Current Board of Directors
Shelley Donaldson is the Associate Pastor for Missional Engagement and Ministry with Youth at the First Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CT, and serves the PYWA Board of Directors as one of two co-moderators. Shelley is a seasoned youth worker with over 15 years of experience in all types of settings across the country. Shelley and her wife currently live in Stamford in a 100 year-old house with their 3 furry children. If you ever get the chance, ask Shelley about the time she took high-schoolers on an adventure trip and ended up sleeping between two alligators.
Board Member & Treasurer
Shannon is a former middle and high school health teacher who has been working with youth at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee, FL, for approx. 14 years. She loves reading young adult novels that capture the quirkiness of teenagers, and uses books as a way to tackle the tough issues that teenagers face.
Two years ago, after 34 years of ordained ministry, Robert retired from his position as the Associate Executive for Nurture from the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley; a position Robert held for 20 years. He and his wife moved to Peachtree City, GA, to be closer to family, particularly their grandchildren. Shortly after moving, Robert spent a year serving as Interim Campus Minister at First Presbyterian Church of Auburn, AL. He followed that with serving as their Interim Youth Director until March 2019. He keeps busy while also enjoying retired life, but he knows God's not through with him yet and he is open to wherever God leads him, whether for pay or volunteer work.
Kaitie grew up in Minnesota (and apparently they don't all sound like they're in the movie Fargo). Eight years ago, she moved to Southern Illinois to work as Director of Youth Ministries at First United Presbyterian Church in Belleville, IL. When she isn't acting goofy with middle schoolers or having life chats with high schoolers, Kaitie enjoys hiking, dancing and binge watching Netflix. She also hopes to visit all 50 states (7 more to go), and all 7 continents (4 more to go)!
John was raised in Houston, TX, and is a lifelong Presbyterian. John graduated from Abilene Christian University with a BA in Youth and Family Ministry and after marrying his wife Krystal in 2006, moved to Austin and completed a Masters of Divinity degree from Austin Presbyterian Seminary in 2011. John is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Ministry degree at Austin Seminary and is a Benedictine Oblate of St. Meinrad Archabbey. John was ordained and installed as an Associate Pastor at University Presbyterian Church in December of 2011. John cares passionately about teaching recreational and liturgical ministry, sacred art, and the ancient spiritual disciplines. He also enjoys camping, playing the bagpipes, traveling the world, and spending time with his wife and his daughter, Lorelai.
Sarah Leer is the Director of Children and Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church, Bentonville, AR. A lifelong Presbyterian, Sarah has served as a Young Adult Volunteer in New Orleans, LA, as the moderator fo the Young Adult Volunteer Alumni Council, and as the Adult Co-Moderator for the Youth Advisory Team for the Presbytery of Arkansas. Sarah enjoys singing broadway songs in her car, adventures, geeking out over pop culture, traveling the world with friends, hanging out with her family, watching college football, and attending youth conferences that include energizers.
Chip Pope serves as Associate Pastor of Youth and Their Families at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC. He is a certified Christian Educator and holds a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. He has two daughters, Celia and Lily. Chip enjoys being outdoors, hanging out at the local coffee shop, and is a HUGE Auburn sports fan.
Katie has been in youth ministry for 10 years. She enjoys taking students to Montreat for the literal and metaphorical Mountain Top experience. She has a passion for ministry, yoga, reading, and her family, which includes her husband and her amazing daughter, and their gynormous black lab. They live in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO.
Dr. Christy Williams, D. Ed. Min., MACE, has been the director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Tallahassee, FL, for 31 years! She has also worked at Montreat Conference Center as an adjunct staff person for the Alpha weeks of the youth conferences for 12 years. Christy has written youth curriculum resources for her local Presbytery camp, the denomination and her church.
PMA Staff & Board Member
Gina serves the Presbyterian Church USA on the national staff in the Christian Formation Office and is the Director of the Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Gina is a volunteer youth worker at her wonderful church in Louisville, KY - Central Presbyterian Church.
Mich is the Director of Christian Education and Congregational Ministries at The Kirk in Kansas City, MO. She and her husband have been married longer than most of the participants at Presbyterian Youth Triennium have been alive and had together they have twin boys, William and Shawn who bring a constant joy and love of life to her family and those around. She enjoys movies, sports, laughing at herself, finding random text tones for friends and living life to the fullest. She has been a member of PYWA since it's conception and is honored and excited to be serving as the current Acting Director.