School, both in Connecticut. Joe holds a BA in economics and an MS in information management from Syracuse University. Joe and his wife have two daughters who attend Country Day.

Brian Hitt
Brian Hitt, Assistant Principal, Phillip O. Berry High School, Academy of Technology

Brian M. Hitt has been with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System for 16 years. He taught at Olympic High School for eight years, and has served as a school-based administrator at Quail Hollow Middle School, Rocky River, South Mecklenburg and Phillip O. Berry high schools for the past eight years. He is now in his first year with Phillip O. Berry. Mr. Hitt has worked extensively during his time in CMS with very diverse and socio-economically challenged schools. As social media platforms have become much more prevalent in schools over the last five years. Mr. Hitt has seen first-hand the benefits and challenges that social media presents in our schools. Mr. Hitt holds a Bachelor’s Degree from N.C. State, a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Wingate University and a Law Degree from Widener University.

Eddie Mensah, Head of Middle School & Incoming Head of School, Charlotte Preparatory School
On July 1, Eddie Mensah becomes Head of School at Charlotte Prep, the K-8 college preparatory school that serves a multicultural student body and places its graduates in top high schools in and outside of Charlotte. He currently serves as Head of Middle School.

Prior to joining Charlotte Prep four years ago, Mensah was director of programs at Steppingstone Scholars in Philadelphia. He began his teaching career at Abington Friends School, an independent Quaker school in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

Mensah received a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College and a Master of Education in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tracy Onze, Middle School Academic Dean and Learning Catalyst, Trinity Episcopal School

Tracy Onze is the Middle School Academic Dean and Learning Catalyst at Trinity Episcopal School where she has enthusiastically been part of the community for 14 years. As the Life Skills teacher for all 6th graders, Tracy teaches a unit on Social Media Awareness and Email Etiquette. She is also a member of the technology committee at Trinity, helping to make decisions regarding usage and enforcing policies among the student body. Tracy also gets to put her technology skills to good use at home with her own three sons, ages 17, 12 and 7.

Melanie Hempe_bw_photo

Melanie Hempe, Families Managing Media

Melanie is the founder of Families Managing Media, a non-profit organization providing education in the areas of brain development, gaming addiction, social media and cell phone management and healthy non-tech play ideas for kids. Having experienced the pain and consequences of gaming overuse in her own home with her oldest of four children, Mrs. Hempe is passionate about helping other families learn how to avoid screen conflict in their homes and learn balanced technology use. She offers busy parents easy-to-follow scientific information and practical solutions for children of all ages.

Mrs. Hempe is a RN with a degree from Emory University School of Nursing, she also has a degree in Christian Education. Her website offers research, tips that work, inspiration and motivation for parents as they create a plan to manage the technology devices and media in their homes and discover the joy of unplugging their children. Melanie lives in Matthews, NC with her husband Chris and four children. Connect with her at

Kevin Parks, Principal, Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School

Kevin Parks’ passion for working with middle school students began in 1995 at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School. He has witnessed the transformation of students with little technology exposure into an age where every student carries a powerful wallet-sized personal computer. This technology transformation has changed the what, when, how and why of schools. As an educator, and parent, he understands the importance of educating youth on responsibly utilizing technological devices in order to become globally productive citizens. He looks forward to openly sharing his experiences as well as listening to parents’ experiences and questions.

Dr. Rhonda Patt, Pediatrician, Charlotte Pediatric Clinic

Dr. Rhonda Patt is a pediatrician at Charlotte Pediatric Clinic, part of Carolinas HealthCare System, and has been a practicing pediatrician in the Charlotte area for almost 15 years. She is currently serving as Chief of Staff for pediatrics at Levine Children’s Hospital, a regional medical director and chair for social media. Dr. Patt is a contributor for the Charlotte Observer’s MomsCharlotte blog site, and a mother of three herself. She attended UNC- Chapel Hill for undergrad, West Virginia University for medical school and completed her pediatrics residency at Carolinas Medical Center.

Melissa Puno

Melissa Puno, Academic Dean and Middle School Humanities Teacher, Palisades Episcopal School

Melissa Puno, Academic Dean and Middle School Humanities Teacher at Palisades Episcopal School holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and a Master of Arts degree in Educational Administration from Rider University in New Jersey. Melissa has more than 20 years of experience working with elementary and middle school students as both a teacher and an administrator. In addition to teaching English and elementary gifted and talented students, she has worked as a staff development specialist, educational consultant, academic dean, and assistant principal. Melissa is a passionate educator who has taught at all grade levels to foster an inspiring learning culture for children.

Dr. Kasey Scannell, Pediatrician, Charlotte Pediatric Clinic

Dr. Kasey Scannell is a pediatrician at Charlotte Pediatric Clinic, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. She received her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and, upon completion, spent a year in Americorps working with new mothers in the underserved population of Nashville. She completed medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill (Go Heels!) and her residency at Carolinas Medical Center with a chief resident year following it.

She and her husband, Dr. Brian Scannell, medical director of pediatric orthopedic surgery at Levine Children’s Hospital, moved to San Diego for a couple of years for his fellowship. She took that time off to stay home with her kids and returned to Charlotte Pediatric Clinic when they moved back to Charlotte.

In 2009, Scannell did her Grand Rounds presentation on social media and the influence on child and adolescent health and development. This was the first time the topic had ever been presented to pediatric faculty and most pediatricians had little to no knowledge of how to identify or address potential problems associated with screen time / social media use. Scannell believes social media is a very important topic that needs to be addressed for all ages.


Matt Scully, Director of Digital Integration & Innovation, Art & Science of Teaching, Providence Day School

Matt Scully is currently the Director of Digital Integration and Innovation at Providence Day School where he embraces the challenge of building the best possible learning environments. While he has taught English, Math, Science, and Social Studies, the bulk of his 20 plus years in Education have been focused on the role that technology plays in teaching and learning.

Karl Simon Headshot - Charlotte Christian School

Karl Simon, Middle School Assistant Principal, Charlotte Christian School
Karl Simon is the middle school assistant principal and head coach for the boys’ middle school lacrosse team and the seventh grade girls’ basketball team at Charlotte Christian School. He is in his seventh year on the middle school leadership team and has spent most of his professional educational career working with middle school-aged students. Prior to joining CCS in 2010, he taught middle school at Boston Trinity Academy and also served as director of athletics for eight years.

Mr. Simon received his B.A. in Communications from Gordon College, where he also played collegiate lacrosse, and earned an​ M.A. in Education from Lesley University. He is married to his college sweetheart, Stephanie, and together they have two daughters. He is an amateur DIY’er and enjoys watching the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics.

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