Ohio National Core Indicators Staff
Hello Everyone! I am Annamarie Sigman, I go by Anna. I am the NCI project coordinator for the state of Ohio. I started working on NCI in 2016. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and I am currently working on getting my masters in Social Work at the Ohio State University. I am passionate about advocating for people with disabilities and traveling around Ohio to meet up with NCI participants to listen to their stories and learn about their lives.
My name is Emily Ebert and I am a program assistant for the National Core Indicators Project. I have lived in central Ohio my entire life and I love living in Columbus! I enjoy biking, rock climbing, painting, and traveling. My favorite hobby is teaching the color guard in the Grove City High School Marching Band. I am excited to work on a project that has a positive impact on the community with disabilities.
NCI interviewers are responsible for meeting with people who have been randomly selected to participate in the National Core indicators project (NCI). Each year interviewers receive a list of people selected to participate in the area in which they live. NCI interviewers come from all different backgrounds, whether they are a self-advocate (person with a disability), a family member (parent, sibling, etc) of a person with a disability, or someone who is a professional working with individuals who have disabilities. To learn more, or If you are interested in becoming an NCI interviewer, please call NCI Coordinator Annamarie Sigman at 888-685-0984.
Allison L. Smith. M. Ed, is married to Freddie Smith. They raised 7 children and fostered several children while opening their home to homeless individuals. Allison is the director of Destiny Outreach Ministry of Hope, a youth group to provide hope through enrichment programs and prepare students for after graduation. She authored Whoooo Will Adopt These Eggs and several articles on Self-Esteem and Storytelling. She is a retired specialist teach and was an adjunct for Ashland University focusing on Healing stories and storytelling. Allison is a consultant presenting workshops for school intervention, Bridges Out of Poverty, Community Quilting and Life Sills seminars/workshops, while working with communities. She is the owner of out of the box II, an art venue. She is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, and a collector of various cultural oral histories. Allison has also worked with the disability community doing various activties in her community such as special Olympics, co-designing an Autism Park within Trumbull county, and interviewing for NCI for the past 4 years!
Angela Walters (Not Pictured)
Hello! My name is Ann Prenger and I currently live in Columbus, Ohio. I was born and raised in Auglaize County and still have many friends and family there and enjoy going back to the area visiting them as often as possible. I do not have any children of my own but have 33 nieces and nephews, and I get great pleasure from attending as many of their sporting events, music or drama performances as I can, I worked for over twenty years with adults with developmental disabilities in sheltered workshops and day programs, on the East Coast and in Franklin County, both before and after I earned my Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Currently, I am working for an Educational Service Center as an SLP in a public school system, working primarily with students from 4th-12th grades. In my free time, I greatly enjoy travel, reading, movies and Broadway shows and of course spending time with family and friends. I have been with the NCI project since May 2018. I have enjoyed meeting new people and talking to them about their lives and their thoughts about their services. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to assist in the NCI Project.
Annee Martin (not pictured)
My name is Audrey Anderson. I’m finishing up my PhD dissertation classes. In the past several years I’ve worked with youth who are intellectually delayed. I’m very excited about working on the survey’s and assisting this population.
Hi, My name is Barb Sapharas. I was born and have lived in NE Ohio my entire life. I worked with people with disabilities and their families and retired 5 years ago. I had 2 brothers with disabilities and am a Board Member of the Sibling Leadership Network. I have been for NCI for 2 years and enjoy meeting people and having conversations about what is important to them in their lives. I enjoy reading, walking and traveling. I look forward to meeting new people.
Hi, my name is Brandy Wagner. I have lived in several states prior to moving to Ohio many years ago. We live in Tiffin on a small farm with a variety of 4 legged friends. I enjoy fishing, swimming, horseback riding and cooking. My husband and I have a special needs daughter who is 30 years old and lives with us. This is my fourth year as a NCI Interviewer. I have found it to be a great opportunity for people to get to say what they really think about a wide variety of things. I am very happy to be part of NCI project and look forward to meeting new people each year.
Chastity Floyd (Not Pictured)
Hi! My name is Denise Benight and I am both a family advocate and a nurse in the field of developmental disabilities. I’m married to the love of my life and have three beautiful, independent daughters. I love to ride our motorcycle, read everything from self-help to fiction and hang out with my family! This is my 3rd year with NCI and I absolutely love it!
Gail Basine (Not Pictured)
My name is Jana Soltman. I retired from teaching in 2000 and enjoyed another career as an Early Intervention Developmental Specialist until June of 2014. Traveling, volunteering at my grandson’s school, and gardening fill my days since retirement. I have enjoyed being an NCI interviewer for 3 years and look forward to each interview.
Jessica Walters (not pictured)
My name is Jill Radler and I was born in Ohio. I previously lived in North Carolina and New Jersey, but have lived in Ohio now for the last twelve years. During the day, I am an Intervention Specialist who works with high school students with developmental disabilities. I am also a mom to four amazing children! One of my children is on the autism spectrum so advocating for the rights of people with disabilities is very important to me. I enjoy traveling and reading. I have been working for NCI two years and I really enjoy my job. I like meeting new people and getting the opportunity to talk to them and learn all about them.
