Child Development Services

River Valley's mission
is to be a leader in providing high quality early childhood care andeducation services for children, families, andcommunities.

Our commitment is:

  • Safe, nurturing, and inclusive learning environments
  • High standards of professionalism and practice
  • Resources, support and opportunities

Board of Directors





Kerri Wade

Kerri Wade, MSW has been an Extension Instructor and Agent in Kanawha County with West Virginia University Extension Services since April 2001. She received her Masters in Social Work from the University of West Virginia and her Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of South Carolina. She is a West Virginia licensed graduate social worker. Throughout her career she has worked extensively with youth and families in West Virginia. She has been involved in conducting after school programs, exposing high school youth to higher education, educating early childhood providers and educating community members about making healthy lifestyle choices.








Marsha Dawson, Vice-Chair



Mindy Backus


Mindy Backus has been an educator since 1989, beginning as an elementary school teacher, then moving to middle school, and finally to present-day professor at Marshall University. She holds a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Literacy. While teaching is her passion, her family is her life. She has two beautiful daughters and a wonderful husband. In 2012, she added another passion; she and three friends started Jeannie's Wish, Inc-- a non profit organizationin memory of a friend and in support of brain aneurysm awareness. If she's not with family, teaching, or working with Jeannie's Wish, Inc, then you can find her outside playing any sport or activity. She loves being outside and is passionate about animals.


Debbie Chapman


Deborah Chapman, CFCS, is the Academy Coordinator for Huntington High School and the Cabell County Career and Technology Center. Deborah has been in Cabell County Schools system for 44 years, teaching at Huntington East High School and the new Huntington High School. She is certified in Family and Consumer Sciences. Deborah is married to Denis Chapman and they have one daughter Margaret Ann Chapman who lives in Alexandria VA and works in Washington, DC. Deborah is a graduate of Marshall University and very active in local, state and nationial Career Technical Education policy making.


Marianna Footo Linz


Sherrone Hornbuckle


My name is Sherrone Hornbuckle. I am very excited to be welcomed to the River Valley Child Development Services' Board. I received my B.A. from the University of Richmond in Richmond, Virginia in Leadership Studies with minors in Criminal Justice and Law and the Liberal Arts. I received my Juris Doctor at Northern Kentucky University; Chase College of Law in Highland Heights, Kentucky.


Since graduating from law school, I worked with a local Social Security Attorney, William L. Redd. I now practice at Legal Aid of West Virginia, dedicating my time to domestic violence victims and veterans work.


I have a four and half year old son, Jolon. He is the love of my life and the sole decoration scheme in my office. Thank you for welcoming me to the family!


Cathy Lawson


Cathy is a life-long resident of the Proctorville, Ohio, area since 4th grade! She graduated from Marshall University with majors in Secondary Education Math and Art, but after teaching only a few years, was drawn into other vocations. Through her work life, she has been employed in a variety of fields; teacher, corporate treasurer, advertising sales representatives, church administrator, trust administration manager, career specialist, recruitment/employment coordinator, bookkeeper/account analyst and office manager. For over 8 yeras now, she has been the Business Manager for the College of Health Professions at Marshall Univesity-- the largest college with 11 departments ranging from Health Informatics, Social Work, Nursing and Public Health. When not working, Cathy can be found at the Y, singing with River Magic Chorus, ushering at the MU Artist Series, working in her yard, and enjoying friends at dinner, lunch, movies, and on short trips. With a daughter and 2 grandchildren, she understands how precious children are in our lives and community and the importance of providing opportunities for them to reach their full potential. She hopes to make small contribution to RVCDS as a Board Member.


Rocky McCoy

Rocky is Field Supervisor for WorkForce West Virginia. He has been with WorkForce since 1999. Prior to that he worked at Ironton- Lawrence County Community Action Organization and was an employment counselor, job search coordinator, and director of employment and training. He serves on the Region 2 WorkFoce Development Board.  He is the Former Vice President of OMA, the Association of Employment and Training Professionals for the State of Ohio. He graduated from Ohio University in Athens. He and his wife Theresa reside in South Point, Ohio.


Margi MacDuff


Ora Muth, Treasurer


Ora Muth graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Banking and Finance. She has perfected her expertise in this filed through years of experience. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of our community devoting her time and skills to many local non-profit organization.


Pam Scaggs, Secretary

As Director of Development for statewide education initiatives Pamela has been a force in local and statewide resource development planning for more than 14 years. She has overseen and negotiated many of the transformative projects shaping the future of challenged youth and families in WV. She fosters and inspires a culture of strategic thinking and visionary implementation, and has worked on groundbreaking projects recently as the co-founder of the Appalachian Education and Leadership Foundation. While there, she established long term funding for scholarships and leadership program development at eight colleges and universities across the term state. The efforts were recognized nationally as the recipient of the prestigious award shared by College Summit as one of ten awards from President Obama's Nobel Prize monies. She also served as Director of Development for The West Virginia Education Alliance and Regional Development Consultant for Junior Achievement. While working on lucrative resource development efforts; Pamela has secured statewide donors, overseen and negotiated many of the transformative projects that have shaped a positive outlook for young corporate foundations for support of programs. Her focus in development efforts continues to shape partnerships compassionate of college impact coupled with those who have the greatest need. Education Degrees: Bachelor of Arts Degree Education at Marshall University, Master of Arts Degree Marshall University, Marshall University Education Administration, Marshall University Universal Doctoral Work, Ohio State University.


Linda Spatig, member emertius


Mindy Thornton

Mindy Thornton is the Children's Department Program Director for Prestera Center for Mental Health Services, which is the largest comprehensive behavorial health center in West Virginia. Mrs. Thornton holds state certifications in clinical addictions counseling and a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology from Marshall University. She has been working to help children and families of Prestera Center for the past 14 years. She serves as the Children's Mental Health Outreach Liason for Prestera Center in which she is active in community outreach and education of mental health and substance abuse issues in Prestera's service area. She has worked diligently with the Bureau of Children and Families to advocate that the children and families of West Virginia have a variety of services and supports available to them. Mrs. Thornton is active in many Community Collaboratives and partners with Prevention Coalitions to educate the community and families about the rising substance abuse problem in the state of West Virginia and to assist families in the prevention of substance abuse, especially prescription drug abuse, in children.


Shirley Birchfield


Shirley Birchfield is a life long Huntington resident. She graduated from Marshall University in 2012, majoring in Business Management and Entrepreneuship. Shirley has been employed by Valley Health Systems for over 30 years. Her current position is Community Outreach Specialist following 29 years in the Accounts Payable Department. As well as being a mother to twin sons aged 26. Shirley is active as a foster parent. In 2015, she adopted 2 daughters now 4 and 6. She continues to make room in her home for those children in need on an emergency and as needed basis. She is excited about her new involvement with River Valley Child Development Services and is looking forward to being a member of the Board of Directors. She hopes her enthusiasm and energy will be invaluable assets.


Sherri Woods


Lyn O'Connell


Debbie Lockwood


Special Education is my passion. I have worked as a self-contained and co-teacher in secondary special education classrooms. I have also worked full-time as an assistant professor at Marshall University College of Education and Professional Development for over seventeen years teaching courses related to general special education, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders. Some of my research interests include: co-teaching methods, differentiated instruction methods, qualitative research, and the influence of drugs on school age children.
























































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