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IN THE BASKET: Yakima Abeyta’s lawyer wins national honors | In the basket


  • Yakima Personal Injury Lawyer Terry P. Abeyta was selected as the 2022 Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year for Central Washington by The Best Lawyers in America, a national organization identifying and highlighting the best legal talent in the United States.

Born and raised in Yakima, Abeyta has practiced law since 1976. He graduated from Yakima Valley College and Whitman College at the top of his class, and graduated from Washington University School of Law in the top 15 % of its class.

Abeyta practiced law in the Seattle area for two years after law school before returning to his hometown and starting Abeyta Nelson Injury Law with Rod Nelson in 1981. Abeyta Nelson has offices in Yakima, Ellensburg and Sunnyside.

Since Abeyta Nelson opened in 1981, Terry Abeyta has been instrumental in the company’s recovery of $364 million for injured families, including the most million dollar settlements ever. of all Central Washington personal injury companies.

Abeyta has been active in the community, serving as chair of the boards of the Yakima Valley Community Foundation and La Salle High School, and of the boards of the Yakima Valley College Foundation, the Whitman College Board of Overseers and St. Joseph / Marquette Catholic. School in many roles for St. Paul’s Cathedral Parish.


  • Deena Alley will serve as Director of Human Resources and Leadership Pathways/Investigator for the Yakima School District beginning July 1.

An Air Force veteran, Alley began her education while stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. She holds a BSE in Mathematics and Spanish and an MSE in Educational Administration from the University of Central Missouri.

Alley began her career in Missouri teaching high school math and her administrative career as a middle school assistant principal. A native of Montana, she was director of field experiments for the University of Montana-Western School of Education for six years. She went on to serve as assistant and then associate principal at Shelton High School in Washington, and eventually served as principal of academies, a K-12 position.

  • Tori Brennan was named Principal of Barge-Lincoln Elementary in the Yakima School District. Brennan has 23 years of experience as an educator, the last four of which as Vice Principal of Barge-Lincoln. She also worked for 10 years as a teacher at Hoover and Whitney elementary schools.

Brennan graduated from West Valley High School, then earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (K-8), honors in psychology (4-12), and master’s degree in education (K-12) from Central Washington University. She received her administrative certification from the CWU in the spring of 2018. Brennan is also an adjunct professor in the CWU Department of Elementary Education.

  • Artemio Chavez was appointed vice-principal of Franklin Middle School in the Yakima School District. He comes from the Toppenish School District, where he was Dean of Students at Garfield Elementary School for four years. As a school administrator, Chavez oversaw student discipline and school safety in conjunction with ESD 105.

Chavez is from Toppenish and graduated from Toppenish High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington, his master’s degree in teaching from Heritage University, and his administrative certification from the CWU.

English instructor Olivia Hernandez is the 2022 recipient of the Robert M. Leadon Excellence in Teaching Award, which recognizes Yakima Valley College faculty well-known for their commitment to excellence in teaching.

Hernández, the granddaughter of migrant workers, grew up in the Yakima Valley. In high school, she enrolled in YVC as part of the Running Start program. She received a Gates Foundation Achievers Scholarship, which allowed her to continue her education at Seattle University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature as well as minors in Spanish and Film Studies. She then earned a master’s degree in English Literature and Language from the University of Washington.

She lived in Seattle for nearly 10 years, but always had a desire to return to the Yakima Valley and work for an institution serving Hispanics. Hernandez was hired to teach at YVC in 2018 and had the opportunity to work alongside her former instructors. She is working to complete her doctorate. from UW with a combined focus on composition studies and Chicanx art and literature.

The Robert M. Leadon Teaching Award is an unrestricted monetary award of $1,000. It is open to any full-time faculty member who has completed three full years of teaching at Yakima Valley College.

In Basket appears at least once a month in The Bottom Line section of the Yakima Herald-Republic. To publish an article, send an e-mail [email protected]. Send photos as jpg attachments. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Tuesday for the following Sunday.