As one of the Camp Directors, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Wilma Chestnut-House and I have been totally blind since the age of 17. Before I lost my sight I was an athlete. Following the onset of my blindness, I was deeply concerned that I would no longer be able to be involved in athletics. In 1986, that all changed. I learned about the United States Association of Blind Athletes-Missouri Chapter (USABA-MO), of which I am still an avid member. Throughout my athletic career I have had the privilege of winning gold medals in events such as power lifting, track and field, and goal ball. As a veteran athlete for USABA-MO, I am able to participate in competitive and recreational sports, allowing me to feel more empowered as a person, and experience a renewed confidence in my abilities.
John is a former Physical Education teacher Missouri School for the Blind and has 30 years experience teaching and coaching Blind and Visually Impaired students. He has been coached Powerlifting, Track and Field and World Youth Paralympics. He also served as 1984 Para Olympic swim coach at Hofstra University, Hempstead New York. John competes in the Senior Olympics in St. Louis and holds records in pole vault and javelin. John is listed in the 2003 St. Louis Coaches of "Who's Who".
Elizabeth Carolyn Brown grew up in St. Louis, MO. Her journey began at birth with a diagnosis of legal blindness. She received re-constructive surgery at the age of 5 years old and the diagnosis did not prevent her from leading an active childhood. She attended the Missouri School for the Blind from Kindergarten to the 12th Grade. She participated in the Girl Scout program where she started as a Brownie Scout and progressed on to become a Senior Girl Scout. She was actively involved in sports, which consisted of swimming, skating, trampoline, and track & field. She also went camping and scuba diving. Elizabeth traveled from state to state to compete in sporting events, and went on to medals. After attending the Missouri School for the Blind, she attended St Louis Community College at Forest Park and received an Associates Degree in Fine Arts. She is 12 hours shy of receiving her Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Her journey continues as an active minister in church and co-founder and President of the Agape Council of the Blind. She also works out and exercises at Paraquad. She currently presides on the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Camp Abilities organization and communicates with legislators and individuals as an advocate for the blind.
Tom Culliton has 37 years experience working at the Missouri School for the Blind as a teacher, coach, athletic director and school administrator. He retired in 2006 as Assistant Superintendent. Served as as assistant goalball coach at the 1988 Paralympics in Seoul, South Korea. He is still active with schools of the Blind as Secretary/Treasurer of the athletic conference.
Has been President of the USABA-Missouri Chapter since 1980. Also served the National Board of Directors of USABA. Has been a member of St. Louis Mid-Town Lions since 1978.
I am the youngest of ten children, born and raised in St. Louis Mo., Mother of one child (Lebrooke). Attended school in St. Louis Mo. and Ogden, Utah I have a passion for children. I majored in Secondary Education and have been working with children for over 25 years. I am a Director at an Early Childhood learning facility. Working with youth and children has always been a love of mine. I am the Vice President of The Taste of Joy, a Christian event planning organization in St. Louis. Poet in spirit, heart, and trait, Secretary of Camp Abilities St. Louis. I give all the thanks to the Lord above for my blessings.
Leslie Altmann is a graduate of Indiana University/Normal College with a BS in Physical Education/Recreation, and earned her BS from Butler University. She was a Teacher of the Visually Impaired an Assistant Principal at Indiana School for the Blind/VI for 40 years. Leslie has coached swimming, track and field, and cheerleading. She served as Cheerleading Director of the North Central Schools for the Visually Handicapped for 9 years. Leslie was Coordinator and Co-Founder of Student Training and Employment Program in Indianapolis for Visually Impaired adults.
Geoffrey Barney came to the Missouri School for the Blind during the summer of 2014. He has been in the field of education for seventeen years. He has served as a school administrator for ten of those years. Mr. Barney has held various administrative jobs, including middle school principal, high school principal and Area Director for the Missouri State Schools for the Severely Disabled. He earned an undergraduate degree in biology, a Masters Degree in Educational Administration, and a Specialist Degree with a Superintendent emphasis. He has been married to his wife Tassa for 20 years and together they have five children. Mr. Barney says that the role of Superintendent at the Missouri School for the Blind is very fulfilling, and he looks forward to being a part of its continuing success.