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Wendy S. Strauss
For over thirty years, Wendy Strauss has worked with people in a helping profession. Her interest in working with and helping people led her to obtain her Associate's Degree in Human Services and she graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management. Wendy enjoys working for and with individuals with disabilities and young children the most.
Previously, Wendy worked for the Polytech Adult Education program as a Certified Parent Educator and Program Coordinator and for the Delaware Guidance Services' "Act Now" program as a Crisis Therapist. She has worked as a drug and alcohol counselor as well as a counselor for children with mental health needs. Wendy also worked in the Adult Probation and Parole Department in the work referral and work release programs.
Kathie P. Cherry
Kathie Cherry is the wife of a retired U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant, mother of three adult children and grandmother to one grandchild. Two of her three children are on the Autism Spectrum, a factor that has directed Kathie's life since the early 1980's. The family moved to Delaware in 1997 so their son could attend the John S. Charlton School, which is the Kent County center for the statewide Delaware Autism Program.
Before moving to Delaware, Kathie began her foray into advocacy by starting a parent support group in her community for families of children with disabilities called "People Who Care". She was later employed by the New Mexico Autism Program as a Parent Liaison for three counties and by the Arc of New Mexico as a Parent Coordinator and grassroots advocate.
Her need to learn led her to the Partners in Policymaking advocacy training program in 1995 and to the same program in Delaware in 2000. Kathie worked for the Client Assistance Program for three years before joining the Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC) in November of 2000.
Having taken college classes for a number of years in a number of locations around the Country, she finally graduated from Delaware Technical and Community College in Dover in 2009 with an Associate's Degree in Human Services.
Kathie continues to be an active member of Autism Delaware and the Arc of Delaware and is able to provide information on disability issues to the community through her work with the GACEC.
Lacie Jo Spence
Lacie Spence is the Administrative Coordinator for the Governor's Advisory Council for Exceptional Citizens (GACEC). Originally from Delaware, she graduated from Polytech high school and received her technical diploma in Dental Assisting in 2002, then went on to receive her Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene from Delaware Technical and Community College in 2006. Throughout college, she received training from "Practice Without Pressure" and also conducted her table clinic on treating patients with Autism. She worked as a dental hygienist for a private practice for fifteen years where she served people from diverse backgrounds, including individuals with various disabilities.
Through her continuing education courses over the years, Lacie has expanded her knowledge on challenges that persons with disabilities face, particularly when it comes to dental and healthcare treatment. Lacie has always had a passion and interest for learning more about the disability community. She has been volunteering and doing contract work for the GACEC since 1998.
Now a wife and mother of three beautiful children, Lacie hopes to bring her skills and devotion to helping make a positive impact for individuals with disabilities.