About Us

The Lighthouse has a highly qualified and specialized staff of dedicated professionals that include Social Workers, Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Certified Vision Rehabilitation Therapists, Teachers of the Visually Impaired, and Certified Rehabilitation Counselors.

Chief Executive Officer

Sylvia Stinson-Perez

  • Master’s in Social Work
  • Master’s in Visual Disabilities VRT (ACVREP CVRT)
  • Master’s in Business Administration

Instructional Staff

Anna Whitman – Program Manager

  • Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with Emphasis in Handicapped Preschool
  • Bachelor’s in Visual Disabilities
  • Certification in Visual Disabilities K-12

Becky Barber – Early Intervention Teacher

  • Master’s in Special Education and Certificate in Early Intervention

Donna Lane – Vision Rehabilitation (Independent Living) Teacher

  • In the process of becoming a CVRT
  • Bachelor’s in Education

Elise Pugh – Adult Rehabilitation Initiative Case Manager

  • Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling

Kenny Ratzlaff – Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) / Teen Transition Program Instructor

  • Master’s in Visual Disability with a specialization in Orientation and Mobility
  • Bachelor’s in Business Administration

Doug Schalk – Assistive Technology Instructor

Keith Smith – Job Readiness

Debra Storts – Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) / Teen Transition Program Instructor

  • Master’s in Orientation & Mobility
  • Bachelor’s in Visual Impairment (K-12)

Brad Taylor – Assistive Technology Instructor

  • A.S. Business
  • Endorsement from Florida Division of Blind Services in Screen Magnification / DBS Training in AT

Heather Tuck – Teacher’s Assistant for the Children’s Program and School to Work Transition Program for Teens

Administrative Staff

Sanford Barley – Operations Manager
Patricia Porter – Grants Coordinator & Newsletter Editor

  • Bachelor’s in Disability Studies
  • Diploma in Intervenor for Deaf-Blind Persons (sighted guide/communicator)

Sandra Eckert – Administrative Assistant / Receptionist Hernando/Citrus
Darlene Jones – Administrative Assistant / Receptionist Pasco
Meredith McInnes – Program Support Specialist Pasco
Rose Montgomery – Program Support Specialist Hernando/Citrus
Theresa Santana – Public Awareness

Client Drivers

Fannie Gasparik
Nelson Hernandez
Betty Kolongowski
Steve Nerger
Andy Potter

Employment Program

Lighthouse Opportunity Center

Peter James
Marlys Newhouse

The Lighthouse is also assisted with carrying out our mission by many wonderful and dedicated volunteers who help by driving clients, completing clerical tasks, providing extra hands at events and much more. Learn about volunteering at the Lighthouse.

Lighthouse staff members at December 2016

Lighthouse staff in front of the Port Richey Lighthouse.Lighthouse staff members are hard working professionals, and many have personal experience with vision loss in addition to education and experience in the field of vision impairment. Photo courtesy of Photos by J David.