Bailey Hughes, BSW, Executive Director Mrs. Hughes graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She completed her senior practicum with VRCO and served as Assistant Director for three years before becoming Executive Director. Her passion is making sure people in the Ozarks have access to the care, support, and assistance they need to thrive. Outside of work, Bailey enjoys being crafty, spending time with her husband and pets, and traveling. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work at Missouri State University.
Cassidy Palmer, Event Coordinator Ms. Palmer went to school for Entertainment Management at Missouri State University. After a year at MSU she found her passion in events through a venue in Republic called Old Towne Event Center. After planning weddings and events for a few years, she decided to take an internship at Disney World to learn the ins and outs of the entertainment industry from the best of the best. When Cassidy got back from her 6-month internship in Orlando, Florida, she decided to create a company that helps brides find their way to vendors in their area for their big day called Brides of the Ozarks. After 5 years in the wedding industry, Cassidy found her way to Vision Rehab Center of the Ozarks through a service learning class and fell in love with the people and the mission of the VRCO family. Cassidy loves spending her time with her family and three dogs. She enjoys hiking, going to the lake, and eating Andy’s Frozen Custard.
Madison Meek, Office Manager Ms. Meek graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management and is currently in the Accelerated Masters of Business Administration program. She was a previous service learning student at VRCO and was hired while finishing the last semester of her Bachelor’s Degree. When not at VRCO, Madison enjoys spending time with friends, shopping, and trying new restaurants.
Peyton Huslig, Optometric Technician Mr. Huslig graduated with honors from Missouri State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology and minors in Chemistry and Child and Family Development. He is currently taking Public Health/Health Administration graduate courses while working as a graduate assistant, in preparation for medical school. Peyton has a passion for providing quality patient care and helping people. When he is not at VRCO, Peyton enjoys spending time training his Dalmatian puppy, hanging out with friends, and watching football.
Val Thater, Optometric Technician Thater is an optometric technician specializing in binocular vision problems. She was trained by Dr. Carol Scott 6 years ago. She enjoys helping adults and children with vision challenges. Val has a BA in Elementary Education and a Masters in Elementary Education from Missouri State University with 30 years of experience as an educator. She lives on a farm and enjoys the outdoors, gardening, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.
Christopher Boschen, OD A native of Springfield and a 2003 graduate of Hillcrest High School, Dr. Boschen received his Bachelors of Arts in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri in 2007. He graduated with honors and received his Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He then completed a year-long primary care residency at the VAMC Outpatient Clinic in Mt. Vernon, MO. During the residency, he provided low vision services to veterans suffering from vision loss. Dr. Boschen is a member of the American Academy of Optometry, the Missouri Optometric Association, and the Greater Ozarks Optometric Society. Dr. Boschen’s wife’s name is Ashely and they have two sons named Henry and Tucker.
Dr. Carol Scott, OD Dr. Carol L. Scott founded the Vision Enhancement Clinic to serve the needs of children and adults with binocular vision problems. Dr. Scott is a developmental optometrist specializing in pediatrics, vision-based learning problems, sports vision and rehabilitative optometry. Her practice fist began in November 1986 after graduating and completing a two-year residency program in pediatric vision and vision therapy at the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. After selling her private practice she added vision therapy to The Vision Clinic in Ozark, MO and specialized in developmental optometry and rehabilitative optometry. She enjoys helping people with developmental or acquired vision problems to function better in school and activities of daily living. In February 2017, Dr. Scott joined Vision Rehabilitation of the Ozarks specializing in stroke and brain injury vision rehabilitation. Dr. Scott is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD). COVD provides board certification for eye doctors and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in developmental vision care, vision therapy, and visual rehabilitation. Dr. Scott has been a Fellow of COVD since 1993 and is only one of a few optometrists in the state of Missouri to be board certified by COVD. She is a past president of COVD. She is also a member of the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association, Sports Vision Section of the AOA, MOA, and Optometric Extension Program Foundation.
Debra Williams, OD Dr. Debra Williams’ specialty is working with patients with Macular Degeneration as well as diabetes-related vision impairments. Dr. Williams found her niche in optometry by following her passion for helping those in need. Over the last seventeen years, Dr. Williams has provided low vision care in Kimberling City, Branson, and Springfield areas. In November 2010, she focused her attention on launching the VRCO to serve southwest Missouri and surrounding states by providing low vision care exclusively in Springfield. She graduated from Pacific University College of Optometry in 1993 and opened her private optometry practice in Kimberling City where she continues to provide primary care to her patients. As well as a founding board member of the VRCO, she is active in her church and community organizations, including Lions Club and Christian Associates of Table Rock Lake.
First Steps Providers
Billie Lambert, First Steps Vision Instructor Billie Lambert received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Missouri Valley College and a Master’s degree from Missouri State University in Special Education with an emphasis in blindness and low vision. She retired from Springfield Public Schools in 2019. She spent the majority of her teaching career in the elementary classroom. She has taught grades 1-5. She finished her teaching career at Springfield Public Schools teaching students with visual impairments.
Sarah Evans, First Steps Vision Instructor Sarah Evans has worked as a Special Instructor in Vision for First Steps since November 2020. She graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in K-12 Cross Categorical Disabilities and has a certification in Early Childhood Special Education. Before becoming a Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI), she worked as a teacher in a Functional Skills classroom and in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom. She began her career as a TVI for Springfield Public School in 2019. She is currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Blindness and Low Vision through Missouri State University.
Stephanie Mundinac, First Steps Vision Instructor Stephanie Mundinac is currently a teacher for students with visual impairments (TSVI) with Ozark Public Schools and provides vision services for children through First Steps. She has been a Parent Adviser for the MOSPIN Outreach services through Missouri School for the Blind for five years and has had the opportunity to work with children with severe and multiple disabilities, autism, visual impairments, and cognitive disabilities at the preschool, elementary, and secondary level. In 2016 Stephanie received her Master of Arts in Severe and Multiple Disabilities from West Virginia University and in 2018 she became a certified Assistive Technology Professional through the Rehabilitation, Engineering, and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).
Kelli Frost, First Steps Vision Instructor Kelli Frost has been teaching in the public school system since 1997. She started as an Early Childhood Special Educator and has been working with the blind & visually impaired since 2007. In addition to her work at VRCO, she works for several school districts within the southwest Missouri area. Ms. Frost serves as the secretary for the Missouri Chapter of the Association of Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind & Visually Impaired.
Shari Scott, Ph.D., First Steps Vision Instructor My name is Shari Scott and I’ve been working with First Steps as a Special Instructor in Vision since the summer of 2017. I am also an instructor for MSU in the Blindness and Low Vision Program in Springfield MO. I moved to Missouri in 2014 after working for several years at the TN School for the Blind in Nashville. I was also the State Assistive Technology Coordinator for Students with Blindness and Low Vision for a few years. A TSB I taught Special Education, Language Arts, Mathematics, and Technology. I was the ‘history dept’ for several years as well. At a small school, you wear many hats! Prior to that, I worked in the Clarksville Montgomery County and the Dickson County School systems so I’ve had a lot of varied experiences and have loved every one of them.
Debbie Wolf, First Steps Vision Instructor Debbie Wolf is a teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI). She received a Bachelors of Science degree from Pittsburg State University (1988) and a Masters degree from Pittsburg State University (2008) and is completing an internship for Orientation and Mobility (O&M) with Missouri State University. Ms. Wolf has been teaching since 1990 in various school districts with her most recent placement with Carthage Public Schools beginning in 2006.