Sandy Ellis


Sandy Ellis, Receptionist for the firm has over 50 years’ experience working in the educational and judicial systems, including the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office, Willard R-2 Schools and the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Sandy graduated from Bolivar High School and attended Southwest Baptist College.  Sandy and her husband, Larry have been married for 50 years and have one child and one grandchild.

Sarah Shewmaker

Senior Paralegal

Sarah Shewmaker Paralegal to Joseph S. Passanise joined the firm in October 2013. A native of Nixa, Missouri, but has been a Springfield resident since 2007. Sarah graduated from Central High School in 2010 and possess a Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Criminal Justice. She brings with her legal and clerical experience.

Sarah Shewmaker assists Mr. Passanise in trial preparation, performing legal research, drafting legal documents, and Law Office Administration.

Taegan Sumners

Personal/Legal Assistant to Dee Wampler and Joseph S. Passanise

Taegan Sumners, Personal/Legal Assistant to Dee Wampler and Joseph S. Passanise. A native of Aurora, Missouri, Taegan has been attending Drury University since 2016. 

Taegan will be graduating from Drury University in May of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry. She is currently in the process of applying to law school and plans to attend the fall following her graduation. She assists Mr. Wampler and Mr. Passanise in various tasks including investigation, research, and client communication. 

Rachel Veatch


Rachel Veatch has approximately 30 years’ experience with the judicial system. She worked as a clerk at the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office off and on for 18 years, was the major crimes secretary/Assistant Office Manager at the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office from January 4, 1999, to March 9, 2001. She served as clerk to the Juvenile Judge, Thomas E. Mountjoy, from March, 2001, to February, 2002. Rachel graduated from Wheaton High School, Wheaton, Missouri, in 1982. Rachel and her husband, Mike, have been married for 37 years and have two children, and two grandchildren.

Garrett Woodrum


Garrett Woodrum joined the firm in May of 2018 bringing 2 years of experience in the legal field. Garrett graduated with honors from Missouri State University in the Fall of 2019 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. He has future plans of attending law school in the Fall of 2020.

In addition to his work at the firm, Garrett has been active in various organizations at Missouri State including National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity. Garrett also served as Vice President and then President of his fraternity, Delta Chi.

Garrett is a 2016 graduate of Mt. Vernon High School and currently resides in Springfield. He and his girlfriend Natalie enjoy spending time with friends and family, attending sporting events, and finding new and exciting places in Springfield.

Heather Kircher


Heather Kircher joined us in 2008 as our transcriptionist. She is a University of Florida graduate with an MBA specializing in business marketing and a Bachelor’s degree in public relations. Heather, her husband and their puppy love to be outside and enjoy all that the Ozarks has to offer.

Shawna Kipp

Senior Litigation Paralegal/Office Manager

Shawna Kipp is a native of Colorado Springs, CO.  Shawna moved to Southwest Missouri in 1987.  Shawna earned her Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies from Drury University in 2016.  She is currently pursuing her Paralegal Certification as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Missouri State University.

Shawna has been an active Paralegal with the firm for 8-1/2 years and  has over 20 years in office administration, to include marketing, project coordination and human resources.


Taylon Sumners

Senior Paralegal 

Taylon Sumners has been with Wampler & Passanise Law Office since early 2015. Taylon is from Aurora, Missouri where her family owns and operates a vending company. Taylon attended college at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science. During her undergraduate career, Taylon was selected for Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universitieand spent time volunteering at a maximum security male penitentiary. Upon graduation, in December, 2016, Taylon worked full time at Wampler & Passanise on various types of cases such as DUI’s, sex offenses, drug crimes, and murder. She has spent countless hours preparing cases for trial, attending depositions, and conducting legal research. In January, 2017, Taylon started at Washburn University School of Law.  Taylon will graduate from law school in May, 2020 and return to Wampler & Passanise as an Associate Attorney.