Basic and Transitional Studies Division founding administrator
1931 - 2016
In the words of Rachel’s nephew, David, Rachel had a “deep sense of mission, nurturing spirit, and fierce resolve”.
Rachel Hidaka worked at Seattle Central for over 20 years, first as an ESL faculty member then as the founding administrator for the Basic and Transitional Studies Division (known then as Basic Studies).
Rachel passed away in July, yet her deep commitment to access for all to education continues to have a lasting impact on the ESL and ABE programs at Seattle Central. The campus community hopes to honor her legacy by establishing a scholarship in her name that supports both current Basic and Transitional Studies students, and students transitioning to college-level studies.
Rachel Hidaka’s tireless efforts on behalf of our students are known to many in the Seattle Central community and beyond. Rachel helped grow Seattle Central's basic skills program to one of the largest in the state, and one that is highly regarded across the nation.
As a result of Rachel's work, the division was recognized as a national finalist for the Outstanding Adult Education Program award from the US Department of Education in 1988. In 1996, Seattle Mayor Norm Rice proclaimed May 22 as Rachel Hidaka Day in her honor.
She was remembered by the International Examiner for her advocacy for refugees and immigrants after her passing in July.