Team PAL

Parents Advocate League began because our Founder, Julie Collier, was frustrated with the education her son was receiving. As a former teacher, she thought she would have all the answers, but quickly found out she didn't. When her son began struggling in school she spoke with the teachers, principals and even people at the district level, and she felt ignored. She started going to school board meetings and found that decisions were being made for adults, not for students. Frustrated, she started PALs in 2007 to let other parents know they are not alone in wanting the best education for their children. She built a coalition of parents who want to make sure that every decision made is student focused. PALs believes that parents should have a voice in their child's education and we show them how to be that voice. That is why our motto is "Parents helping parents and their children succeed."

Julie Collier
Founder & Executive Director

Julie Collier is a parent, credentialed educator and long-time proponent of parental choice and responsible public education reform.  In 2007, discouraged by the state of the public school system, she created Parents Advocate League, a grassroots, parent-empowerment organization dedicated to student-focused education policy. She wanted to provide a resource and a way to encourage parents to be leaders in their children’s education. In 2011, with great dedication to help all students, she helped found a charter school in Orange County. As Executive Director of Parents Advocate League, she continues to dedicate herself to empowering parents in an effort help all students achieve academic success.

Romney Miller
Director of Outreach

Romney Miller is a native Californian who grew up in Palm Desert and went to college at the University of California at Riverside. She worked as a bilingual elementary school teacher in El Monte and Orange County and then went back to the desert to teach at a charter school. Romney has served two charter schools in the roles of teacher, mentor, parent advisor, consultant, and PQR presenter to the Riverside County Board of Education. Romney completed her MAE in 2006 with an emphasis in administration and leadership. She has dedicated herself to improving academic achievement for students in public education for more than fifteen years.

Stephanie Davies
Prospect Manager

Stephanie Davies is passionate about bringing her professional skills and expertise in program and relationship management to a cause near and dear to her heart. Stephanie spent her professional years in the high-end apparel industry, specializing in sales, merchandising and management. She is a mom to four active children, including triplets who have inspired her to shift her creative energies to supporting student success and parent engagement. As an active and effective project manager, Stephanie has taken leadership roles in a number of school site parent advisory boards in both the private and public school arenas. Her valuable insights, devotion to students and assistance in meeting organizational goals have helped hundreds of parents and students in the school communities in which she has served. In 2010, Stephanie devoted her time and talent to the founding of a large and highly successful charter school organization. Realizing that parent involvement and student-centered engagement is the key to making a positive impact in the lives of students, Stephanie is now joining forces with Parents Advocate League.

Carrie Birchler
Director of Communications

Carrie Birchler is a key member of PAL’s Communications Department.  Ms. Birchler brings over two decades of organizational leadership to Parents Advocate League including sales, marketing, and management of community development projects. She is a trained mediator, experienced in small group negotiation, facilitation, and training. In 2009, Carrie Birchler served as a lead petitioner and founding member of Oxford Preparatory Academy Charter Schools. She has been recognized for making a strategic difference in the lives of students and has been honored by receiving the organization’s Legacy and Sheldon Medal awards. Her work as a public information officer for the organization involved management of all aspects of public communication, including social media marketing, digital communications, community outreach, grant writing and public relations.

With a deep commitment to education, Carrie has served as a School Site Council President, was a primary author of an award winning application for the California Distinguished School Award, and has been trained in Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools by the Federal Emergency Management Institute (FEMA).

Ms. Birchler earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in law and public policy, from the University of Arizona. She served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Ecuador from 1993-1995 managing community development projects. She then went to work for a public non-profit mediation and dispute resolution firm specializing in victim-offender, parent-adolescent, and neighborhood dispute resolution mediation cases. Carrie has used her training and expertise to help influence policy, procedure, and implementation within education organizations and advocacy groups.