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TEC Student of the Month Award

December 2014 - Rose Bonomo


With immense enthusiasm for learning Spanish, Rose makes an incredible effort both in and outside of class to apply new knowledge and milk the educational experience to the fullest. She is eager to practice and takes advantage of every opportunity to interact with native-speakers, particularly in her work as an event space manager and on the town in the local salsa-dancing scene. Determined and studious, Rose often interprets the homework assigned as a springboard, stretching her vocabulary base and writing skills in animated compositions. Through her natural vivaciousness and fabulous sense of humor, she often stimulates group discussion and helps to build a comfortable and encouraging classroom atmosphere. With travel plans on the horizon and no sign of slowing down, we look forward to watching Rose surpass her goals while enjoying her company.

November 2014 - Rayner Ward


Rayner is a unique, you might even say unforgettable, student  whose humor and spontaneity bring an element of surprise to the Spanish classroom. After a long career of many careers including English professor, carpenter, and owner of a remodeling company, Rayner retired in 2007 to dedicate himself to his writing. He’s since self-published two novels and reports that his Spanish studies helped tremendously in the writing and editing process, particularly as he summoned his memories of Mexico and peppered the scenes set there with Spanish phrases and slang. Fascinated by language in all of its literary and vernacular manifestations, Rayner pushes the limits of his Spanish abilities, always seeking to express his thoughts on complex topics in an idiomatic fashion. We wish Rayner the best in his endeavors and are glad for his spirited participation in our community at Tierra!

October 2014 - Tanya Luken


With a joyful attitude and buckets full of motivation, Tanya has taken on learning Spanish like there’s no tomorrow. Committed to joining a program in the Peace Corps in which she will train people in a Spanish-speaking country to become business owners, Tanya’s passion for service and empowerment  inspires her dedication to learning the language. Having started out in Beginner 1 this past spring, she has breezed through our entire Beginner series by taking the intensive, twice weekly classes and is graduating to “intermediate” material this fall. Eager to practice in any way she can, she’s been speaking in Spanish with her friends and family (even the ones who don’t speak Spanish!) and taking every opportunity to use her newly acquired skills. It’s clear that with such drive, Tanya will reach great heights and we wish her the best of luck in her continued studies and future volunteer work.

September 2014 - Aaron Bini & Ellen Mickle

Committed  to learning Spanish and to learning it together, Ellen and Aaron studying side by side for many months merited a double recognition. Sharing a passion for organic and sustainable agriculture, they are driven to expand their Spanish skills to be able to communicate with Spanish-speakers in their fields of fair trade and farming. In fact, they began learning Spanish while volunteering on a farm in Colombia, and the dream of travelling abroad again is the other spark that keeps them motivated. They are hard-working students who support each other in their successes and hurdles and are on the path to achieving their ambitious learning goals. Genuine and kind, through their example Ellen and Aaron inspire us to live by our ideals and pursue our goals with joyful determination.

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