Board of Directors

The Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild's Board of Directors will consist of 11 positions going forward. Vicki Cabrera and Ryan & Jennifer Monroe are current board members and will remain on the Board until the next election cycle. These are 2 of the 11 Board positions. We will be electing 9 Board members with this election to complete the new expanded Board.

Each adult over 18 on the current PDSG mailing list is eligible to vote. Each person may vote for 9 candidate(s) by placing a mark in the box next to the candidate(s) of their choosing. You may only cast 1 vote for each candidate(s) where indicated. Couples only occupy 1 position on the Board combined.

Jason and Kelly Adams

Hi! Our names our Jason and Kelly Adams. We have two sons. Our oldest son, Klay, is 14 years old and is a great advocate for his brother. Our youngest son, Kolby, is 9 years old and happens to have DS. Our family has been very active in the Panhandle Down Syndrome Guild for the last nine years and we have met many wonderful families during this time. It has been such a blessing to be able to connect with other families who share our passion for showing the world that people with DS are more alike than different. We have served as Buddy Walk Volunteer Coordinators for the last two years and we look forward to continuing to contribute to the Guild for many years to come!

JoDeane Boyett

My name is JoDeane Boyett and I am the grandmother of a 12 month old little boy with DS. I am a retired teacher having taught preschool deaf children for 31 years. Many of the students I taught had special needs other than deafness. I would like to serve on the board of PDSG because I want to be involved with families of children with DS. I think it is very important for families to be in a community where they can receive support and encouragement. It is so important that parents feel and see that there is hope for their child and that children with DS can and will be successful. In addition, because I taught deaf children I know sign language and would be willing to help parents learn to use signs to enrich language development. Thank you for considering me.

Troy and Shirley Headings

We have a 14-year-old daughter, Claire, and a 12-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, Gracie. Shirley is a freelance court reporter and Troy is an agricultural engineer with the USDA. We have been involved in the Guild since Gracie's birth and have been board members since 2010. We assist with the Buddy Walk and organizing the Spring dance. We would like to see the Guild offer activities focused on adults with Down syndrome and will work to make that happen. While we enjoy serving on the Board, we would also like to see new Board members with fresh ideas and the commitment to promote Down syndrome awareness to the community. We will continue to be active in the Guild and be advocates for our children whatever the result of the election.

Carla Hughes

Received Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Southwest Texas State University in May 1983. My career began at McClennan MHMR in Waco as a vocational trainer. I spent 8 years at Fort Worth State School before moving to Amarillo to open Advo Companies in 1991. I have served on boards with Children's Miracle Network, Girl Scouts, American Heart Association, Children's Hospital Community Advisory Board, and Family Support Services FAN. I have been married for 20 years to my husband Todd and have two children Harley and Dillon. I love my job and try every day to be an advocate for those who need a voice or a platform for their voice. (The current Board recruited Carla to become a part of the new Board because of her wealth of knowledge and her heart for serving.)

Jeff and Shari Medford

Jeff and Shari Medford have been a part of the PDSG since 2003 after the birth of our youngest daughter Erin. Jeff is an account manager in the financial sector and Shari is a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist. Erin's sister is Abbey and is a rising senior in high school. One or the both of us have been involved in about every event since joining the group. Our first official effort was working with a law firm to petition the IRS for our 501c(3) organizational status. Since then, Jeff spends many hours behind the scenes keeping the financial records of the group as Treasurer, including preparing all official correspondence and filing all financial records with the state and federal government. Besides these records, he assists Shari in the preparation of our New Parent Packs by ordering supplies and any other jobs she assigns him during the production process. Shari is a private pediatrician that devotes much of her time to caring for children with special needs, as well as addressing the emotional and directional needs of the family. She visits many of the families of newborns with Down syndrome in the hospital and delivers our informational packets to them. We have many ideas for educational sessions we would like to pursue for the group, and believe we need as an organization to address better the needs of adults with Down syndrome in our community. The PDSG does much good work, and meets many needs in the community. However it's time for the group to grow, and more people to participate so we can help address segments of our communities we have not reached yet. The Medford's plan to continue serving the group and community in whatever capacity the guild would like us to.

