Discovery Days Board

The Derry Discovery Days board consists of eight members who serve three-year rotating terms.

The board meets on the first Monday of every month, August through June.

  Discovery Days Board Role and Responsibilities

  Back to Discovery Days Preschool


Laura Cox

Interim Director, Derry Discovery Days Preschool

My family moved to the Hershey area in 2013 and we instantly fell in love with the community!  I have worked at Derry Discovery Days since 2016 and have loved my time with our students in the Busy Bee, Butterfly, Enrichment and Lunch Bunch classes. I graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in Communications and spent many years in my field in the Philadelphia area.  In my spare time I love going to the beach, cheering on my two kids with their sports teams, cooking, kayaking and snuggling my Bichonpoo, Toby! I feel so blessed that Derry Discovery Days is part of my life.

Rev. Dr. Stephen McKinney-Whitaker

Pastor

I have been an ordained Presbyterian Church (USA) Pastor since 2006 and the Head of Staff Pastor at Derry since July 2017. Previously, I served as Head of Staff at United Presbyterian Church of Peoria where I helped start a preschool and serve on its board. My wife Courtney and I have a daughter who attended DDD and is now in elementary school.

Heidi Keene

Chairperson, Nursery Liaison and Elder

I’ve been a member of Derry Presbyterian Church since 1986. My husband Jack and I are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two wonderful boys. My youngest grandson, Jett, is enrolled in the Ladybug class. Most of my professional life has been spent working in the early childhood field. When my girls were infants I ran a family daycare. I then worked for the Lebanon YMCA for 19 years in both their school-age program and as director of their Children’s Center. After that I went to work for Child Care Consultants as a STARS Specialist/Community Outreach Coordinator. Now I am a happy stay-at-home Grandma, watching Jett and getting his brother Noah off the school bus. I was part of the committee that founded Derry Discovery Days. Through the years I have been on and off the board serving in different capacities. Currently I am the church Nursery Coordinator, as such, I serve on both the Derry Discovery Days Board and the Christian Education committee. In my spare time I enjoy painting, crocheting, baking, and travel.

rebecca farbaneic

Parent Representative and Chair 

I’ve lived in the Hershey area since 2010 and have been a member of Derry Church since 2013. We’ve been a part of the Derry Discovery Days family since 2018 when our son started in the Lady Bug class. Our son Ben is now a Butterfly, our daughter Norah is in the Turtle class, and we have a future DDD student due in May 2022! I received my BSN from Penn State in 2010 and worked full time at Hershey Med prior to having children. I am mostly home with our kids now but continue to work at Hershey. Our family feels incredibly blessed by both Derry Presbyterian and Derry Discovery Days and it is an honor to serve on the boards over the next few years. In the words of Ghandi: Learn as if you will live forever.

Rev. pam meilands

Associate Pastor for Youth & Families

I began serving with Derry Church in August 2020, after spending six years as an associate pastor in Royal Oak, MI. I hold a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in youth ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary and my undergraduate work was in music education. I graduated from seminary and was ordained in 2014 but I have worked in children’s and youth programs in churches and parachurch ministries since 2003. Along with serving on the DDD board, I also lead chapel services for our preschoolers, which is always a highlight of my week.

Kristine Elliott

Member of Derry Presbyterian Church

I’ve been a member of Derry Church since 2016, having spent the previous 40 years in western Pennsylvania. I was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, serving multiple terms on the Board of Deacons.  I also helped to establish the preschool at our church, which was the first in the area to offer extended day programming. 

At Derry I serve as an Elder and as Chairperson of the Christian Education Committee. Working with this exceptional committee has truly been an honor as I watch the commitment each member has to the education of the Derry Church community.

I have a BA and M.Ed. in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Virginia. My career was spent in healthcare both as a clinical speech pathologist and as a manager for therapy departments in a healthcare system. One program that I was privileged to manage was our -pediatric therapy department.

I am delighted and honored to serve on the DDD Board and to work with this dedicated group of individuals to continue and to expand the outstanding program available at Derry Discovery Days.

SARAH BARTZ

Parent Representative

Our family joined Derry Church in 2017, and the DDD family in 2018 when our oldest son, Hudson, started in the Ladybug class. He is now in the Butterfly class, with my youngest, Oliver in the Turtle class. I have a degree in psychology along with a Master’s degree in School Counseling, but I have found my professional home working in higher education. For nearly 10 years, I worked in the area of career development, and I now serve as the Director of Academic Success at Lebanon Valley College where I also advise Exploratory majors and have the opportunity to teach a few courses each year. We love to spend time outside, and I love cooking, exercising, crafting, and reading. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve on the DDD board to support our amazing school and wonderful families.

Stephanie Crandall

Parent Representative

My family moved to the Hershey area in 2018 from Pensacola, Florida. We previously lived in Tennessee and South Carolina, where I graduated from Clemson University with a degree in marketing. Our daughter, Sydney, joined the Turtle class in 2019 and will graduate as a Butterfly in May 2022. Our daughter, Scarlett, plans to attend as a Ladybug in fall 2022. Before choosing to stay home with our girls, I worked in non-profit marketing. I hope to use my marketing skills to help promote and fundraise for DDD. In my spare time, I enjoy being a part of the MOMS Club of Derry Township, volunteering, reading, and exercising. I am so thankful we found this amazing play-based preschool for our girls and am happy to be a part of this team!