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New dean to serve St. John’s Cathedral


Later this year The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist will welcome a new dean to its parish.

Rev. Heather VanDeventer/St. John’s Cathedral

A search committee from the church has been seeking a replacement for Dean Bill Ellis, who retired last June. The committee recently announced that the Rev. Heather VanDeventer has been selected as that replacement.

VanDeventer has been serving as associate rector at Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia since 2011 and previously served at Episcopal High School in Alexandria and St. Augustine’s in Wilmette, Illinois. She is a graduate of Yale University and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, according to a press release.

She is married to the Rev. Dr. David Gortner, and they have two daughters, Cassie (14) and Miriam (12) and two dogs.
VanDeventer will begin work at the Cathedral on Aug. 15.

Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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