My name is Jordy Stringer and I am the Executive Director at the Southeastern Ohio Center for Independent Living. I am a person with a disability so I very well know the barriers that keep people with disabilities from reaching our highest potential. I am a major proponent of the Disability Rights movement and I am a passionate believer in people of differing abilities living the most independent and productive lives possible.
Hey everyone! My name is Jody Stanley. I am married, have two beautiful children, and a little 3lb Yorkie. I have a degree in Criminal Justice, have worked as Registered Behavior Technician providing ABA therapy to children on the spectrum, and have worked for many years with individuals with disabilities in a school and home setting. Currently I am an Independent Provider serving Morgan and Muskingum counties. I love what I do and I love helping individuals advocate for themselves. When I’m not working I enjoy hiking, movies, spending time with my friends and family, exploring new things, and traveling. I am a third-year interviewer and am so appreciative for the opportunity given to me by the Nisonger Center to conduct these interviews and to meet all of the amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to speak with.
My name is Julie Geiger and I live in Sandusky, OH, on beautiful Lake Erie. I am the sister of an adult brother with disabilities. I am also a licensed social worker and I work for the county early intervention program through the Erie County Board of DD. When I am not working, you will find me and my family cheering on the Cleveland Indians, or the Ohio State Buckeyes, enjoying the lake, supporting our high school music program by working in the football concession stand, or just hanging out with our kids and our border collie.
My name is Justin Bloomquist. I have lived in Streetsboro, Ohio all my life. I have a rare muscle disorder called Arthrogryposis. I went to Kent State University and studied Computer Information Systems. In my leisure time I like movies, music, playing poker, watching Cleveland sports, and being with friends and family.
Hi! My name is Karen Thorp. I was born in Cleveland, but came to Cincinnati for college and never left. I taught preschoolers for 30 years, and still go in to help with lunch. For the past 12 years I have been enjoying more and more of my time as an independent provider helping people to do what they want. After work I’m glad to come home to my husband and cat. I like to read mysteries and science fiction, cook, garden and go for walks – on a warm beach if possible! I am new to NCI and am excited to meet new people through this opportunity!
Ken & Valerie Hoegler
I am Ken Hoegler. I am a lifetime resident of Cleveland who just turned 60. I have had a career in customer service, technical support and problem resolution in both the insurance and financial arenas. Though I am retired, I do stay active in several ways. Being vision impaired, I employ the services of Seeing Eye Dog guides. Pictured with me and my wife is Artie. He is my fifth guide. He is a golden yellow lab cross. I just returned from the campus of The Seeing Eye in mid-November with him. He is really two dogs. He is focused and dedicated when in harness, and a complete play-puppy when out of harness. He loves his work and his play as well. I still have my retired guide Aaron who is ni ne and a half now and though he moves a bit slower, he still loves playing with Artie. My canine housemates add such wonderful enhancements to my life and my family’s lives.
Alongside my work with the N C I project, I am the audio engineer for my church. The quality of sound means more to me than most others. I enjoy lending my expertise to my church family. I also do freelance home theater installations, configurations and performance evaluations. I am a fan of sports, science fiction, progressive rock and so much more. I and Val have been married for 36 years and have one daughter who recently graduated from Bowling Green State University. Valerie is retired from MetroHealth Hospital where she served as a medical records transcriptionist for 31 years. Since her retirement, she does senior care for several elderly people. She is a soprano in our church choir and belongs to 2 poetry groups. She enjoys canning grape jelly as well as other fruits. Trust me,,, the results are really tasty! Together we have rescued 9 dogs from the A P L and county kennels over many years and will continue to do so as long as we can.
We both find the interviews we do gratifying and inspirational. We have met so many unsung heroes who give their lives to care for severely disabled family members. We have met some of the most delightful and interesting people over the last 3 years. We both agree that working with the N C I project gives us a sense of dignity and value as we feel that the efforts being made on the project’s behalf are a truly worthy and useful need that is being met. We are happy to serve the N C I project and hope to continue to serve as long as we can.
Kevin & Victoria Williford (Not Pictured)
Krista Moore (not pictured)
Hi my name is Kristy Stepp I am a NCI interviewer for the National Core indicators Project. I was born here in Columbus at OSU then I moved to eastern Kentucky and was raised there till my 7 th grade year, then we moved to Colorado Springs Colorado, lived there only a couple of months. My parents decided to move to Davis California, I lived there for a year when my parents decided to move to Ohio. My hobbies include Painting, crocheting, and drawing. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday you will find me at Open Door Art Studio where I paint and sell my paintings. I also am an advocate. Im a Project Stir Trainer. I’m a member of OSDA, Ive done seminars on Speak up and Stay Safe. I also am on the Deep project with Nisonger institute.
