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state mother of the year
Headshot of Jamie Nadherny, Washington Mother of the Year 2023

Meet Jamie Nadherny, 2023 Washington Mother of the Year®

April 5, 2023


Jamie N. Nadherny is a loving and proud mother to her son, Micheal Buckingham, and an inspiration to most who meet her. Pregnant at a young age, she graduated high school with honors. After the tragic loss of several family members and a survivor of domestic violence, she continued her education and pursued a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. Nadherny is an entrepreneur and, against several hardships and all odds, she opened a versatile rental venue just outside of Prague, CZ, and a full-care horse-boarding facility near Portland, OR, in honor of her parents. She is a professor at Gonzaga University where she received special recognition for being a positive influence and impacting the students’ lives who attend there. Nadherny has also served as Vice-President on the board of directors for the Spokane Art School, a non-profit organization. Nadherny is dedicated to her family and helping others in her community.

What surprises you most about being a mom?

As a single mother, I always felt an imperative responsibility and obligation to teach my son all the valuable lessons, morals and values I could. What surprised me the most about being a mom is how much I learned from my son throughout the years. To look at the world through his perspective and his own sense of profound wisdom amazed me. The way he understood things and would problem-solve situations made me feel so proud and lucky to be his mom. It continues to amaze me how much I learn from my son, Micheal.

Who has been impactful in your journey as a mother?

The most impactful person in my journey as a mother is undeniably my own mother. She is my hero. My mom was independent, and hard-working, and would sacrifice anything and everything for her children. She was one of the strongest, most intelligent and talented women most people have ever met. The lessons I carry and share with my son are everything my mom taught me. She taught me how to be strong, persevere, build positive relationships, be honest and humble, independent, and selfless, how to protect yourself, repair and build things, focus on the positive and be grateful every day.

What continues to inspire you in your motherhood journey?

Through my motherhood journey, my son Micheal inspires me. Feeling privileged to watch the man he has grown to become and the father he is to his own son. Since he was a young man, Micheal has always wanted to join the armed forces. After joining the Navy, it’s inspirational witnessing his accomplishments and dreams start to come to fruition in his own life, how he enjoys what he’s doing and feels honorable by serving his country. Watching my friends’ parenting journeys is inspirational to me as well, the struggles and the beautiful moments that all come together through love.

How has being a mom shaped your life?

Being a mom has shaped my life in so many ways. I was a young mother pregnant my senior year in high school and I feel being a young mom kept me very focused and grounded in my school studies while trying to set the best example for my son I could. The things I didn’t understand and the things I took for granted I didn’t realize until becoming a mom. Being a mom gave me insight into how much children are in tune with everything you do and the unconditional love experienced between the bond of mother and child.

Share one of your favorite stories from motherhood.

When Micheal was four, he had open heart surgery. He was in the ICU for three weeks, where I slept next to his bed in a chair, never leaving the hospital. After stabilizing, he was moved to a different room in the hospital on the children’s floor. Friends and family stopped by bringing get-well gifts. He noticed other children who did not have visitors or any gifts. Micheal wanted to give all his gifts away to the other children and so we did. He said, “Mom, I don’t need them because I have you.” I was so proud of my son!