Ethan and Erin Murphy

We are Ethan and Erin Murphy, and we moved to the Amarillo area and were introduced to the Down Syndrome Guild through Uniting Parents, church, and our daughter's teachers. We have three children, ages 12, 7 and 10 months, and our 7-year-old daughter has Down Syndrome. In our experiences with a child with Down Syndrome, we've had tons of love and support, but had a difficult time finding a good fit for her when it comes to participating with her peers. People adore her charm and loving attitude, but we struggle finding ways for her to adapt to her surroundings. It's hard for her to fit in with children her own age, and it's difficult to find activities suitable to her needs. It is our hope that by serving on the board we can have the opportunity not only to advocate for our daughter, but also to get involved with a group of like-minded individuals to learn from and to serve the community together. Erin has served as church secretary and helped on the Christian Education board at a previous church, as well as serving on the board of the community theater. Ethan is a county attorney here in Amarillo. Although his expertise is in the criminal arena, he would be happy to offer advice on legal matters. We believe this training and experience would be beneficial to the board. Although our time is limited with a teenager, a toddler, and our Zoe, we feel that the Down Syndrome Guild Board of Directors is an important organization to advocate for our daughter, and all people with Down Syndrome. We have discussed and prayed over this, and we are eager to make the time to commit to this organization. We hope you will consider us for a position. Thank you.

Amy Remling

Hello, my name is Amy Remling. I have an eleven year old daughter with Down Syndrome, her name is Averi Velarde. We have been involved in the PDSG for 10 years now. When we came to our first Buddy walk, it was a life changing experience for me as a Mother. I seen kids walking, running, jumping, laughing, talking, and just enjoying life. My heart was filled with pure joy, and I knew things were going to be just fine. I would love to serve on the PDSG Board. I would like to be more involved and give back to others. I do have some really good ideas and will be willing to help where I am needed. Thank you for the opportunity.

Jaime Smith

My name is Jamie Smith and I have a seven-year old daughter, Natalie, who has Down Syndrome. The experience so far has been nothing shy of astounding. I will never forget the blessing we received from the PDSG soon after Natalie was born in the form of a binder filled with a lot of information and biographies of local children with Down Syndrome. I knew then that I had to be a part of this group. My husband, Kevin, works at Pantex, but he is also in the Navy Reserves which takes up a lot of his weekends so he is rarely able to attend PDSG activities. He will retire from the Navy in two years and will hopefully have more time then. In the meantime, I would love to volunteer my time to be an active member of the PDSG Board of Directors. I teach at Amarillo College and have Natalie in the first grade, and Garrett and Alyssa who both live at home while they attend Amarillo College. I am also working on a Master's Degree in Education. My vision for the PDSG is for it to be more than just occasional fun activities for our kids. While those are fun I really think education and the building of a true DS community is needed. I've always wanted to ask questions to those parents with older kids, but I rarely have felt comfortable enough or like it was the right situation in which to ask. I think any advice we can offer to new parents or even not-so-new parents as our kids get older would be appreciated. Most of my information comes from the internet, but I would really like to hear local parent's opinions on how they feel about inclusion, sports, sleeping through the night, illnesses and the like. Potty training advice would've been priceless! Even seven years in I still have so many questions. I want the PDSG to be a part of my education as well as the education of the community of Amarillo. I want to create opportunities for our parents to have their questions answered without feeling uncomfortable as well as opportunities for our community to become more familiar with people with Down Syndrome. And, of course, I want to keep all the fun activities for our kids, as well as add some for the adults with Down Syndrome in our community. Fun is never a bad thing! Thank you for your consideration.