Meet Our Co-Writers

WaldMatinko-Wald3x5Ruthie Matinko-Wald, MA, is a Positive Discipline-certified parent educator who brings decades of involvement with youth, arts and science organizations to her work with Family Empowerment Network. She likes to consider herself a “human sparkler,” one who brings out the best in everyone she encounters and sparks proactive change.

In addition to working with Family Empowerment Network, Ruthie has a writing, editing, and book packaging business. She makes the dreams of aspiring authors come true. In additional to being instrumental in making our Face to Face parenting guide a reality by bringing her writing, editing, and production skills to the task, she recently helped authors publish , , and .

Her professional work aside, Ruthie’s most important job is being “mom” to two wonderful daughters.

Jody Bellant Scheer-200x300Jody Bellant Scheer, MD,  is a pediatrician whose dream is creating healthy relationships and peaceful co-existence within all families, institutions and communities of the world.  She has worked for over 27 years with sick newborns, premature infants and their families in Portland, OR.   She is co-founder of the Medical and Educational Relief International Association (MERIA), Inc., a nonprofit working to provide essential medical and educational services worldwide.

Dr. Scheer regularly volunteers as a physician in developing countries, serves as a volunteer and Board member of numerous non-profit organizations, is a foster parent, and teaches Compassionate Communication skills to medical, parent and community groups.  She loves spending time in nature through hiking, kayaking, and traveling to diverse corners of the world.

She lives with her husband on a houseboat in Oregon, where they enjoy frequent visits from their three adult children and large extended family.

Authors-back cover KKJ -200x300Kathy Keller Jones, MA,  is a developmental psychologist and licensed school counselor.  For over 25 years she has supported elementary and middle schools by teaching social-emotional skills to students, conducting group and individual therapy, consulting with staff and parents, and creating school-community connections.

She currently teaches parenting classes and consults with parents on the many challenges of doing their job well. In addition to working with children and families, Kathy has worked as a writer and a research psychologist. She is interested in the individual’s search for meaning and the importance of one’s connection to nature. She has an MA from Ohio State University and post-graduate training in her areas of special interest: Jungian/archetypal psychology and play therapy.

She and her husband live in Oregon and share the joys of nature with their adult children, their partners, and their two lovely grandchildren.

CassandraCassandra Dickson, MA Cassandra Dickson is a writer and published poet. She is actively navigating the intersection of digital culture and childhood as she raises her two daughters, ages 10 and 13. With a longstanding interest in the connections between the human, animal, and natural worlds, Cassandra has worked for many years as both an environmental activist and animal protection advocate. She has a BA in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University and an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. She lives with her wonderful husband and children in Portland, Oregon.




MoniqueMonique Terner, MEd, is the founder and owner of Creative Roots, Under One Sky Music, and Sense of Wonder Coaching®. Through these she offers private tutoring, coaching and yoga classes, as well as small group instruction and home-visits. She truly walks the talk of promoting positive community change by providing space and opportunities for kids and families to connect to nature, play, learning, the arts, and each other.

Monique holds a Dual Master’s in Education and Teaching Through the Arts; has taught in special education, full inclusion, alternative educational settings and private schools; is an RYT-200 yoga instructor, and has done post-grad work in somatics, interpersonal neurobiology, NVC, and multiple intelligences. She is currently working toward ICF certification using Creativity and Academic Leadership coaching programs.

Having served on BOD for nature-, leadership- and arts-based educational programs, Monique is a family and child advocate par excellance and has worked in educational leadership development to promote change on the community level for over 25 years.

Her three young boys are fortunate to call Monique “Mom.”