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2018 Violet Lumley Rau Award Recipient
Pastor Colleen Sheahan

Participating in one of the first collaborative cohorts between Heritage, Yakima Valley College, and Central Washington University, Colleen graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. She later went on to receive her Master’s in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008.

Colleen was motivated to offer educational opportunities to students in the Yakima Valley that would excel in small class sizes with individualized attention. Inspired by the Heritage University mission to promote social justice and transformational student-centered education, Colleen opened a private, Christian elementary school in Yakima, the West Chestnut Academy, formerly known as Westpark Christian Academy.

West Chestnut Academy students come from multiple faith traditions, present varying degrees of special needs, and represent a variety of cultural diversity. This past year, West Chestnut welcomed an exchange student from Thailand, and with Colleen’s leadership, the school continues to collaborate with international partners as a commitment to diversity. Colleen embodies the Heritage mission by modelling acceptance of difference, committing to excellence, and seeking justice in our community. Today, West Chestnut Academy serves an average of 80 students per year and has graduated a total of 58 seniors. Colleen’s mission is to continually strive to offer outstanding services to children and families of the Yakima Valley.

Heritage University, HU Now!

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