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Board of Directors


Cathy Lawson, Treasurer

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 year, was drawn into other vocations. Through her work life, she has been employed in a variety of fields: teacher, corporate treasurer, advertising sales representative, church administrator, trust administration manager, career specialist, recruitment/employment coordinator, bookkeeper/account analyst and office manager. For over 8 years now, she has been the Business Manager for the College of Health Professions at Marshall University-- 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.

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 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 Doctoral Work, Ohio State University.


Linda Spatig,
member emeritus



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 the 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 national Career Technical Education policy making.











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."


Sarah Dick 

Marianna Footo Linz


Shirley Birchfield

Shirley Birchfield is a life long Huntington resident. She graduated from Marshall University in 2012, majoring in Business Management and Entrepreneurship. Shirley has been employeed 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.

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Lora Wells

Lora Wells graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelors in Health Services Administration. She is currently working on her Masters in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Human Resource Management, at Marshall University. Lora is employed with Valley Health Systems as the Adolescent Health Initiative Coordinator. This position is focused on Region II of West Virginia’s Adolescent Health Initiative and includes Cabell, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mingo and Wayne counties. She resides in Ohio with her husband and their five-year-old daughter. While she lives in Ohio, she has always been an active member of the community in West Virginia in the form of school, work or volunteering. She is hopeful that she will be a valuable asset to River Valley Child Development Services as a member of the Board of Directors.

Shane Randolph

Zelli Rivas

Zelideth María Rivas is the Assistant Provost for Global Education and a Professor of Japanese in the Department of Modern Languages at Marshall University since 2012. She is originally from Puerto Rico by way of New Jersey. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and her B.A. from Wellesley College. Her research focuses on the conception of race through literature written by Asian immigrants in the Americas. She teaches middle school youth Japanese and coding over the summer throughout West Virginia in academies established by the National Youth Science Foundation. Whenever she can, she volunteers translating for the West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry. Most importantly, she is a foster parent through Necco and is passionate about childcare and child development.

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