Yakima Adventist® Christian School

We invite you to join us on a journey to excellence!

Faculty and Staff

Denise Carey, B.S., B.S.



Hi!  I am Mrs. Carey.  I have been here at YACS for eighteen years.  Each year has been totally different, and I have loved every one of them.  This year will be the most different of all as I am moving from being the kindergarten teacher to being the principal.  I am eager to see what this new opportunity and year will bring. We already have some new changes underway and exciting times are ahead!

Here is a little about me personally:  I was born to a family of orchardists in this amazing Yakima Valley and have lived here most of my life.  I graduated from Selah High School and earned my BS degrees from Central Washington University.  My husband, Doug, and I have two sons in their twenties. In my spare time I enjoy spending time outdoors, skiing, traveling, reading, and just about anything with my family.

It is our greatest desire here at YACS that anyone who walks these halls will feel the presence of Jesus here.  Please pray for God's guidance in our students', their families', and our staff's lives and that each one of us may become more and more like Jesus every day.




Office Manager




Heidi Ruud, b.s.

Pre-Kindergarten Director


I actually graduated, in 1996, with a degree in nursing and worked as an RN until I had children. When my children started school, I realized I loved being here at the school and helping in the classrooms. I went back to school to take the education classes I needed to be the Preschool Director when YACS launched the preschool program. I have been teaching now for five years. It is so much fun! 

I have been married for 28 wonderful years. I have two teenage children. My son is 19 and attending Walla Walla University.  My daughter is 15 and attending Upper Columbia Academy. My family is the joy of my life.

My vision for preschool is to prepare kiddos for Kindergarten, but most of all for Heaven. When they leave our program, my goal is for them to be sounding out words, counting to 20 and doing simple addition, introduced to a love of science and social studies, but most of all equipped with a love and friendship with Jesus.

Click Here to Learn More about PreKindergarten

Marissa Jones

Teacher's Aide



Holly Tanner

Kindergarten Teacher


I am so excited to be the Kindergarten teacher this year at YACS. We are going to have all kinds of fun while we learn to read, work with numbers, and learn about the world around us, all while learning about Jesus and how to be more like Him. 

Now, a little bit about me. I have been a preschool teacher for the last five years. Before that I was a stay-at-home mom. I loved being home with my little ones and now I love spending my days with the young students at YACS. My husband's name is Russ and we have four kids; Aja, Braden, Chase, and Darian. I have lived in the Yakima area most of my life. Most of my family lives nearby and I like that. Some of my favorite times are holidays when we all get together and hang out. I also like reading, cooking, and playing games with my family. A good hike in the mountains always makes the day better too, especially if there is a lake or waterfall. I enjoy being in the beauty of God's nature. It helps me feel peaceful and reminds me how much He truly loves us because He made beautiful things for our enjoyment.

My vision for Kindergarten is that it will be a classroom where a love of learning is developed and a love of Jesus is lived.


Holly Tanner

Click Here to Learn More about Kindergarten

Tiffany Stratte, m.eD.

fIRST AND sECOND gRade Teacher


Hi, I’m Mrs. Stratte, and I teach first and second grades at YACS. I have taught here for eight years and am looking forward to the next exciting school year!

I grew up in Tennessee, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, and I love learning about new cultures and places. My dad was a pastor, which is why I was lucky enough to live in other countries. I moved to Washington when I married my husband, who is from Spokane area, and I love the snow and mountains!

I graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2009 with a B.S. in Liberal Arts Education and finished my masters in 2016 at Walla Walla University with an M.Ed. in Literacy Instruction, a fancy way of saying I’ve been learning more about how to teach reading, one of my favorite subjects. I especially love learning about God and how much He loves us, and I want to share Him with my students.

While I love traveling and learning about new places, I enjoy lots of other fun things, too! I enjoy spending time in nature and have picked up a few new activities since moving to Yakima: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (still trying to master that one), and hiking. (I’ve climbed Mt. Adams twice!) I collect money and stamps from around the world which is a great way to learn about other places. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but I also love playing games and making yummy food.

That’s enough about me! I hope that I’ll be able to see you here sometime soon–YACS is a great school with wonderful teachers and, most importantly, an awesome God at the center of all we do.

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and your family!

Mrs. Tiffany Stratte

Click Here to Learn More about First and Second

Tiffany Waymire, mat

Third and Fourth Grade Teacher


Hi, my name is Tiffany Waymire. I received a Masters of Arts in Teaching with a focus on Curriculum and Instruction from Walla Walla University. I consider myself blessed to have a career in a field in which I look forward to coming to work every day! Honestly, I can’t imagine enjoying anything more than being a teacher.

