Guest Instructors


The Center for Girls partners with national experts to bring the latest research and innovative programming to Forest Ridge.

The Center for Girls hosts powerful learning experiences for students, parents and faculty right here on the Ridge.

Last spring, Forest Ridge proudly welcomed Rachel Simmons, author and nationally-recognized expert on girl culture and women’s leadership. Her authentic messages and light-hearted style resounded with both parents and students alike.

In the 2019-2020 school year, the Center for Girls will again welcome guest instructors Rachel Simmons and Julie Metzger.

Rachel Simmons

New York Times Bestselling Author & Director of the Phoebe Lewis Leadership Program at Smith College

Rachel Simmons is the author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Healthy, Happy and Fulfilling Lives, and the New York Times bestsellers Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl.

As an educator, Rachel teaches girls and women skills to build their resilience, amplify their voices and own their courage so that they—and their relationships—live with integrity and health. As the cofounder of the nonprofit Girls Leadership, she is an experienced curriculum writer and educator. She is currently the Director of the Phoebe Lewis Leadership Program at Smith College.

Rachel has served as a national spokesperson for the Always #LikeAGirl and Keds Brave Life Project campaigns and consults nationally on women’s professional development. Rachel was the host of the PBS television special, “A Girl’s Life”, and her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, Atlantic, Slate and The New York Times.

Julie Metzger, RN, MN

Founder of Great Conversations & Pediatric nurse trainer at Seattle Children's Hospital

Julie Metzger, RN, MN is the founder of Great Conversations; now a perennial rite-of-passage for tens of thousands of preteen girls and their families throughout the west coast.

Julie began her nursing career at Seattle Children’s Hospital caring for hospitalized teens. The experience of working with teens who managed their lives with resilience and strength solidified her passion for adolescents and their families. Inspired by her research work at the University of Washington School of Nursing, Julie designed and delivered For Girls Only: A Heart to Heart Talk on Growing Up in 1988 while living in Pittsburgh, PA—the class became a local hit.

Julie returned to Seattle and taught For Girls at Seattle Children’s Hospital and launched what is now known as Great Conversations. Her encouraging, straightforward approach, matched with the latest research and strategies, have made her a popular presenter.