I am currently employed with Fairfield County Job and Family Services, Protective Services as the Family Services Manager and am responsible for the oversight and administration of Investigation and Assessment of child abuse and neglect and Ongoing case plan services. I earned a Bachelor’s of Arts and Sciences from the Kent State University with an emphasis on Human Services. During my career, I have had the opportunity to manage both private and public agencies, which deal directly with service delivery, customer satisfaction, and developing strategies to enhance self-sufficiency, safety and well-being. Over the last 14 years I have been involved with the development of numerous state initiatives from participation in the development of child welfare reform to the local level of Family Search and Engagement and community education of child welfare and human services. Most recently I have been involved with the development of identifying local services and county collaborations to close the gap of needed drug and alcohol services for families in Fairfield and Perry County. I am proud to serve the Perry County Board of DD and excited about the numerous programs the board supports. Perry County Board of DD understands the significance of local programming and tailoring service provisions to meet not only the individual but the community as a whole. My wife Adele and I are life long residents of Perry County and have three daughters (Maggie, Lauren and Charlotte), who keep up busy with dance and sports.
Board Vice President
I reside in the country with my husband of over 50 years, Glen. Graduated from Ohio University In Education.
Taught elementary grades in Bellaire and Roseville, Ohio.
Went on to develop programs for CETA and JTPA in Zanesville and Delaware, Ohio.
Served as Employment and Training Manager for Goodwill Columbus developing employment and job retention services for persons with severe disabilities. Went on to serve as Human Resources Employment and Training Manager for a company of over 500 employees.
Became Associate Dean for Workforce Development at Zane State College in Zanesville and Cambridge Ohio. Oversaw the functional operations of the branch campus in Cambridge including academic courses, Business and Industry Training, provided supervision of the Prisoner Education Program, the SBDC, and coordinated a ten county education and industry contract for the governor’s office
In retirement I have been serving the Perry County DD Board, teaching water aerobics for seniors, taking tai chi and yoga and finding some time to continue to paint and garden
We have two adult sons, Mike in Mt. Perry,Joe in Denver, and four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
It’s a busy happy life.
Board Member & Past President
Ken Yuchasz was born long ago in a land far, far away… okay, a small town in Michigan. I grew up in a large family, where we all worked hard and played hard! We loved being outside, and working on our cars in the rundown garage. In high school, I was active in student theater, student government and community service, serving as President of the local JayTeens chapter. In my summers I worked, but I was also able to attended a summer class at Michigan Tech for computers and traveled as a foreign exchange student to Arequipa Peru’.
After graduation, I was awarded an Air Force ROTC scholarship to cover most of my costs associated with a Bachelors’ degree from Eastern Michigan University. While there I served as a Resident Advisor and orientation counselor, as well as working full time in a local restaurant.
I graduated and went off to California for the beginning of two years of training to fly B-52s as a “navigator – bombardier”.
I served in the Air Force for eight years, leaving as a Captain. I was stationed in Texas and northern Michigan (three hours north of Green Bay!) Nearly one-quarter of my time was spent “on alert”: living at the end of the runway in a hardened facility ready to launch for nuclear war.
After leaving the military, I settled in Perry County, Ohio. It reminded me of my hometown before I left, and it felt good. I found work in sales at Sun TV, then Indian Mound Pontiac Mazda. I left Indian Mound as Service Manager to spend more time with my family in the wake of 9/11. I became the Perry County Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and United Way co-chair for a year. Funding for the job ran out, and I began working with the local schools and pursuing my Masters’ degree.
I earned my Masters in Education from Muskingum University, and have been teaching in New Lexington Schools for nearly fifteen years.
My life with my children with special needs and working with at-risk youth led me to be appointed to the Perry County Board of Developmental Disabilities in January 2009, and I am a past President of the organization.
I have been married to my wife Robin for nearly twenty years, and we are very proud of our children and grandchildren.
My husband Patrick and I live near Thornville with our twin boys, Logan and Ethan and our younger son Carter. I am a life-long resident of Perry County. I graduated from Sheridan High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources & Communications Management, with a minor in Psychology from Ohio University. Upon completion of my degree, I worked for the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation as a Claims Specialist. After the birth of our youngest son, I left full-time employment to care for our children and manage their therapies and treatments. Our twins were both diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of three, and our younger son experienced some developmental delays and was eventually diagnosed with Dyspraxia. In the fall of 2014, I began working for the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center as a Parent Mentor. In this role, I work with other families of children with disabilities to help them understand and navigate the special education system and work together with their child’s school. When we have free time, I enjoy spending time with my family camping, hiking, swimming and fishing. Our boys love exploring new places while having the familiarity of our camper to return to at the end of the day. I became a board member in February of 2017. We became involved with the PCBDD early in our children’s lives and received very valuable support, and I wanted to be able to continue to support that mission. My goal for serving on the board is to help ensure that individuals with developmental disabilities receive the right services and supports to help them life a happy life, whatever that might look like for them.
Shirley J. Thompson is a substitute teacher for Perry County Schools. She is married to Steve Thompson of New Lexington and has one daughter, Teri Drake. Shirley holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. She is retired from New Lexington Schools where she held the position of Local District Coordinator of Special Education.
Shirley is a 3rd degree black belt in Shotokan Karate. She attends Annarino’s Martial Arts in Newark. Shirley has been inducted into three Ohio Martial Arts Hall of Fame (U.S.A. International Martial Arts Hall of Fame, U.S.A. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, and Ohio Magazine Martial Arts Hall of Fame).
Shirley is a life-time member of the Perry County Historical Society and the American Karate Jujitsu Union. She is a past member of the Perry County Cultural Society and New Lexington Alumni Association. She is currently a Certified Volunteer Naturalist for the State of Ohio.
Shirley has appeared in many local plays for charity. She has also been a cheerleading advisor, volleyball coach, youth fellowship director, puppeteer and a Christian clown. Her current hobbies are traveling, gardening, kayaking, and birding.
My family and I have lived in Perry County for 10 years and have owned property here for almost 20. We enjoy spending time outdoors mushroom hunting, berry picking and ATV riding. I am also an avid reader and would love to find more time to craft and sew. I’m a co-owner of a small hair salon in the northern part of the county which graciously allows me to put my creative side to use.
When offered the opportunity to join the Perry County Board of Developmental Disabilities, I jumped at the chance as we have a 16 year old with a moderate intellectual disability. Having a child with a disability can sometimes be an overwhelming responsibility, yet provide you with a love and compassion you never felt possible. PCBDD has given my son tremendous support these last 10 years.
It is my hope that my service to the board helps better the lives and opportunities for the differently abled in our community and helps continue to provide the needed supports for them and their families.