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Get to know us!

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Brittani Gilmore

Board Member

My name is Brittani Gilmore, I am a Highland resident and grew up in Wathena. I am a mother to 3 girls and have directly experienced the shortage of child care within our county. I am beyond excited to volunteer my time helping to ensure that Doniphan Darlings meets the expectations and needs of parents, children, and members of our community by providing a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for children of all ages. My profession allows me to work with children of all ages, as I am a registered dental hygienist for Dr. Jordan Haedt, DDS in Hiawatha, KS and have been working in the profession for over 10 years. As mentioned above, I have 3 daughters with my husband and biggest supporter Ben. In my spare time (what even is that?!?), you will find me enjoying time with my family, reading, cooking/baking, serving in my church, and having dance parties in my living room with my girls.

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Whitney McCauley

Board Member

My name is Whitney McCauley.  I live outside of Highland on our family farm with my husband and kids.  I grew up just down the road in Troy, KS.  I am a nurse by day at our local health department and busy mama of two the rest of the time. I became involved with Doniphan Darlings when I personally saw the need for childcare in our community. Our current daycare closed, all of the local in-home daycares were full- and as a working mom- I was stressed! My two kids have attended Doniphan Darlings since it opened. This center has been such a blessing for our family and our community! I have loved watching the daycare bloom into a safe, nurturing, and educational environment for our local kids and families!

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Dana Clary

Board Member

My name is Dana Clary and I Iive in Highland with my husband and 2 girls. I am excited to serve on the Doniphan Darlings Board as I have a degree in Social Work and 15 years experience in early childhood education working for Parents as Teachers. My heart and passion is partnering with parents to walk side by side with them to help them grow into their full potential as their child's 1st and best teachers! Outside of working for PAT, I am also the coordinator for Kaden's Kloset: Troy- a non profit organization that provides physical needs for foster and adoptive kiddos, as well as community kiddos needs. I love being outdoors, time spent with family and friends, sports, serving in my community & beyond, and reading a good book.

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Amy Lackey

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

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Matt Peterson

Board Member

My name is Matt Peterson, and I am a resident of Highland, Kansas. I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. I attended Benedictine College for my undergraduate studies and have remained in Kansas since that time. I am a Licensed Masters Social Worker (LMSW) and have a masters degree in School Administration. I have worked in the Doniphan County Schools for the last 22 years. I'm married to my wife, Stephanie, and have two boys. We spend most of our time in a gym or at an athletic field. It is an honor to serve on the Doniphan Darlings Board and give back to the community.


Malissa Owen

Program Director

My Name is Malissa Owen, I am a Highland resident. I have 3 adult children, and 12 grandchildren that I enjoy spending time with. I have worked in Early Childhood education most of my adult life. I have over 35 years of experience working in Early Childhood Education. I started in February of 1989 with NEK-CAP, Head Start. I have both a birth to 3 years and 3 to 5 years CDAs. I was a Certified Parent Educator through Parents as Teachers, while working with Early Head Start in Doniphan County, I also have my Associates in Applied Science in “Early Childhood Education”. I have training in Conscious Discipline, CPI, and Creative Curriculum. I worked as a Train the Trainer with Creative Curriculum in Buchanan County, Missouri. I trained Preschool teachers, Head Start Teachers, and Child Care Providers to use and implement Creative Curriculum in their classrooms. I am proud to be the Program Director of Doniphan Darlings and to be able to provide a safe, healthy, and age-appropriate learning environment for the children in the community.


Casey Gormley

Board Member

My name is Casey Gormley, and I was born and raised in Hiawatha, Kansas. I am married to my husband, Dusty, and we have two beautiful girls, Allynn and Irelynn (9 years apart). It is an honor to serve on the Doniphan Darlings Board as I have a Master in Family Studies and Human Services with an emphasis in Early Childhood!! I have worked in many capacities in the Early Childhood world for the last 20 years, including teacher, education manager, and Director. My current work is as an Early Childhood Instructor for Highland Community College Technical Center in Atchison, going on my third year in the classroom; I have also taught adjunct for the past 7 years.  I love teaching the students and watching them go out into the early childhood workforce and love on those littles!! We always say to be the person you didn’t have (or had) in a child’s life!! Love the ones with difficult behaviors a little more!! It is such a rewarding career. When I am not working, I absolutely love spending time outdoors with my family, cheering on my oldest at all of her sporting events, cheering on Wildcat Football in Manhattan, and reading!!

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