LOCATIONS:  Classes are held around Portland Metro (Oregon)
SCHOLARSHIPS: We are committed to serving every family who wants to participate. Please email if the regular fee is at all going to be a stretch for your family.



Our teachers are more than important to us. They are at the heart of this curriculum.

Michele Miller


  • Parent Coach and Teacher with The Parent Support Center  2013 - present

  • Volunteer mentor and grower with Growing Gardens  2000 - present

  • Director and Teacher at The Garden's Noise Preschool 1998 - 2016

  • Adjunct Education Professor - Portland State University 1992-1999

  • Adjunct Education Professor - Lewis and Clark College 1995
    M.A. Education - Stanford University 1984
    B.A. American Studies with Honors - University of California Santa Cruz 1981
    Michele was a public school teacher for 15 years and has enjoyed teaching children from kindergarten to high school. Michele has raised two daughters with her husband, Robert, who is also a teacher. She has been teaching parenting classes with the Parent Support Center since 2013, and has been using the parenting material for 18 years in her preschool and family. Michele enjoys digging in the dirt with adults and young children, bee keeping, hiking in the mountains, and rowing on the Willamette river in the early morning.

Joanne Delmonico


  • San Francisco State University BS in Nutrition with Honors 1989 

  • Oregon Health Sciences University Dietetic Internship 1990 

  • Shriner's Hospital Registered Dietitian 1991-1992 

  • Southwest Washington Health District Public Health Nutritionist 1992-1996 

  • The TMJ Clinic, PC Office Manager 2001-present 

  • Volunteer Mediator with Resolutions Northwest 

Joanne has an 18 year old daughter named Lily who is a freshman in college. Joanne raised her daughter in a co-housing community in the West Hills of Portland where she is actively involved in the community of many parents, grandparents and children.  Co-housing provides for many opportunities to learn and grow together in parenting and supporting the children. 

Joanne learned of the Caring Discipline material from her neighbor and co-founder of Parent Support Center, Lorraine Heller, when her daughter was a toddler. The material made a positive difference in her parenting by providing information and tools for those difficult parenting moments.  Joanne has been pleased to be teaching for the Parent Support Center since 2005. Joanne loves to hike, snowshoe, kayak and to just be outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  She loves all aspects of food, including harvesting, preserving, cooking and sharing meals with friends. 

Wendy Burchfield


  • Parent Coach and Teacher with The Parent Support Center  - 2016 - present 

  • Nanny 2016 - present 

  • Grower for Growing Gardens 2016 – present 

  • Teacher at The Garden’s Noise Preschool 2003 –2016 

  • Assistant to Owner of Hoffman Farms 2012-2014 

  • Teacher, grades 5-6, Beaverton School District 1988-1992 

  • B.S. Education with Mathematics Endorsement 1986 


Wendy lives on a farm near Scholls with her husband, son, daughter and a menagerie of animals. She is currently a nanny to a sweet little girl who keeps Wendy giggling through her days.  Wendy used the Caring Discipline material during her years as a preschool teacher and at the same time worked with families to implement these strategies into their home parenting.  Wendy has long felt that this approach provides a common language to support the parents’ journey and the growth of their children. When not teaching or working with kids, you can find Wendy at the local farmers’ market, starting seeds to fill her garden, backpacking in gorgeous places, riding a tandem bike with her husband, or preparing a feast to share with friends and family.  Wendy loves to laugh, spend time with her children and make bouquets from the bounty of her garden.

Mia Pisano
  • The Understory; owner, director, teacher:, 2008-present

  • Teacher, The Garden's Noise Preschool, Portland, OR, 2005-2008

  • Founder, administrator, teacher, Garden Laboratory Charter School, Portland, OR, 2003-2005

  • Primary caregiving parent, 1998-2003

  • Teacher, grades 4-5, combined classroom: General/Special Education, Bilingual Dual Immersion (English/Spanish), 1992-1998

  • Master's Degree, Special Education (bilingual focus), University of New Mexico, 1998

  • Bachelor's Degree, Liberal Arts (education focus), The Evergreen State College, 1991

  • Undergraduate studies, Reed College, 1985-1987


Mia works as an early childhood educator and parents a teenage daughter and son. She attended Reed College, and The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington, where she studied education.  

Mia has been an educator since 1991, first in elementary school, and then through the transforming experience of parenting her daughter and her son.  In 2002, she was introduced to the Caring Discipline model, and it profoundly impacted her parenting and teaching. In 2005 she shifted into early childhood education, and since 2008 has operated The Understory, a nursery school for ages 3-5.

Mia has a Master’s Degree in Education, and is a fluent Spanish speaker.  Mia has an extensive knowledge of plants of the Pacific Northwest, and is an experienced gardener.  She loves to sing, run in Forest Park, explore wild natural places, and to sustain a loving home for her family.

Mia brings patience and playfulness, wisdom and humor, experience and curiosity into her teaching.  

Amy Williams

  • MA in Dance Movement Therapy and Counseling from Antioch New England Graduate School, 1994

  • BS Ed. in Dance Education  from University of Georgia, 1990

  • Founder and Director of Creative Childcare Consultants, 2001

  • Teacher and Consultant with Moving In The Spirit, National Youth Development Organization in Atlanta, GA, 1992-present

  • Oregon Master Trainer, 2002-present


Amy Williams currently serves as the Student Support and Enrichment Director at Portland Montessori School. She has been teaching, coaching and training educators and therapists for nearly 20 years. Her work as a movement & expressive arts therapist, counselor, performer, educator, and teacher has flavored her presentations with hope, inspiration, and humor. Her specialties include movement and the arts, guidance and discipline, special needs, team-building and staff development. She is also the proud mama of two confident and compassionate daughters who are tumbling into adulthood for the most part unscathed by her parenting. She has been fortunate to have had countless parenting mentors around her who taught her about love, humor, and resilience. She believes deeply in the power of supporting children to become their own independent and wholehearted selves.