News and Updates

Family Connection of South Carolina Announce New Board Members

(Columbia, SC, June 16, 2020)—Family Connection of South Carolina welcomes recently elected members Dr. Mitchell Yell, of the University of South Carolina, Karen Crider of the State Treasurer’s Office, and Elizabeth Kinney, of School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties to the board of directors.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Yell, Mrs. Crider and Mrs. Kinney serve in these volunteer leadership roles. Their vision and experience will help us continue to serve families who have a child with a disability or special healthcare need” said Amy Holbert, CEO of Family Connection of South Carolina.

Mitchell L. Yell, Ph.D., is the Fred and Francis Lester Palmetto Chair in Teacher Education and a Professor in Special Education at the University of South Carolina. He earned his Ph.D. in special education from the University of Minnesota. His professional interests include special education law, IEP development, progress monitoring, and parent involvement in special education. Dr. Yell has published 132 journal articles, six textbooks, 38 book chapters, and has conducted numerous workshops on various aspects of special education law, classroom management, and progress monitoring. His textbook, Special Education, and the Law, is in its 5th edition.  He also had been awarded over $17 million in grants.  Dr. Yell also serves as a state-level due process review officer in South Carolina.  Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Yell was a special education teacher in Minnesota for 14 years. He received the Council of Exceptional Children’s Research Award in 2020.

Karen Crider grew up in Columbia and is a graduate of USC with a degree in Journalism. Karen is the proud mother of three grown sons that she and her husband John have between them. She spent the earlier part of her career in Atlanta in marketing and outreach. In 2017, she returned to Columbia with her family after an absence of more than 30 years. Karen’s oldest son, Matthew, was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition, Sturge-Weber Syndrome, which provides her with first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and their families. Today, Karen works for the State Treasurer’s Office where she combines her passion and experience to increase awareness of the Palmetto ABLE Savings Program.

As a Columbia native and school psychologist for nine years, Elizabeth has seen the huge positive impact the work done by Family Connections has on the Midlands and across the state. She and her husband, Charles, have two children, Tripp, and Ellington. Elizabeth’s experiences with Family Connections quickly became much more personal when Ellington was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder causing significant developmental delays. The outreach, support, and resources offered by Family Connections were invaluable to their family.

Also serving on the Family Connection of South Carolina Board of Directors are: Glenn Hutto, Assistant Principal at Irmo Middle School; Cara O’Neill, M.D., Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder of Cure Sanfilippo Foundation and Board Secretary; David Palkovitz, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER at Apollon Wealth Management and Board Vice President; John Roberts, Associate Attorney at Willoughby & Hoefer, P.A. and Board President; Jenny Samples, Marketing Director, Big Blue Marble Academy; Antjuan Seawright, President/CEO, Sunrise Communications; Sarah Sharpe, Independent Living Specialist and EQUIP Young Adult Leader, ABLE South Carolina.

About Family Connection of South Carolina

For 30 years, Family Connection of South Carolina has been changing lives by making connections, raising awareness, and promoting inclusion for those with disabilities and healthcare needs. We offer programs and services to ensure that parents, professionals, and caregivers have access to available resources to help their children reach their full potential. Our work focuses on five areas: Parent Support, Healthcare, Education, Training and Advocacy. For more information or to make a referral or donation, visit www.familyconnectionsc.org or call 800-578-8750. Visit us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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