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Meet Our Staff

Meet the experienced and friendly staff who make Eyes on the Diamond the leading provider of vision care products and services in State College and surrounding communities.

Joan Morgan, BS

Joan is our front desk assistant. She has been an associate with us since 2013. Her responsibilities include greeting patients on the phone and in person and schedule management. She has extensive experience in the medical field and also multitasks as our ophthalmic technician when needed.

Joan’s educational background is in health policy and administration, with studies in long-term care, but she has had extensive patient care experience at other local optometric offices prior to joining our care team.

She enjoys meeting our patients and hearing about their eye and vision concerns. Joan says, “It makes me happy when patients are surprised to find the care they receive is so much more comprehensive than the care they’ve received elsewhere.”

Joan is a native of Howard, PA. She lives in Reedsville with her husband, Frank. She has three adult sons.

Debra Ponish

Debra is our lead optician. She joined our team in September 2016 with extensive experience in optical, patient care and relations, customer service, retail design and stocking. For over 10 years she worked for Dr. Tinkelman in Bellefonte and gained experience in fitting and dispensing eyewear.

Debra attended Bald Eagle Area High School and was active in many activities. She is a graduate of Centre County Vo Tech School, now CPI, with training in data processing and dental assisting. She is the proud owner of a 1988 Firebird Formula that she has lovingly maintained and shown for over 25 years.

Debra is a real “people person” who gets to know our patients so she can better serve their needs. Her responsibilities include frame buying and inventory management. She is an expert at fitting the style to the person, recommending the right lens style and features and fitting and the repair and maintenance of eyewear.

Debra lives in Howard, where she grew up, with her husband Phil and three cats. She enjoys spending time with her adult children and grandchildren and attending her grandchildren’s sports activities.

Valerie McKissick, CPO

Valerie is our Optometric Technician. Her responsibilities include conducting pre-testing measurements and taking scans and photos for the doctors. In addition, she manages our contact lens inventories with responsibilities for ordering and patient training in contact lens handling and care.

Valerie is a certified Para-Optometric. She is a recent transplant from Washington State in 2016. She attended Lower Columbia Community College, and has worked in healthcare for over 20 years, with the last 3 being focused on general eye care, as well as low vision, and vision rehabilitation.

Valerie has a keen interest in eye care and loves learning more in the field every day. She enjoys helping patients and likes assisting the doctors in order to enhance and retain the best vision possible. She keeps up to date by attending workshops and seminars in the field.

Valerie lives in Bellefonte with her husband and 2 children. She is an avid reader, and enjoys hiking and vacationing with family.