About Nova Center Inc.

Serving Kansas City Missouri's Developmentally Disabled since 1980.


“Nova Center was established in June, 1980 by a small group of concerned parents determined to provide the most appropriate education for their sons and daughters with special needs.  From a small start of sixteen students, this first class of Nova Center promised to be the beginning of many great things to come.

Over the past four decades, Nova Center has striven to meet the needs of persons with developmental disabilities in the Kansas City area.  Currently, supports are provided to approximately 150 individuals in five different programs.  This includes educational services for school-age children, residential supports for children and adults, day habilitation, retirement, and employment programs for adults.  We offer services to individuals with all levels of developmental disabilities, including Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Prader Wili Syndrome.  We also support individuals with dual diagnoses of developmental disabilities and psychiatric conditions  Programs are certified by the Missouri Department of Mental Health.”


 The Nova Center Day Programs, Employment Services and Residential programs are certified by the Department of Mental Health (MO DMH)

The Nova Center School is a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MO DESE) Approved Private Agency.

Mission Statement

At Nova Center Inc., we believe each individual has the right to achieve his or her highest potential and to thrive in the most natural environment possible.  Nova Center provides individualized supports geared to all levels of developmental disabilities with the goal of enabling each person to lead an independent and productive life.  Services are offered to all persons with developmental disabilities regardless of race, culture, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, disability or age.


 Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County – Eitas is a Jackson County taxpayer-approved and funded government subdivision.

For over 35 years Eitas’ role in Jackson County has been to fund needed services for citizens with developmental disabilities. Traditionally Eitas has been the “funder of last resort,” covering costs of services, facilities and equipment that are not paid by other sources such as Medicaid or the Department of Mental Health.

By statute, Eitas can provide tax funds for services only to citizens of Jackson County who meet state eligibility requirements and in accordance with Eitas local funding policies. In addition to local funding, Eitas also provides direct services to eligible individuals for transportation and support coordination.


Training resources

Nova Center staff are continually increasing their knowledge and skills through an extensive in-house training program. Our agency is required by the Department of Mental Health to provide some essential training; however, we provide our staff with training in many areas that go above and beyond what is required. Staff learn “what not to do” in our Abuse Neglect Training, and “what to do“ by attending Positive Behavior Supports, and Mandt©. In Mandt© training staff learn a variety of interaction skills to better enable them to build healthy relationships in order to support people in the hopes of avoiding a crisis, or — as a last resort — respond to potentially dangerous crisis situations. Nova Center has found our Training Programs to be incredibly valuable in terms of increasing the quality of services we provide. As a result, the Training Program continues to grow and evolve in order to better allow us to meet the needs of the people we serve as well as our staff. All direct care staff are expected to receive training in maintaining current certifications in the following areas:

  • Disease prevention through Body Substance Precautions
  • Adult First aid/CPR/AED
  • Abuse/Neglect Awareness & Mandated Reporting
  • Positive Behavior Supports
  • Missouri Quality Outcomes
  • Level I Medication Aide
  • Mandt © 
  • Documentation and Event Report Writing
  • Anti-Harassment

If you have any questions regarding Nova Center training contact the Training Coordinator, Tammy Clark at: tammy.clark@novacenter.org     

meet our Senior Staff

Providing Nova Center With Direction

We couldn't do it without them!

Mark Thill CEO

With Nova 24 years

After receiving bachelor degrees in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Kansas, Mark Thill honed his skills working for one of the Big Four accounting firms.  In 1989, he started his own firm, Mark William Thill CPAs, that later became Thill & Leonard, CPAs. In 1996, Mark was approached by several of the Nova founders to take a position on the board of directors, and a year later accepted the position of CFO.  Mark served as CFO at Nova until the untimely death of the former CEO and founder, Cary Williams, in 2018. Mark was promoted to CEO of Nova in October of 2018. Mark continues to serve Nova and follow the legacy that Cary created.

 Email Mark at mark.thill@novacenter.org

Gail Williams Program Director

With Nova 23 years

Gail received her Master of Arts Degree in Psychology and Educational Research from the University of Missouri. After graduate school she worked as a Program Evaluator for the KCMO School District and then as a Research Analyst for the Missouri Department of Mental Health. She met her husband, Cary Williams, while they were both graduate students. Cary subsequently became the founding CEO of Nova Center and Gail worked along side him promoting Nova and its mission. After taking a few years sabbatical to care for their child, Gail became Nova’s Residential Director in 1991 and currently is Nova’s Program Director. She has been a part of Nova Center since its inception and cares deeply about the individuals Nova supports.

Email Gail at gail.williams@novacenter.org

Tammy Clark HR Director

With Nova 23 years

Following college, Tammy began her career working alongside individuals with disabilities.  This population quickly became her passion and would eventually lead her to Nova.  In 1996, she began working at Nova as the Day Program Supervisor.  Tammy created a welcoming and safe environment for those she supervised and those she served.  In 2002, she accepted the position of Training Coordinator and in 2009 was promoted to Human Resource Director.  Tammy continues to focus on staff development, training, and hiring. 

Email Tammy at tammy.clark@novacenter.org

Georgette Elder Principal

With Nova 33 years

Georgette has spent her entire career shaping young minds for the future.  She began by working as a Special Ed Teacher in the public school system.  In 1987 after moving to KC metro area, Georgette accepted a teaching position at Nova always planning on returning to the public school system.  In 1989, she was promoted to Principal of Nova.  Georgette works closely with the public school districts, continues to develop individual plans for each student, and supervises the teachers and para-professionals.  She fell deeply in love with the children at Nova and cannot imagine her life without them.  Georgette can still be found in the classroom, leading young minds to their own educational growth.  

Email Georgette at georgette.elder@novacenter.org


Scott Diven Vice Principal

With Nova 20 years

Scott’s passion for art and looking to start a career, lead him to Nova’s doorstep 20 years ago.  Scott learned compassion and understanding at a young age growing up with his sister, who suffers from cerebral palsy.  Scott started as Nova’s art teacher in 1999 and found his life’s work.  Scott’s goal in life in to give each kid that enters Nova school an encouraging interaction with adults and an overall positive environment.  In 2017, Scott was promoted to Vice Principal.  Scott works on student-teacher relationships, parent relationships, and over all networking.  In what little free time he has, Scott continues to teach art and woodshop at Nova.


Meet Our Founding Fathers & Mothers

They Created Nova Center To Serve

They saw a need and took it on themselves to create Nova Center Inc. In 1980.

Howard and Nadine Agron

Albert and Mary Lou Alm

Lyndell and Juanita Blevins

Jean Patterson

John and Mary Wharton

Cary and Gail Williams


Nova Center is a tax deductible 501c3 organization. We provide services, programs and activities that would not be possible without your generous donations. Find out more about donating to the Nova Center.