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TEC Student of the Month Award

June 2018 - Tracie Bennink

Committed to her Spanish studies and determined to enjoy the process, Tracie’s lighthearted sense of humor makes Spanish class more fun for everyone. A natural extrovert, when she travels abroad she comes home with new friendships blossoming, which she maintains through message writing - her favorite way to practice her Spanish skills. Also a fan of watching television in Spanish, she has the patience to watch an entire series despite not understanding every word, as she trusts (correctly) the exposure is good for her language development. In class, she easily connects with her classmates and contributes to a creating a collaborative atmosphere and sense of camaraderie. We’re grateful to have Tracie as a student and look forward to watching her march on to conquer her learning goals.

May 2018 - Emiko Badillo


Motivated to study Spanish by her family background - she’s the daughter of a Mexican-American father and Japanese mother - learning one of the languages she grew up around, but didn’t speak, is greatly meaningful for Emiko. Deeply dedicated to ethical eating and animal rights, she is co-owner of the vegan grocery store “Food Fight”, an activist in social/racial justice movements, and generally passionate about “fighting oppression against humans and non-humans”. Despite working everyday on these inspiring projects, she always makes it to Spanish class and carves out time to study. A delight to be around, her unfailingly positive attitude contributes to cultivating a fun and welcoming learning atmosphere for all. We admire Emiko in her tenacity as a student and in her commitment to her life’s work, and look forward to continuing to enjoy her presence and to witness the fruits of her hard work.

April 2018 - Rian Sackett


With great zeal for learning Spanish and an infectiously positive attitude, Rian’s presence energizes any class he’s in. Motivated by a strong desire to communicate with native Spanish-speakers and expand his cultural horizons, he takes every opportunity to practice - watching television and movies in Spanish, listening to music, and engaging locals in conversation when traveling, often bringing new words he’s picked up to share in class. Kind and supportive with a playful sense of humor, he revels in the camaraderie established in small-group classes. We are delighted to count Rian as part of our community at Tierra, and look forward to continuing to enjoy his company and see his skills blossom.

 

March 2018 - Joanne Rekow


With a wide smile and stellar attitude, Joanne's positive approach has buoyed her throughout her learning process. Having started in Beginner 3 over two years ago, she's been tenacious in her studies, consistently gracing her morning intensive classes and building Spanish skills that are now impressively strong. She is a caring classmate who forms close relationships with her fellow students, even traveling to Oaxaca with one of them! When she's not practicing her Spanish, Joanne enjoys making art as her hobby, including wood carving and painting, and is also an avid gardener and dedicated chicken keeper. We are proud to be witnesses to Joanne's hard work to pursue her Spanish goals, and look forward to continuing to see her inspiring progress.

 

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