MEET OUR STAFF
Shawn Hull is the Executive Director of Cherokee Home for Children. He began work here in 2012 as the Director of Social Services for boys. He took on the role of Executive Director in February of 2016.
Shawn was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He majored in education at Harding University where he fell in love with his sweetheart, Janice, and married her in 1991. They have fond memories of struggling through graduate school while teaching in Arkansas. After Shawn completed a Masters in Administration, he and Janice spent two years at a Christian International School in Korea where he served as Elementary Principal, and she taught ESL and first grade. They adopted their daughter, Courtney, prior to returning to the states. Three years later, while teaching in Indianapolis, their son, Clayton, was born. As a family that loves adventure, the Hulls and their young children spent a year in Taipei, Taiwan, working for the Ministry of Education teaching kids and training teachers.
A word from the Executive Director's desk:
There is no greater honor than to have the privilege to work together as a team for the spiritual enrichment and physical care of His children. It is a privilege to work with the compassionate and competent staff that we are blessed with here at Cherokee. When considering the lives that the Home has touched since 1958 and the monumental work that those who came before me have completed, I am honored and humbled at the opportunity to serve. I will continue to pray for the wisdom to lead our campus and would greatly appreciate your prayers as well.
Kaci Morrison is the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director at Cherokee Home for Children. She has worked in the office since January 2012. Kaci has lived and worked at Cherokee Home since 1998. During her time in Cherokee, she served as a houseparent, pantry manager, educational coordinator, and then math teacher for the Cherokee ISD.
Kaci’s father is Danny Duggan, a long-time administrator at Cherokee Home for Children. Danny lost his life in an Aggies for Christ/Cherokee Home staff basketball game in January 2011 when he fell and hit his head on the floor. Because of the love Danny had for Cherokee Home and its children, Kaci is striving to continue the work that Danny desired to do by helping to promote awareness of the children’s home and its needs to more and more churches and individuals.
Kaci is married to her high school sweetheart, Tommy Morrison, also the campus director at Cherokee Home. They have been married since 1993 and have two daughters and a son--Talli (married to Chase), Tori (married to Mason), and Kaden.
Kaci relies on Ephesians 3:20 in her work for Cherokee Home. “He is able to do far more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Kaci desires to be used by God to accomplish the things He desires for Cherokee Home.
Tommy Morrison is the campus director at Cherokee Home for Children. His duties include ensuring that all facilities meet state standards, as well as supervising and aiding house dads to keep the campus maintained.
Tommy and his wife, Kaci, who is currently the Assistant to the Executive Director, have worked with Cherokee Home in various positions since 1998. They began their work as house parents before Tommy became the campus director. Their two grown daughters, Talli and Tori, have also played important roles at Cherokee Home as Talli lived here from the time she was 1 ½ years old, and Tori lived at Cherokee Home from birth to her graduation from high school. Tommy and Kaci recently started parenting again with their son, Kaden.
Tommy feels blessed to work for Cherokee Home. Not only can he play a role in the lives of many children, he also has the opportunity to be a very active part of his own children's lives since his work and home life are so intertwined.
Marvin Whitt comes to us with a passion for ministry to young people. He has served in youth ministry-related capacities since 1980, with his most recent being a Relief Houseparent with his wife, Josie, at Cherokee Home in 2014 and 2015.
Prior to that, he served as a missionary to the Philippines for 30 years, where he met his wife and raised his family. During that time he served as Director of Cebu Bible College of Theology and Missions for 12 years, which was preceded by work in various other capacities, including teaching at Cebu Bible College, church planting, working with World Bible School, doing campaigns and leadership extension training in remote areas, and other work. Prior to his going to the Philippines he served two years as a youth minister in Texas after graduating from Texas A&M University.
His fundraising experience has always been connected to ministry, doing ongoing fundraising for the Philippine work, Cebu Bible College, and, more recently, as Outside Representative for Worldwide Spanish Literature Ministry from 2015 to 2018.
Marvin has deep roots in Central Texas and with Cherokee Home, his parents coming from San Saba County, and a grandfather who preached in the area and taught at a college that once existed in Cherokee. He spent time on the Cherokee Home campus several times with the “Aggies for Christ” campus ministry and when visiting longtime friends there over the years.
Marvin and Josie have two daughters, one who is serving as a missionary in the Philippines, and one who is coordinating international student services at a Christian university.
