Heep named new CASA executive director


Shannon Heep, left, seen here in January with Luci Banes Johnson during the beautification campaign of Citizens for Secnic Texas Highways (CSTH) is the new executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA0 for the Highland Lakes Area.

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for the Highland Lakes Area has appointed a new executive director to lead the almost 20-year-old organization, it was announced Monday, Nov. 6.

Shannon Heep will be charged with guiding CASA for the Highland Lakes Area as it advocates for the ever-increasing number of abused and neglected children from a five-county service area of Blanco, Burnet, Lampasas, Llano and San Saba counties.

Heep is well known as creator and producer of two of Marble Falls’ popular community events: the Marble Falls Walk-A-Dog-A-Thon and the Marble Falls Adult Soap Box Classic and, most recently, for her work with Citizens for Scenic Texas Highways (CSTH).

CASA officials touted Heep's ability to recruit volunteers as necessary at CASA due to the importance of volunteers providing the organization's services.

A native New Yorker, Heep earned a degree in psychology from Nazareth College in Rochester. Her compelling personal story informs her history of working with children from difficult backgrounds.

As a young college graduate, she taught emotionally disturbed adolescents at St. Joseph’s Villa, was a group leader at “Kids Adjusting Through Support” and was a residential counselor at a co-ed group home for teen mothers and their children.

In 2002 she came to Burnet County for a visit and decided to stay. She went to work as a juvenile probation officer for the 33rd Judicial District Juvenile Probation until she left to join a new nonprofit ministry that did not survive the economic downturn in 2008.

“We probably all wonder at times how our past experiences are relevant to what we do next in life,” said Kirk Noaker, board president for CASA for the Highland Lakes Area. “In Shannon’s case, her experience with abused and neglected children plus her experience bringing our community together through fun events, makes perfect sense. Cases of childhood abuse and neglect are at an all-time high and we feel blessed beyond words to have her.

“We know she’s going to be a positive leader for CASA, and will ensure we will have enough volunteers to provide a CASA for every child in foster care from our area.”

To learn more about CASA for the Highland Lakes Area, or how you may become involved as a volunteer advocate, please call 325-388-3440 or visit the website at highlandlakescasa.com.

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