Rachel Barnhart

Board President – 2023


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.

Kevin Howell

Board Vice-President 2023


I am a graduate of Sheridan High School and Hocking Technical College (long before the name was changed to Hocking College – LOL). I started my career in the Hotel Business after graduating from Hocking in 1980 and spent several years in many cities such as Philadelphia, Ft Lauderdale, Columbus and Savanna. In that time frame, I married my high school sweetheart Becky Kimpel who is also a Sheridan High School graduate. In 1985 we moved back to Perry County to start our family.  We have three children, a son Trent, his wife Meagan and two grandchildren, Wesley and Madyson.  A daughter Kaitlyn and granddaughter Luella, and our daughter Kelsey.  I am proud to say they all still live in our great County.  In 1989 I embarked into a new career in the Insurance business, which I am still enjoying today.

My hobbies include traveling any time I get the chance, home remodeling projects and the Buckeyes… OH, and I “pay” a little golf (that gives you an idea of how bad my game is …)

When a position on the DD board became available I wanted to apply.  I have always been very proud of where I live and also have been aware of all of the great things that our Perry County Board of DD has accomplished over the years.  As Superintendent, David Couch says “most other DD Boards marvel at what this board of DD gets accomplished” and I agree. I really enjoy being involved in my community and county.  I am also a member of the Thornville Lions Club, a member of the Masonic Lodge 76 in Somerset, and a member of the Perry County Chamber of Commerce.

I hope to help with anything that is needed to keep the Perry County Board of DD moving as always in a positive direction and offer my expertise in any way I can.

Perry County is a wonderful place to visit and an even better place to live and I am proud to call it my home.

Denise Dupler

Board Secretary – 2023 


I graduated from Sheridan High School and started immediately as an accountant. I worked full- time while getting my Associates Degree in Accounting from Hocking College. I then went on to receive my Bachelors Degree in Accounting & Finance from Franklin University. I am currently a Senior Financial Analyst in Zanesville Ohio, where I am involved in all of the financial processes.

I am a highly accomplished executive with a 24-year career leasing the design and implementation of innovative financial systems and processes that translate into multi-million dollar savings. I have a career history of building collaborative and cooperative relationships between operations and finance divisions for companies.

I live in Somerset with my husband of 19 years. We have a son (5) who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of two. We are also the legal guardian of my teenage brother whom my parents adopted out of the foster care system. Our family enjoys hiking and spending time on our farm(s).

Karen Chennells

Board Member 


Education: I have a bachelor’s of music education from Ohio State and taught band and music in Waverly, OH, until my oldest child was born. I am a trainer for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program, training foster parents and caseworkers specifically about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. I am also a CASA volunteer here in Perry County for the juvenile court, advocating for foster children in our area.

Family: I have been married since 1993 to Ben, who teaches Latin and classical mythology at Sheridan High School. We have five children, three adult and two teens, a wonderful son-in-law, an equally wonderful daughter-in-law, and two beautiful grandchildren. Our youngest two children are enrolled with the Board of DD.

Hobbies: I read voraciously, and enjoy walking my dog, listening to music, and playing games with my family. I play the piano and French horn, and although I have put those aside during the last 10 years, I have been making it my goal to get more time on the piano again. I also enjoy traveling, and with one married child in North Carolina, and another in Oregon, we have two favorite destinations.

Goals for serving on the board: I hope to learn as much as possible about the function and role of the board, and to learn how I can best contribute. I hope also to learn from the other members so that I can be a team member, and perhaps my own experiences with my children with disabilities and trauma histories will sometimes be helpful.

Favorite Quotes: (both from C.S. Lewis)
“We must stop regarding unpleasant or unexpected things as interruptions of real life. The truth is that interruptions are real life.”
“The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can’t supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.”

Sky Gettys

Board Member 


I have a MBA and am a CPA (inactive).  My wife, Tammy, and I are blessed with a large family.  We have 5 children, 4 in-laws, 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  I work in Lancaster at the United Way of Fairfield County as the Director of Finance.  My goals for serving on the board is to ensure that every individual that the Board touches is empowered to reach their full potential.  My hobby is bowling.  I was lucky enough to win my division at the USBC Open Championship in 2022.

Fritzie Nitschke

Board Member


Fritzie graduated from Muskingum College and began teaching at Miller High School in 1986 where she taught English and was an Intervention Specialist. She retired from teaching in 2019. Fritzie has been affiliated with SPICE, an economic development non-profit organization in New Straitsville, for 5 years, serving in a variety of positions. Currently, she is serving as the Director. She enjoys working with SPICE because she believes that the organization has and can continue to be a service to Perry County. She is on the board of PCBDD because she has a keen interest in fostering an inclusive community where all may contribute.

Perry County, specifically the citizens of southern Perry County, and Miller High School have been exceptionally supportive of Fritzie. Serving of the PCBDD board is one way she can pay forward the kindness, humor, and generosity of her students, their parents, the staff of Miller High School, the southern Perry community, and Perry County as a whole.

Matt Sheridan

Board Member


Matt Sheridan is the current superintendent of Mid-East Career and Technology Centers.  Mid-East has campuses in Zanesville and Buffalo, providing services to students from Perry, Muskingum, Guernsey, and Noble Counties.  They meet a wide variety of student needs, ranging from pre-school services, to Career and Technical Education for both high schoolers and adults, to adult diploma programing, and much more.  Matt started this position in August of this year.

Previously, he served six years as the Superintendent of Crooksville Exempted Village Schools.  Prior to that, Matt was the Superintendent of Triad Local Schools and served as a high school teacher, middle school assistant principal, and elementary principal in Northern Local Schools (Sheridan).

His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Business from Miami University where he triple-majored in Accounting, Decision Sciences, and Operations Management, and two Master’s Degrees (Business Education and Business Administration) from Bowling Green State University.  He also completed coursework at Ashland University to earn his Principal’s Certificate and Ohio University to earn his Superintendent’s Certificate.  Matt is currently working on his Doctor of Education (EdD) from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.

Matt resides in Thornville, Ohio with his wife Lindsay and two daughters, Ava (four) and Emma (two).  They enjoy boating on Buckeye Lake, hiking, and traveling.  Matt also currently serves as the Vice President of his church, Grace Lutheran Church in Thornville.