Roberto Mendoza arrived at Cherokee Home for Children in the fall of 1971. He spent about two years as a resident of the Home and was adopted in 1973 by Mr. and Mrs. Flay Franklin Baugh of Temple, Texas. He graduated from Temple High School in 1987 and then graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1992, after which he taught school for five years.
He then entered the ministry as the Youth and Family Minister at Avenue T Church of Christ in Temple, Texas. After 5 years there, he became the Youth and Family Minister at Southgate Church of Christ in San Angelo, Texas, where he served for seven years.
In 2005, Robert became the Spiritual Life Minister at Cherokee Home for Children where he is primarily responsible for the spiritual direction of the Home. He is also one of our Case Managers in our foster care program.
Robert is married to Vickie, also from Temple. They have two children, Brissa Isabella Baugh and Gunner Barrett Baugh. Robert and his family love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and camping.
Israel was raised in Lindale, TX where he was brought up attending the Lindale Church of Christ. He would graduate high school from Bishop T.K. Gorman High in Tyler, TX and attend Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, KS where he met his wife Valerie and majored in Criminal Justice. While in college, Israel and Valerie nurtured their relationship by attending the Salina church of Christ. After college, Israel would find employment with the Texas Department of Public Safety as a State Trooper for the Highway Patrol Division, but would also serve as a recovery diver for the department. After becoming employed by TXDPS, Israel and Valerie married and were stationed in Magnolia, TX where they matured their marriage and began their family as members of the Magnolia church of Christ.
After 7 Years as a State Trooper, a career change was evoked and Israel would attend the Southwest School of Biblical Studies in Austin, TX to pursue full-time ministry. Upon completing the 2-year program, Israel would attend Cherokee Day with the Gabriel Oaks Church of Christ and be approached with the opportunity to do the Lord’s work here at Cherokee Home for Children as a relief house parent for the boys' cottages. After much prayer and consideration, he and his wife Valerie would accept the position and enter the culture of caring for children. Upon transitions in the administration, Israel transitioned to his current position as the Social Services Director after a year of house parenting.
Israel still actively fills the pulpit and enjoys filling in for many of the preachers in the surrounding area. It is his vision to uphold the covenantal institution of the family created by God and function according to God’s kingdom principles so that it flows into the lives of the children, church, and society. He desires to instruct and exemplify Christianity to those in the realm of his influence so that they may embody peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, and purity as they enter adult life and not turn away from the way they have been trained to go (Proverbs 22:6) but are equipped to function under the kingdom’s authority in every area of life.
Valerie met Israel while attending Kansas Wesleyan University where she majored in Broadcast Journalism, specializing in radio and TV broadcasting. She and Israel married in 2004 after five years of dating. Valerie then realized her love for children and teaching so much so that she became certified to teach school and taught 7th grade English for ten years. She served on multiple educational committees, completed many hours of professional development, and was Teacher of the Year in both districts she taught in. Valerie and Israel have four children: Joel, Uriah, Phoebe, and Damon (who officially became a Valdez in 2020), and a daughter-in-love, Pricila, and granddaughter, Juliana.
When the opportunity to work with Cherokee Home in 2015 arose, Israel and Valerie were ready. They were relief house parents for the boys for a year before transitioning to the social services directors: Valerie over the girls and Israel over the boys. Valerie's desire is to help children see the potential that lies within them and embrace the second chance they are getting at Cherokee Home. For it is written to, "Train a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it", Proverbs 22:6
Keri works for Cherokee Home as the Social Services Assistant. Keri and her husband, Keith, were house parents at the home for 7 years before Keri took on this position. Before coming to Cherokee, they were house parents for 2 years at Medina Children’s Home. Keri has been a Bible class teacher for ages cradle roll to 5th grade. She was also a preschool teacher for 5 years at a Christian preschool in Oregon.
Keri and Keith have two daughters. Kayla, now married to Darek, and Carissa, now married to Casey, were in 6th grade and 5th grade, respectively, when their parents came to work at CHC. They also credit their special family dog, Snuggles, who lived most of his life in a children’s home, with helping children smile when no one else could. Snuggles was recently put to sleep at the age of 15 years. Keri and Keith both miss the girls they had in their care while they were house parents, but Keri loves working for Cherokee Home in other ways. Keith does overnight shifts for us and is always the first call made when we need food prepared for visiting groups and campus get-togethers.
Keri's wallpaper on her phone will most likely be a picture of her grandson, Marshall, born in 2019.
