Boyertown’s 60th Citizen of the Year award recipient has been announced.
Shawn Barndt, Executive Director for Chestnut Knoll, has been nominated as Citizen of the Year after an outpouring of support and nominations as a result of her years of dedication to Alzheimer and Dementia patients and her devotion to the community.
Born in the area, Barndt is a Boyertown High graduate and holds a Bachelors in Social Work with Kutztown University. Having always known she wanted to work with the elderly she happened into an internship many years ago with Montco Geriatrics.
Her passion for the work began to grow and develop and so she decided to take a position with the now named Manor Care in Yeadon, Pa. “It was an ideal job, the person I had replaced had been promoted but was still available for me to speak with so I was able to learn a lot.”
The job was ideal but the drive was far. After hearing about an opening at Laureldale she decided to take her experience working in Yeadon and apply it to a new position. It would be this move that would have her fated to end up working as the Executive Director for Chestnut Knoll.
When that happy day finally came Barndt recalls being thrilled to finally be back working in her hometown. “I have been blessed to be able to work with local authorities helping to educate the community about Dementia patients. I’ve even been able to help old friends and teachers along the way. It has been hugely rewarding.”
Something Barndt finds most exciting about the program here at Chestnut Knoll is the belief that life does not end for residents when they arrive. Through many programs the residents are able to stay involved with their community. The team at Chestnut Knoll is constantly finding ways for the residents to do just that. Most recently was their flower sale and egg hunt for local children.
Proceeds from the senior’s efforts are donated to local firehouses, Boyertown’s Relay for Life and Alzheimer’s research. “The best is knowing the community sees Chestnut Knoll as a resource,” said Barndt.
Outside of her work at Chestnut Knoll, Barndt seems to always be busy joking, “If I’m not at work or home, I’m at the grocery store.” With twin boys, life can certainly be entertaining but busy or not Barndt feels that this community gave her so much she wants to always be paying back.
Volunteering with the Boyertown Multi-Service Brandt delivers food for the Meals on Wheels program monthly and takes great pride in participating every year in the Annual Boyertown Halloween Parade.