Laryssa began her career with OCECD as of September 2014. Laryssa holds an Associate Degree in Medical Assisting and worked in Pediatrics prior to being a stay at home mom for 14 years before becoming a Parent Mentor for Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center. Laryssa is a mother of 3 children. Two of her children have given her experience with Down Syndrome, Autism, Metabolic Disorder, ADHD, severe behavior challenges and non-verbal communication, as well as navigating the special education system. Laryssa resides in Carroll County and provides information, training and support to families in East Central Ohio. Laryssa also does fundraising for the organization.
Meghan and Matthew McDevitt
Hi everyone! We are Meghan and Matthew McDevitt. We have lived in Ohio our entire lives. I am in my senior year at Miami University and Matthew spends his time working and helping others. We enjoy advocating for others, volunteering and traveling to new places. We are grateful for the opportunity presented to us by NCI and look forward to making a difference.
Melanie Di Rocco
Good day! My name is Melanie Di Rocco! I have two gorgeous red-headed children, Emmalene and Sam. I work in Mahoning County as an SSA, which has been my favorite job in the field! I really enjoy helping people live their best life. I am a die hard Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Indians fan. Even when we are loosing, I’m still always hopeful for “next year.” In my free time I can be found baking or hanging with family and friends. I have been working with people with disabilities for over 20 years. Geesh, that makes me feel old. LOL! I attended Ashland University, where I earned my degree in Recreation Therapy. I am new to being an NCI interviewer and I’m really looking forward to working with you!Michelle Hunt (Not Pictured)
My name is Nicole Eberly and I was born and raised in Ohio. I have been married for 21 years and have 2 daughters. I also love animals and have 5 dogs. My youngest daughter is autistic and has many other diagnosis. I advocate for her and someday want to teach her to advocate for herself. I really have enjoyed working for NCI for the last 2 years and am looking forward to another great year.
Hello! I am Patrick Meehan. I work for Disability Rights Ohio and I have worked on the National Core Indicators project since 2015. I identify as a self-advocate and care about the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. I am currently enrolled at Columbus State Community College to become a stronger advocate for the Autism community.
My name is Raquel Bravo. I am a retired School Administrator who supervised Special Needs and Career Education for the Toledo, Ohio Public Schools. I enjoy traveling all over the world; am an avid reader of historical fiction; and love art and gardening. I am a board member of a Bilingual elementary school and teach conversation Spanish part time at Lourdes University.
Hi, my name is Raymil Norton. I am 26 years old, I have been working with NCI for about 4 years. I do have a disability, and am in a wheelchair. I feel this gives me better insight when working with individuals selected to participate. I Really enjoy talking to people and helping individuals. I would like to be a school counselor, I feel this gives me a great opportunity to hone my people skills. In my spare time, I really enjoy video games, professional wrestling, spending time with my family, sports, and just having fun with life.
Hi my name is Ronda Parsons. I was born and raised in central Ohio. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts. My husband and I have three girls, ages 20, 16 and 13. My 20 year old has a seizure related disability. This is my second year as an NCI interviewer. I really enjoy meeting new people and learning how the various services and programs have supported them. I do whatever I can to advocate for my daughter and those individuals with disabilities.
My name is Ruth Dodge and I live in Columbus, Ohio. My career has focused on managing operational and clinical services to individuals with various strengths and needs, including those with developmental disabilities. I value the technical aspects of tasks as well as supporting individuals, families, and staff in the joys and challenges of life. My personal life is filled with family and friends, playing musical instruments and attending cultural events, the love of dogs, and travel. I enjoy meeting new people, applying newly-acquired information, and making contributions that are helpful to others. That’s why I’m so excited to assist in the NCI Project.
Hello I am Samantha Perry, and I work at Open Arms Health Systems. At Open Arms I work with a computer or IPAD and I am learning how to type and make newletters for them. I also work at open door as an artist and have worked with different stuff at the Art Studio. I am also a member of Ohio Self Determination Association (OSDA) and Project Stir as a strong self advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Hello! My name is Shelby and I’m a Psychology graduate from Wright State University. I was born and raised in Ohio. I’m a bookworm, coffee enthusiast, and I have dreams of seeing the world! My day time job is in social work, where I work to eliminate homelessness. This is my second year with with National Core Indicators project and I’ve enjoyed meeting the individuals served throughout Montgomery County!
Troy Dallman (not pictured)
My name is Thirza Lovejoy and I live in the northeast corner of Ohio on Lake Erie. I am a certified paraprofessional currently assigned to a visually impaired student and so I am learning Braille. I work in a classroom of eight students of whom I also get to assist throughout the day. My four children are grown and have lives of their own, thus I keep busy until I am able to retire with my husband. I have an active church life and thoroughly enjoy living in my small part of the world. My husband has worked with our county’s board of DD for the last 38 years, so the interviewing is a job I am comfortable with and like. Thank you to NCI for allowing me this opportunity.
I like to hang out with friends. I’m a big fan of all three Cleveland sports teams especially the Cavs and the Indians. I work part time as a good life ambassador with the Cuyahoga County Board of developmental disabilities. It requires me to go throughout the county and on a limited basis go throughout the state and give presentation to a wide range of audiences to help them get educated about our community.