Keri’s philosophy of Christian child care is that “through love, care, and nurturing, we can teach these kids a different and more fulfilling way of life and build strong moral values in them. We have them for such a short time in the span of their lives, but in this time, we can make a difference that will last their whole lives.”
Linnette Fike started as the Comptroller in May 2019. Linnette grew up in nearby Llano county and knew about the good work of the Cherokee Home from a young age. She went to college at Angelo State University, where she met her husband, Rod Fike, who grew up in Burnet County and was also familiar with The Home. They were married in San Angelo and then moved to San Antonio and completed their degrees at UT San Antonio. Rod & Linnette lived 13 years in San Antonio and then 12 years in Houston, before moving back to the Hill Country.
While in the big cities, Linnette worked at firms such as USAA and Buccaneer Energy, where she developed skills in Accounting, Human Resources, and Investments. She and Rod were also active in their local churches, being involved in the children, family, finance, and marriage ministries. They were both on the Board of Directors for Lilia’s Place, a ministry in Cebu, Philippines that has established a church and a school.
Prior to working at The Home, Linnette worked at Todd Keller CPA in Llano as the Office Manager and performed payroll and bookkeeping duties. Linnette sees her role as Comptroller as a mission, not a job – a way to use business skills to serve kids and further the Kingdom. Rod also volunteers at The Home on a regular basis. Linnette is also very active with the Llano Animal Rescue, where she regularly loves on dogs that are looking to be adopted, and she serves as the Treasurer too
As the office receptionist, Kandis Dobbs is the first face you see when you walk in the door at Cherokee Home for Children. She also serves as the librarian where she is able to share her passion for reading and learning with the children. Kandis began working at CHC in August of 2020, however, she and her husband, Wayland, have been involved in various aspects of Cherokee Home since they moved to Cherokee in 1984. They have served as sponsors, respite houseparents, and foster parents.
The Dobbs have also volunteered by hosting and serving as sponsors for youth retreats, teaching Bible classes and Bible Bowl, facilitating team building activities, helping organize a clothing room, and assisting with Cherokee Day. Kandis and Wayland have a heart for children and a desire to serve in ministry. They have also used their talents and abilities to minister to youth by serving on the permanent staff at Camp Blue Haven for 13 years.
They have three grown children and five grandchildren; Trey and Kim Dobbs and Faith, Natasia and Jacob Peterson and Alexander and Aya, and Kasey and Vance Lucero and Kaden and Shaylee.
Janice Hull moved to Cherokee, TX from Indianapolis, IN in 2012 with her husband, Shawn, who is our current Executive Director, and their children, Courtney and Clayton. Janice devoted the first 10 years of her time here focused on her duties as a mom and wife while also becoming heavily involved in serving the community, church and Cherokee Home on a volunteer basis.
Shawn and Janice met at Harding University where they were both pursuing degrees in Education. Janice graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor's degree in education and has over 15 years experience teaching on the elementary level.
Janice’s gift for hospitality and passion for the mission of Cherokee Home for Children make her a perfect fit as our public relations officer. Her duties include promoting the children’s home through social media, connecting with and thanking donors, coordinating volunteers, and communicating with churches about our needs and activities.
One of the biggest impacts Janice has felt from her time at Cherokee Home has come from having a front row seat to generosity. She says, “It is so inspiring to see how others seek out ways to bless the kids and staff and to support the work that’s being done at Cherokee Home for Children.” Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” It is Janice’s greatest desire to live, serve, and love like Jesus. She is thankful for the chance to generously pour the love of Christ into children in need and to communicate the opportunity for others to do the same by becoming involved with Cherokee Home for Children.
The Bracamontes have a heart for children. They worked together at the Val Verde Correctional Facility in Del Rio Texas. Their love for children moved them to seek careers providing for the love, care, and spiritual well-being of children in need. They ministered as house parents at the Children’s Home of Lubbock prior to being led to Cherokee Home for Children where they care for a home full of beautiful girls.
Ryan and Laci have been married since 2001. They have 2 daughters, Payton and Preslee. Ryan has worked as a Lineman and has been a Wind Tech Leader in Wind Energy. Laci has been in banking and been a SAHM. As a family, they like to go camping, geo-cache, and cruise. They moved to Cherokee from Winters, TX.
Ryan’s dad, Danny Duggan, was the executive director at Cherokee Home for many years until his passing. Since Ryan’s family has always been in childcare in some form or another, Ryan has always had a place in his heart for children and families. Ryan passed that love and desire for service to his wife and daughters.
