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Our Board of Directors

PIC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of parents of children with disabilities, educators and community leaders who represent the broad range of families and professionals that PIC serves across the state.  As stewards of the organization, the Governing Board guides PIC in the fulfillment of its mission and ensures that PIC has the necessary resources to deliver the services and support to parents statewide.

The PIC Governing Board meets regularly.  In between meetings, board members engage in committee work around strategic planning, policy, and fund and board development. 

PIC board members, many of whom have benefitted from PIC’s services are dedicated and loyal supporters of the organization.  If you are interested in joining the PIC board, kindly contact Verna W. Hensley, Board President at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Verna Wilkins Hensley, President
Joan Y. French, Secretary
M. Kathleen DeNight, Member
Edward Emmett, Jr., Member
Frances Ratner, Esq., Member
Adriane Strange, Member

Verna Wilkins Hensley

Verna Wilkins Hensley is the Vice-President of Public Affairs for Easter Seals Delaware & Maryland’s Eastern Shore, coordinating government relations and corporate communications.  Verna honed her advocacy skills during her twenty-year career working as a top aide and advisor to the late U.S. Senator Bill Roth of Delaware.  Verna has a B.A. in English from Washington College. She has been actively involved in several community organizations throughout the years, including more than ten years on the board of the Parent Information Center.

“As a mom and an advocate, I know the incredible difference that the Parent Information Center makes in the lives children with disabilities and their families.  PIC can help parents literally transform their child’s future through effective advocacy for better education services for their children.  PIC can provide the tools to assist every parent in improving their children’s success in school and in life.”



Joan Y. French, Secretary

As Assistant Principal at Kirk Middle School, Ms. French is directly involved in student programs and services.  She works with parents, faculty and students to help all students achieve their potential. She promotes parent engagement through the Parent Resource Centers that PIC established at McVey Elementary and Kirk Middle Schools.

Ms. French holds a Bachelors in Special Education and a Masters in Elementary Education. She is a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, International Reading Association, and ASCD/Educational Leadership. In addition to her work with PIC, she has volunteered at the Women’s Correctional Facility and at Habitat for Humanity.

“PIC has heard the call and met the needs of thousands of families throughout Delaware. Their advocacy for children and support for families has been the heart and soul of best practices for students with learning challenges.”

M. Kathleen DeNight

Ms. DeNight holds bachelors’ degrees in Nursing and English Secondary Education. As a former registered nurse and middle school teacher, Mrs. DeNight brings a unique skill set to all settings in education. She is the mother of a child with a disability and currently the chairperson of the Exceptional Child Committee of the Delaware PTA. Ms. DeNight is active in her local school PTO and also volunteers with Autism Delaware.

Edward Emmett, Jr.

As the Director of Positive Outcomes Charter School, Mr. Emmett works directly to provide a school environment that supports and meets the needs of all students.  He works to ensure that school is a welcoming place and recognizes the importance that parents have on their children’s academic, social and emotional success.

Mr. Emmett holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and is working on a Master’s degree in school leadership.  He is also actively involved in his church and provides support weekly to younger church members. 

“PIC is a crucial piece of the educational landscape throughout Delaware.  Their support and guidance for parents and students of all ages leads to academic success in all environments.”

Frances Ratner, Esq., Member

Ms. Ratner graduated from Cornell University and New York University School of Law.  She worked at PIC as a Parent Consultant and currently works as an attorney representing school districts in Pennsylvania.  Frances was also a founding member of the Autism Society of Delaware (now Autism Delaware).

"PIC was there for me when I needed help getting services for my oldest daughter, who is now 20 years old and in college.  PIC is a light in the darkness for worried parents who just need someone to help guide them on their lifelong mission of advocating for their children."


Adriane Strange, Member

Ms. Strange is a Lead Passenger Service Representative/Acting Station Manager at the Amtrak Wilmington Station.  A graduate of the Delaware Parent Leadership Institute, Adriane is involved in many parent engagement activities in public education.

She is the recipient of the 2012 Citizenship Award from the Christina School District Board of Education.  She has been certified as a Steward of Children at the YMCA Walnut Street and is a proposed charter school board member.

“I credit the Parent Information Center of Delaware for the knowledge I have gained to advocate for my children and their education.”

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