In our class family, we enjoy the personality each of us brings to the classroom as we learn academically, and grow socially, physically, and spiritually.

I enjoy the changing seasons, summer because it is hot and fall-spring because school is in session. Each of my scholars has touched my life and helped me grow in different ways, they are my treasures. They each help me see new perspectives on life, get a different glimpse of God, and remind me what is really important.

A few of my favorite subject areas to teach are Bible, math, science, reading, and art. In my spare time I enjoy reading, traveling, and working on a wide variety of “projects” at home and at school.

This will be my tenth year as part of the education team at Yakima Adventist Christian School. I look forward to meeting new and seeing returning scholars walk through the doors in August!

Mrs. Waymire

Click Here to Learn More about Third and Fourth

Jennifer Leslie, M.Ed.

Fifth and Sixth grade teacher


Hi, I’m Mrs. Leslie, and I teach fifth and sixth grades at Yakima Adventist Christian School.  This is my second year back to work, and I am so excited to finally have my own classroom.  I am looking forward to getting to know my students and their families. More importantly, I am excited to work in a Christ centered environment. I am a member of the 35th church, but Pastor Steve Huey baptized me at ANC in 2013.

I was born in California, but raised in the Yakima Valley.  My dad was in the Marines, which is why I was born on the base in California.  I married my husband in 2005, and have three beautiful children.  My oldest son, Anthony, is currently a senior at Eisenhower High School.  We have one beautiful daughter, Leah, who is fortunate enough to have Mrs. Stratte as her second grade teacher.  My daughter loves everything about YACS and looks forward to school everyday.  Our third child, Michael, recently started preschool! This is a huge transition for him because he has been home with me up until this point. Luckily, he has Heidi and Holly for his teachers. With their kind hearts and patience, he is adjusting well. 

I graduated from Central Washington University in 2008 with a B.A. in Elementary Education.  While I was home with my daughter, I decided to work towards my masters.  I took online classes through Walden University and graduated with my masters in Elementary Education.  After I completed my schooling, I decided to focus on raising my family.  In my heart, I knew a job would always be waiting for me, but my children needed me.  Fortunately, I was blessed with the ability to stay at home with my children.  I am extremely grateful that God has brought my family to YACS.  Working in an environment that is Christ centered will be such a blessing to my entire family.

Click Here to Learn More about Fifth and Sixth

Karin Weigley, B.S.

Seventh and Eighth grade teacher


Hi, I’m Mrs. Weigley, and this is my second year teaching seventh and eighth grades as well as ninth and tenth grade science here at Yakima Adventist Christian School. I’m passionate about learning all about God’s creation and helping kids understand and enjoy math. I believe that every kid is special and I’m excited to get to know each student personally and teach them in a way that they learn best. I love to see students excited and engaged in their learning and I’m planning on starting some Project-based Learning and some fun Outdoor Education activities this year.


 Before I came back to teaching last year, I had the privilege of staying home with my children for several years, raising them and doing some homeschool with them too. I grew up in a small town right in the middle of Michigan and loved spending my summers outdoors, discovering nature with my dog and best friend. My family moved to Florida at the start of my eighth grade year and I stayed through academy. I graduated from Southern Adventist University with my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a math and science emphasis in 2004. After meeting my husband briefly when I was 2 years old, we reconnected at college and were married in 2003. We have three amazing children, two boys and a girl, who are the joy of our day, and they are always teaching us new things about life. Also, I have always had a love for dogs, so be sure to ask me about our 3-legged furry child as well! When I’m not teaching, parenting, or trying to catch up on sleep, I enjoy walking my dog, writing in my bullet journal, hiking, reading, swimming, and trying new recipes. I’m excited about all the possibilities a new school year holds. I hope and pray that through God’s help, I can share my love of learning and my passion for math and science with all who enter my classroom and that we all will deepen our friendship with Jesus. I can’t wait to see you all this school year!


Mrs. Weigley

Click Here to Learn More about Seventh and Eighth

Delmar Wolfkill, M.Ed.

Ninth and Tenth Grade Teacher


Click Here to Learn More about Ninth and Tenth

Alyson Atwood, b.a.

Music and P.E. Teacher


Click Here to Learn More about Music and Physical Education

Mel Atwood

Facility Manager



Larry Benson

Custodial and Grounds


Julie Gerber

KidZone Employee


Sharon Bell

KidZone Employee


Related Information