Meet the Staff

Mission Champions

Sheena Sullivan

Executive Director

As the mother of a toddler, the mission of The Short Years Partnership is close to my heart.

I'm happy to have recently returned to my home state of Iowa after spending almost 20 years in the Chicago and Denver Metro areas where I served, led, and consulted nonprofit organizations.

I hold a master’s degree in social work with a focus on leadership and development in the social services and a post master's certificate in philanthropy and nonprofit management from Loyola University Chicago.

Val Cameron

Child Abuse Prevention Program Coordinator

I was born and raised in Iowa. I have two grown children. Children have always been my number one priority. My career in early childhood has allowed me to work with programs and families in many different roles. I am passionate about helping families succeed. In my role as a coordinator, I believe the importance of bringing awareness and education in order to prevent child abuse. When I am not traveling to spoil my granddaughter, I enjoy camping, attending Iowa State sporting events, and being outside.

Rachel Bardwell

PAT Program Supervisor

I have always been drawn to helping other people realize their potential. After college, I worked in various family support positions before taking time away from the workforce to start a family. When my first child was born 8+ years ago, I quickly realized that all my “book knowledge” on parenting was not going to cut it! Parenting was more challenging, draining, AND rewarding than I ever could have imagined. Now that I am past the baby, toddler, and preschool phases, I can start to see the truth in the old saying, “The days are long, but the years are short.”


In my role as supervisor for the PAT program, I get to work with our incredibly talented team of Parent Educators. Each Educator approaches her job with such a passion for families. It is a joy to work with a team that is so committed to helping families move through these early years. I get to hear so many wonderful stories from our Parent Educators about the great things they see happening with the families they get to visit.


My husband and I have two sons who keep us very busy and entertained! In my spare time, I enjoy scrapbooking, gardening, and relaxing.

Bonnie Forsyth

Parent Educator

I was born and raised in Creston Iowa. I have always had a big desire to do all I could to make a difference in the lives of children. 

I have spent 25 plus years doing child abuse prevention work. From an early home visitation project, to serving eight years on the Prevent Child Abuse Iowa Board and six years on the Iowa Respite and Crisis Care Board, I have always had the goal of bettering the lives of children.

I dearly love being a cheerleader for all of my past and present PAT families. I am honored to be welcomed into my family's homes and lives. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a positive contribution to both the parents and children's day to day experiences. I have always felt that all parents (including myself) want to do the very best job possible of parenting.

Danielle Johnston

Parent Educator

I joined The Short Years Partnership as a parent educator in May of 2018, and I love it! It is such a joy to meet and work with families while helping guide and observe the development of their children! Prior to becoming a parent educator, I taught kindergarten and first grade for 20 years. I graduated from Morningside College with degrees in early childhood and elementary education.

 In addition to my teaching experience, I have learned about children through foster parenting, adopting, and having children of my own. I do private academic tutoring, and I am a volunteer mentor for New Opportunities. 

I was born and raised in Iowa, and I call Lake Panorama home. In my spare time I enjoying boating, driving my ’66 Ford Mustang, spending time with family, attending concerts and musicals, cheering for the Iowa State Cyclones, and traveling.

Penny Estrada

Parent Educator

I was born in Creston Iowa and spent most of my life in Iowa. Being the 3rd child out of 7, I have had many years of experience being a sister, daughter, wife, mom, aunt, and now a grandma! I began caring for children at a young age and volunteered for Head Start while my children attended. I then ran an in-home daycare while my children grew up. My four wonderful children are now grown and raising families of their own. They have blessed me with 10 wonderful grandchildren!


I took a brief time out and went to Mexico, where I learned about the culture and Spanish language. This has been such an asset. Since returning I have interpreted for the Latino community in my jobs at Head Start, Perry Family Development Center,  and Dallas County Public Health assisting with the immunization clinics.


I am blessed to work with the Spanish speaking population in Dallas County. Every day is a new experience as I work with families sharing the Parents As Teachers curriculum. I learn something new right along with the families I serve. In my spare time, I love to quilt, crochet, garden and most of all spend time with my family.

Sami Heithofff

Parent Educator

I have lived in rural Madison County nearly all of my life. My husband I are blessed to be raising our three sweet and energetic boys very close to where I grew up. I understand the joys and struggles we parents face on a daily basis.

 I have always had a love for children. My professional background includes teaching special education and third grade for 6 years. I have spent the last 11 years as a stay-at-home mom during which time I have been a substitute teacher, reading tutor, and of course doing all of the “mom things” that we do.


I currently spend a lot of time supporting my children at their extra-curricular activities and volunteering at school and church. When I have “free” time, I enjoy photography, shopping and catching up  with  family and friends.


Parents  As Teachers is a wonderful program that benefited my family when my boys were younger. I am now very excited to be a PAT educator myself and am ready to be a partner with you and your family on this exciting adventure called “parenting”!

Deb Seeman

Parent Educator

I am a born and raised Iowa girl. My husband and I have 2 grown children. I have always loved being around kids. 


In my younger years, I spent many hours babysitting and teaching swimming lessons.  During my career, I have been a Para-Educator in a preschool, a Lead Teacher in a daycare and most recently, a Nanny. 


I joined Parents As Teachers as a Parent Educator in May  2019. I look forward to meeting many new families and helping them in any way I can. 


In my free time, I enjoy reading, crafting, traveling, spending time with my family and playing with our dogs.

Ricki Schroeder

Parent Educator

I joined Parents as Teachers in July of 2020.  2020, has been an interesting year for everyone.  It has presented many challenges and surprises.  Joining Parents as Teachers has been a 2020 blessing and has allowed me to continue to fuel my passion for working with children and families in a new and exciting way. 


I originally began my professional career in corporate America.  Upon having little ones of my own I realized my true passion and desire to work with children. In 2008, I made the decision to exit the corporate world and open my home to other working parents and their children.  Over the next 12 years, I was blessed to work with amazing families. This further fed my desire to make a difference in the lives of families, children, and our community. 


I am a long time resident of Warren County, Iowa.  Born and raised in Indianola and now proud to call Norwalk my home.  My husband and I have been blessed with three amazing children. In our free time, we enjoy cycling, boating, traveling, and spending time with our children and pups. 

Parent Educators

(515) 962-1020

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