Deborah Pryor, Executive Director

As Executive Director, Deborah A. Pryor, provides leadership, strategic planning and implementation of best practices to Extra Special Parents. Prior to her promotion to the the position of ED, Ms. Pryor held the position of Vice President of Operations where she provided direct oversight and supervision to the service delivery for both ESP of VA and the ESP of Indiana. Ms. Pryor has a Master’s Degree in Administration of Justice and over 20 years of experience working with children and families. Her work experience includes working in wilderness settings, acute care settings, residential treatment center group homes, and community based services. She has also worked for the Department of Social Services with an emphasis with children stepping out of residential treatment to a permanent placement. She has been the Regional Treatment Director and Chief of Operations for a wilderness program, Director of Programs for group homes, and State Director of a Treatment Foster Care program. She completed the Emerging nonprofit leader program through VCU, has sat on two non-profit boards, and has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate


Sherry Gearheart, MSW, Director of Branch Operations

Sherry Gearheart is the Director of Branch Operations for the Roanoke and Mt. Crawford offices.  Sherry has fifteen years of experience as a direct care worker, Supervisor, Branch Director and Program Director with treatment foster care and adoption from foster care.  Sherry’s other work experience includes inpatient psychiatric social work in the state hospital system, provision of individual and group counseling related to substance use and violence prevention with at-risk and high risk middle and high school youth in the role of student assistance program coordinator, and experience as manager for a women and children’s homeless shelter.  Sherry values utilization of a strengths-based and trauma-informed approach, focusing on youth and family empowerment and building resiliency.  Sherry holds a Bachelor’s Degree in social work from Radford University in Radford, VA and a Master’s Degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  In addition to her professional experience, Sherry brings personal experience to the field as the adoptive parent of a now-adult from the foster care system. In her free time, Sherry enjoys volunteering at a local homeless shelter in a variety of ways to include teaching a weekly class to those in the substance abuse recovery program.

DeShanda Artis, LCSW, Director of Community-Based Services

DeShanda Artis is the Director of Community-Based Services with Extra Special Parents.  She comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience working with children and families.  DeShanda has worked for Henrico County Public Schools as a school social worker completing special education assessments, providing support and outreach services to children and families, and addressing truancy.  DeShanda also worked for Richmond Department of Social Services (RDSS) for eight years as a foster care social worker and foster care social work specialist.  During her time at RDSS, she worked with children and families regarding reunification, chaired a child advocacy group, and finalized many adoptions.  DeShanda worked for Richmond Department of Justice Services in their Youth and Family Engagement Division providing clinical supervision over their home-based services unit.  DeShanda has also provided clinical supervision for intensive in-home and mental health support agencies.  DeShanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Music from University of Virginia, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University.  She also holds a certificate in School Social Work and a License in Clinical Social Work.

Todd Jenkins, M.A.Ed., Director of Clinical Services

Todd recently joined the Extra Special Parents team as the Director of Clinical Services and he is looking forward to working with the clinical team to ensure that the youth we serve here at ESP receive the best care and the appropriate services they need to thrive! For the past three years prior, Todd worked with the City Of Richmond's Department of Social Services as the Family Assessment and Planning Team Coordinator and the acting Children's Services Act Office Administrator. Through his experiences in working with youth who have been placed in foster care, he has come to admire their resilience and their spirit! Todd has seen children achieve levels of success that few would have imagined possible after going through the negative experiences that led to their placement in foster care.  Todd has been working with children and adolescents since 1996 in a variety of capacities.  He has worked as an exceptional education teacher in both an acute psychiatric setting as well in a private day school setting. Todd has provided individual and group counseling to adolescents in the City Of Richmond Juvenile Drug Court as an employee of the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority and served as that organization’s liaison to the Richmond Family Assessment and Planning Team. Todd holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont, and a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Wake Forest University.

Toni Collins, MS, C. S. A. C., Director of Adoption Services

Toni Collins holds the position of Director of Adoption Services with Extra Special Parents. In this position, she coordinates with and provides services to Virginia localities regarding foster children who are in the process of moving on to adoptive placements. Toni is also currently a board member for The Central Virginia Partnership on Youth. She is a certified substance abuse counselor and has worked in challenging clinical settings to include Richmond City’s methadone clinic, and both out-patient and residential drug treatment facilities. Toni worked as a case manager with the Alcohol Safety Action Program and served as a juvenile probation and parole officer with the 11th District Court Service Unit. For ten years she directed the Comprehensive Services program for Powhatan County. Positive outcomes for children and families has always been her passion. Toni holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland and a M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.  

Amy Lucy, BA, Director of Business Operations

Amy Lucy is the Director of Business Operations for Extra Special Parents working out of the Richmond office. In this role, Amy is responsible for Invoices, Purchase Orders, Medicaid billing, Human Resources, Fleet Management and numerous other tasks.  Amy started working for ESP in February 2009 as an Administrative Assistant. She moved to the role of Medicaid and Compliance Specialist in August 2010 and has been in her current role as Director of Business Operations since June 2012. Amy holds an Associate in Science from Richard Bland College and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Longwood University. In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and two sons.

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