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NEW SUPERINTENDENT NAMED

Gloria Llewellyn

Transitional Superintendent Gloria Llewellyn has been tabbed by the Belmont, Harrison, and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities as its new Superintendent following the retirement of Steve Williams.

A proven leader with 30 years of experience in the developmental disabilities’ field, Gloria was hired as Director of Operations for the BHN Alliance in 2017, became the Assistant Superintendent in 2020, and was named Transitional Superintendent in 2023.

The BHN Alliance shares 10 administrative functions including Superintendent, SSA, Early Intervention, and Human Resources.

Before coming to the county boards, Gloria served for five years as Executive Director for ResCare, Inc., a leading provider of home and community-based services for people with disabilities.

Her career in the DD field began when she answered an ad to support a young girl with down syndrome while she was still a student at The Pennsylvania State University. The mother had recently died, and the father needed help rearing three small children.

“The father put so much faith into me and others to care for and support his children while he worked, often on overnight trips,” Gloria said. “I really enjoyed the family dynamics and realized early on that I was a member of their family.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Penn State, Gloria left the field for nine months, but returned.

“I really liked the closeness that comes from helping connect people to what they need and want and forming relationships,” Gloria said.

She went on to obtain a Master of Education degree from Youngstown State and held various positions at ResCare, including behavior specialist, before becoming Executive Director.

Gloria said that effective leadership involves challenging people to think differently and be open to the possibility of change.

“I want the people we support to receive fantastic services and employees to thrive, while ensuring that the long-term objectives of the county boards are met,” she said.

Gloria said that the BHN Alliance is strong because of past leadership, the current team, and the kind, supportive volunteer boards.

“I am still humbly processing the honor to serve as Superintendent,” Gloria said adding, “I am in a place to listen so I can learn from others - the people and families we support, employees, provider partners and community partners – so together we can form a true plan for sustainability and positive change.”

Gloria credits her own circle of support for her success.

“I could not do what I do without the support of my husband, Donnie, sons, parents, sister and brother-in-law, the Llewellyn clan and friends, Gloria said. “They wrap me with love every day.”

Superintendent Steve Williams to Retire

Steve Williams

After a career spanning almost four decades, Stephen L. Williams, Superintendent/CEO of the Belmont, Harrison and Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities, will retire on December 31, 2023.

 

Williams, 59, started his career at the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities as a case manager in 1988. He was promoted into various leadership positions until being named Superintendent of the three county boards, known as the BHN Alliance, in 2012.

Williams is the only DD superintendent in Ohio to serve three county boards in that capacity and has guided them through many changes.

 

“The system of support I started in is vastly different than what it is today, and for all the right reasons,” Williams said. “We moved from being a ‘pilot’ in people’s lives - making decisions for them - to being a ‘navigator’ where we help people get what they want out of life.”

 

Williams said one of the primary ways of doing this was understanding the lived experiences of people served. Under his leadership, the BHN Alliance embraced Trauma-Informed Care, a compassion-driven approach that emphasizes positive relationships.

 

“It is about helping people with developmental differences achieve what matters the most to them and making sure each one feels safe, Williams said.

 

Williams credits people with disabilities as leaders in changes that have moved the system forward.

 

“Self-advocates have led the way and it has been my honor to support their efforts to improve accessibility and inclusion for all people,” he said.

 

Since taking the helm as superintendent, Williams oversaw the expansion of early intervention for babies and toddlers and targeted transition activities for students ages 14 and older. He has headed projects to create accessible homes, promoted greater access to jobs for people of all abilities, and strengthened partnerships with other agencies and the public schools.

 

The retiree credits those around him for successes achieved during his tenure.

 

“Absolutely nothing could be accomplished without the incredible team across the BHN Alliance,” Williams said. “They strive for excellence and provide the best service to the people we support.”

 

Williams said there have been challenges over the years with one being particularly difficult – the lack of comprehensive local services for children and youth with multiple mental health and developmental needs.

 

“We did not have the necessary supports, so we were sending children across the state for specialized treatment, separating them from the people who loved them the most,” Williams said. “We knew that had to change.”

 

In 2014 the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities and its partners in mental and behavioral health, juvenile court, Job and Family Services and the provider network created Tomorrow’s Youth Project, a holistic approach that includes the youth and their families in the healing process. In-home mental health and behavioral supports, planned respite, targeted activities, and therapeutic mentoring are now offered locally. This strategy of bringing multiple agencies together to serve youth at risk for residential placement was one of the first in Ohio.

