STAFF

Dena Petty

FOUNDER/EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
at MENTORS CARE – MIDLOTHIAN

I am passionate about helping young people not only realize their potential, but giving them the tools to develop their potential. I am best described as a cheerleader. I encourage young people to believe in themselves and help them understand that each person exists to live out their own potential, to find their own path in this world.

I’ve been married to Todd Petty for 30 years. My son Bryce Petty, played in the NFL as QB for New York Jets. My daughter Lexie Petty, is a nursing student and outstanding athlete at UT Tyler. I Attended Louisiana Tech University studying fine art and interior design where I was on the lady golf team and played on the Future’s Professional Golf Tour for two years. I was a youth Pastor of Cabot United Methodist Church 1999-2005 then I created and implemented Movement Toward a Future DBA, which is now Mentors Care, Inc. an official 501 (c)(3) non-profit mentoring program since 2009.

Sarah Martin

PROGRAM COORDINATOR
at MIDLOTHIAN HIGH SCHOOL

Sarah was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota until she met a boy from Texas while attending college in 2001. She married this young man and is proud to declare herself a Texan ever since.

She graduated from John Brown University with a B.S. in Child and Family Studies. She continued her studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, earning her Master’s in Social Work. Upon graduating from UTA, she went to work for Communities in Schools while also volunteering for her local church youth group as a small group leader.

Sarah has a passion for high school students and is excited to bring her experience and knowledge to Mentors Care.

Michelle Baggett

PROGRAM COORDINATOR
at MAYPEARL HIGH SCHOOL

I have lived in Maypearl for the past 3 years and am proud to call myself a Panther! I have been married to my husband, Jeff, for 15 years and we have 3 amazing children: Meagan who is 13 and in 8th grade, Garrett who is 12 and in 7th grade, and Cutter who is 7 and in 2nd grade. We attend church at First Baptist church in Maypearl and I place The Lord above all things. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 13 years, but have worked with “at-risk” kids for many years. My passion is to love, guide and mentor kids that are overlooked and struggling. I am very excited to see how God is going to use me in the coming years and I look forward to partnering with the staff at Maypearl High.

Ron Langthorn

PROGRAM COORDINATOR
at Red Oak High School

I retired from public schools in Texas after 31 years as a teacher, coach and school administrator!  I spent a 1 ½ as a college assistant baseball coach and adjunct professor after as well!  My wife, Julie (31 years as an elementary teacher) and I spent 13 years of our careers in Palmer and had 4 sons that we went through the Palmer school system!  We currently have 4 grandchildren attending the Palmer schools.

I graduated from Richardson High School, Stephen F Austin State University with my Bachelor Degree, and UT Tyler with a Masters degree in Educational Leadership.

I enjoy working with high school students and helping them to grow into adulthood.   In my free time I’m usually doing family things and love being involved in their activities and lives!  I enjoy fishing, hunting, sports and other outdoor activities!  I am also an associate scout for the New York Mets.  We are members of The Avenue Church in Waxahachie!

Arlene Sutton

PROGRAM COORDINATOR
at MIDLOTHIAN, HERITAGE HIGH SCHOOL

I was born and raised in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Upon graduating high school my life became a life of service. I had the privilege of serving our country for twenty-years in the United States Army. After retirement, I served my community through employment with Midlothian ISD, Waxahachie ISD and Ft. Worth ISD. As the Founder and Director of Momentum Youth Track Club, it’s an honor serving my community through youth sports.
I’ve earned a B.S. in Business from Tarleton State University. Intermittently I’m pursuing my Masters in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary.
Since an early age, I’ve always seen myself as a “Cheerleader.” I have a passion to serve, encourage and motivate people. Between military service, children’s ministry, educating, chaplaincy assistant, International missions and sports—This work epitomizes my faith in God and love for His people. The greatest of any one of my accomplishments was asking Jesus to be Lord of my life. My husband Beachey and our sons; Beachey and Keion reside in Midlothian.

Sean Byars

PROGRAM COORDINATOR
at HERITAGE HIGH SCHOOL

I am from Fort Worth, Texas. I graduated from Southwest High School. After high school I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I met my wife and best friend, Kristal and we married in 1994. After serving 4 years, I answered the call of God on my life and entered in to ministry. I served in Youth and Children’s ministry from 1997 – 2011. My family and I moved to Midlothian in 2006 and fell in love with the community. I took a sabbatical from ministry to return to school and pursue a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Texas A&M-Commerce. Kristal and I have two amazing kids, Dylan and Ashlyn.

Ginny Lynch

INTERN, MSW
at MENTORS CARE

While working as a camp counselor during my senior year in high school as well as throughout my time in college, I found my passion in helping at-risk youth.  After receiving my BA in Psychology from Dallas Baptist University, I continued to work with at-risk children and youth through volunteer activities and part-time work.  In 2011, I began working full-time for Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) in the foster care and adoption program.  Throughout my 7 years at PCHAS, I learned about the effects of trauma on children, eventually becoming certified as a TBRI ® Practitioner through TCU’s Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development.  At the end of 2017, I left my full-time position at PCHAS to return to school in the pursuit of my master’s degree in social work (MSW) at UTA’s School of Social Work.  After graduation, I hope to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), providing therapeutic services to children who have been affected by trauma.  

I and my family have lived in Ellis County since 1996, moving to Midlothian in 2004.  When not working or studying, I enjoy spending time with my husband of 27 years, David, and my three grown children.  I enjoy hiking, camping, crafting and party planning.

Summer Backstrom

DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
at MENTORS CARE

I have more than 12 years experience in non-profit development. Prior to that, in 2004, I co-founded a non-profit organization serving non-traditional college students called NTSO (Non-Traditional Students Organization).

In 2007 I earned my bachelor’s degree in mass media and graduated cum laude from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. I am married to my hero and best friend. His name is Randy but I almost always call him “Ran Ran.” I also have a 20-year-old son named Brody who will ALWAYS be my baby no matter how old he gets.

I truly love working for Mentors Care. Our mission is so honorable. Not only is it wonderful to know that your day-to-day job directly impacts kids who are hurting and confused; but it directly impacts all of our futures. When we fail our children, we fail ourselves because one day very soon they will be our leaders & major contributors to our society.