Northwestern College welcomes Heidi Vasher as a new instructor in the education department. Vasher graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, special education and later a principal K-12 certification, later earning her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She also completed a Special Education Consultant certification at Morningside College.
Vasher was raised in Wanamingo, Minnesota on an acreage in a small farming town where she developed an untiring work ethic by helping her father with chores and babysitting her nieces and nephews.
In school, Vasher was involved in many extracurricular activities, including sports, band, choir and singing at church events, which prepared her for a versatile career in education. Her coaches and band instructor inspired her to become a teacher.
Although her loving parents, a small-town upbringing and her passion for learning gave Vasher the foundation she needed to excel in education, nothing could have fully prepared her for the challenges she would face as a teacher. Thankfully, her steadfast spirit and devotion to Christ has guided her and given her peace.
“My faith in the Lord [grounds me], whether it’s listening to Christian music or reading devotions. I also lean into my family— my granddaughter, husband and daughters,” Vasher said.
This faith brought her to NW. After working as a learning, leadership and special education consultant at the Spencer, Iowa Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency, and as an adjunct instructor at Buena Vista University, Vasher found herself drawn toward NW.
“God had a journey planned that led me to NW. When teaching future teachers in the past, I have always had a desire to share the connection of faith and education. They are entwined in the most beautiful way,” Vasher said.
As a parent of a NW graduate, Vasher developed an early love and admiration for NW’s community by interacting with staff, faculty and the athletic department.
The respect is mutual.
Assistant Professor of Education and English Dr. Chris Nonhof looks forward to not only working with Vasher but also learning from her own servant-leadership skills.
“Considering that I became a teacher in large part because I wanted to stay a student, I love having another office neighbor that can teach me things about education that I don’t know,” Nonhof said.
Dr. Nonhof appreciates and recognizes Vasher’s work ethic as an integral part of the servant-leader model of leadership within the education department.
“She’s dedicated and relational,” Nonhof said. “She puts in long hours.”
Likewise, Vasher has noticed the passion and dedication of the other education department professors has spread to NW students. She interacts with students while teaching courses like survey of the exceptional individual, methods and strategies for learners with mild and moderate disabilities and human relations.
“The education students at NW are a joy to teach every day!” Vasher said. “Their insight, servant hearts and energy to learn is truly unique! The education professors exemplify teamwork, dedication to their craft, and Christ.”
Vasher is eager to inspire both faculty and students to have faith in God’s plan, by sharing “the skills and strategies that will equip them to excel as future teachers and servant leaders for Christ.”
From her small-town community values and faith in Christ, to her previous educational and leadership roles, Vasher is committed to connecting faith and education for the betterment of the education department.
She looks forward to “humbly serving the students and community of NW with acts of service for others, sharing, listening, and humility.”