 

Described as a thoughtful leader, Williams has served on state work groups that involved the redesign of adult services and transportation, multi-system youth initiatives, and county board sustainability.

 

In 2012, the BHN Alliance received the Visionary Leadership Award from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for pioneering shared administrative services across the three county boards.

 

Williams, who served on the OACB Board of Trustees as a Superintendent representative, received the Kenneth Legats Visionary Leadership Award in 2018.

 

As Williams reflected on his career, he said there is only one measure of success for him.


“The work has never been about us, but rather the people we support,” he said. “If they are living their best lives then, and only then, are we successful.”

 

A smooth transition was assured when the three county boards named Gloria Llewellyn as Superintendent, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Llewellyn has 30 years’ experience in the developmental disabilities field, the last five years with the BHN Alliance as Assistant Superintendent and Transitional Superintendent since January 2023.

 

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Gloria Llewellyn Receives Outstanding Educator Award

St. Clairsville, OH – Gloria Llewellyn, Assistant Superintendent for the BHN Alliance (Belmont-Harrison-Noble County Boards of Developmental Disabilities) received the Brad McFadden Outstanding Educator Award at the 2023 Belmont County Exceptional Student Awards event on May 11, 2023.

The Brad McFadden Award recognizes a person who has made a notable contribution to special education in Belmont County. The honoree is voted upon by members of the Belmont County Special Education Advisory Council.

In her role at the County Board Gloria works with the public schools, supporting parents,

teachers, administrators and students in a variety of ways.

Gloria and Nancy 2023

Gloria Llewellyn (right), Assistant Superintendent of the BHN Alliance, received the 2023 Brad McFadden Outstanding Educator Award from the Belmont County Special Education Advisory Council. Nancy Weeks, Preschool Coordinator for the East Central Ohio ESC, presented the award to her at the annual Exceptional Student Awards dinner held at the Belmont Career Center on May 11, 2023.

The complete text of the McFadden Award presentation to Gloria follows:

 

“The 2023 recipient of the Brad McFadden Outstanding Educator Award is a person who makes things happen. From her start as a home-based Program Worker to Executive Director of an $18 million residential provider, Gloria Llewellyn puts her heart, mind and soul into serving people.

Today, as Assistant Superintendent of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Gloria has built a reputation as a dependable partner with school districts when there is a need to make learning easier or the environment more accommodating for students with developmental differences.

This Steubenville native began her life of service working as a direct support professional while studying for her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Penn State. 

Subsequent employment included directing residential sites for people with disabilities and providing therapeutic counseling and psychotherapy to adults and children in a variety of settings. She became a skilled behaviorist who developed compassionate ways to address the challenges people face.

In 2003, Gloria added a Master of Education degree to her resume’. In 2011, she became Executive Director for ResCare, where she led all functions in southeast Ohio for the multi-million-dollar provider. She left that position in 2017 when she accepted an employment offer from the county board. She was a perfect fit from the start. Gloria understood the board’s mission and goals while bringing a fresh perspective to the table. Her business acumen, compassion and discernment benefit the organization, and she provides clear, motivating and constructive feedback to those she leads.

A strong advocate for people with developmental differences, she approaches every challenge as an opportunity to improve someone’s life and build or strengthen relationships. She is willing to take on hard problems by choice and, on occasion, has made what seems impossible possible. Her balanced approach and ability to bring people together means her advice and support are sought by parents and educators alike.

Humble. Caring. Driven. Smart. Gloria Llewellyn is all of these, and one more: she is excellent – in all she thinks, says and does.

Harrison CBDD Receives Three-Year Accreditation Award

 

CADIZ – A three-year accreditation award, the highest possible term, has been given to the Harrison County Board of Developmental Disabilities for the work it does to support people with disabilities.

 

A team from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities completed a comprehensive review this fall that included interviews with people served and families whose supports are provided, coordinated or funded by the County Board.

Harrison DD Board Superintendent Stephen Williams credited the Board’s emphasis on relationships as the key to its success.

 

“Relationships are what matter in life and we focus on building them with the people we support and our partners who provide their services,” Williams said. “We get to know people and put our efforts into helping each person live a great life.”

 

All areas of the County Board were reviewed, including personnel, service and support, health and safety, incident reporting and how effective the Board is.

 

The Harrison County Board of DD serves over 100 people, coordinating and/or funding supports like early intervention (birth to three), preschool (ages three to five), school-age assistance, transition from school to work (ages 14 to 22), job-related skill development, employment, residential, respite and transportation.

 

 

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