In time, God put undeniable opportunities in place to lead Ryan and Laci to work at Cherokee Home. Ryan is excited to continue the legacy his dad left. They are excited as a family to show God’s love to the kids that come through their lives. Payton and Preslee are excited to have lots of brothers!
Tino and Linda have been married since 1981. They have two sons, Isaac and Ezequiel. Together they enjoy fishing, camping, and traveling.
According to this couple, every child belongs to God and deserves to be loved and cared for according to Matthew 19:14. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”
Tino worked for Medina Children’s Home for two years, while continuing to work in his own business known as Rustico’s Western Rustic Furniture. Tino and Linda have always worked side by side. Prior to the furniture business, they had a restaurant in Muleshoe, Texas, known as Tino’s Mexican Restaurant. They moved to Cherokee from Kerrville TX.
Wade and Ginger Brooks have been married since 1988. They have one daughter and son-in-law, Jessica and Matt Driggers, who live in Kilgore, Texas. They served as house parents at Medina Children’s Home from March 2015 to January 2018, loving on a different set of girls, before coming to Cherokee Home for Children in January 2018. Prior to being house parents, they lived in Gilmer, Texas, where they had a farm with cows, chickens, horses, cats, dogs, a few strays, and raised their daughter.
Wade has farmed all of his life and also worked for himself building commercial buildings, residential houses, and custom cabinetry. He has also done irrigation and landscaping and worked at B & L cabinets in Longview, Texas about 10 years where he served as the warranty expert. Amongst all of this, Wade also served as Deacon and Elder at the Gilmer Church of Christ and taught bible school classes. He loves camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, and the Texas Rangers.
Ginger has done clerical/admin jobs and was a Loan Assistant and Assistant to the President at Cypress Bank in Pittsburg, Texas for about 17 years. She has taught bible school classes for many years and helped with Bible curriculum for teaching. She loves camping, hiking, horseback riding, and chocolate.
Both have participated with youth for many years attending mission trips and other functions, including assisting and writing scripts for drama and puppet skits for Leadership Training for Christ (LTC).
Steve and Joy joined the Cherokee Home team in 2020, coming to us from Abilene, TX, where they were members of the Hillcrest Church of Christ for nine years. Steve was serving as an elder, while Joy, most recently, as the Administrative Coordinator for the church. Prior to that, Joy worked in Investment Services at Abilene Christian University. Steve spent most of those 9 years working as Director of Campus Services at Abilene Christian School.
Steve is also an educator, completing education degrees from Abilene Christian University and Baylor University (MsEd), leading ultimately to a Ph.D. in Administrative Leadership from the University of Santa Barbara, CA. He also has a Bible degree from Sunset International Bible Institute (Lubbock). Much of Joy’s training and education is in finance, accounting, money management, and budgeting, having received a degree in Finance/Business Administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
Both Steve and Joy have a long history of service in the church. Steve has served as a deacon and elder. Joy has served on the benevolence committee, as a children’s nursery teaching assistant, and on the board of the Taylor County Jail Religious Advisory Board. They claim three faithful Christian sons and are “empty nesters” who simply could not resist the call to become mentors and caregivers for children from families in crisis.
The Penney family comes to us after working at several children’s homes throughout the brotherhood including Central Texas Children’s Home, Schultz/Lewis, and Midwestern Children’s Home. The Penney’s have always had a heart for children. They lived and worked in our small town of Cherokee at the local Cherokee ISD prior to venturing into Christian childcare. After experiencing impactful work with kids across the country, they have found their niche back home at Cherokee Home for Children in their own backyard.
Eddie and Carmen come to us from Lindale, TX where they attended the Jamestown Church of Christ. They both originate from Dallas, TX where they were married in 1976. They have two sons Edward and Israel, two daughter-in-laws Hollie (Edward) and Valerie (Israel), and 4 grandchildren.
Eddie has worked various jobs entailing appliance technician, carpentry, commercial driving, and ministry for the Iglesia de Cristo in Lindale, TX for 12 years. Carmen retired from employment with the State of Texas Attorney Generals Office.
Since learning about the ministry of Cherokee Home for Children, Eddie and Carmen greatly desired to contribute to the Lord’s work in helping families in need. Having gained their grandson Damon Valdez, formerly Damon Campbell, who is a Cherokee kid, they’ve become full-time volunteer grandparents to all Cherokee Home children.