National Expert on Social Media to Speak at Girls Preparatory School

Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF) – Girls Preparatory School is inviting the public to a special educational session: The Effects of Social Media on Girls, this October.

The session is on October 24th at GPS Frierson Theatre, and will begin at 7 p.m.

Katey McPherson, Executive Director of the Gurian Institute, an organization committed to providing training and support to parents and educators, will speak to parents about girls’ digital citizenship.

Teens today remain tethered to their electronic devices as they study and communicate across a digital platform with worldwide access. On a positive note, a host of information is a click away. Realistically, that constant connectedness leaves them vulnerable to outside influences and a continuous stream of feedback from friends.

McPherson’s area of expertise includes a focus on technology and social media use in teens.

“How can girls become digital leaders and cultivate a culture of dignity within their school and world using social media?” McPherson asks. “How do we train them to to use social media for their future—to promote, brand and market themselves?”

Concerns to be addressed include how use of social media can produce anxiety and emotional isolation while negatively affecting neural pathways and body image. McPherson also will devote special attention to how boys and girls use online platforms differently and tips for parents to keep open the lines of communication with their girls.

“We continue to look for ways to engage the community while informing our parents about the unique ways girls see and interact with the world around them,” says Elaine Milazzo, Director of Innovation and Teacher Engagement at GPS. “Katey McPherson will present timely and thoughtful information that allows us partner with parents for student success.”

In addition to her work at the Gurian Institute, McPherson is the co-author of a book for parenting, WTF: Why Teens Fail—What To Fix. She has been an educator for 19 years, serving as a secondary school teacher, middle school guidance counselor, and assistant principal. She has also been featured on national news talk shows for her work on trending parenting topics.

McPherson will present a special program for GPS faculty members and all community educators on Wednesday morning, October 25th from 7:30 – 8:20. Following is a session at 9 a.m. for parents who are unable to attend the Tuesday night event.

While the events are free to the public, GPS asks that people register to attend via the school website:

For more information, contact Pamela Hammonds, media relations manager, at 423.634.7652 or

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