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TEC Student of the Month Award

September 2017 - Pete Brainard


Inquisitive in nature, Pete’s endless thirst for knowledge leads him to weave his quest for cultural understanding with his Spanish studies. A global citizen without a doubt, he and his partner have spent the better part of a decade living between southern France and southern Spain. During his stints back in Portland and since their return a few years ago, he’s been impressively dedicated to his Spanish classes at Tierra. His contributions in class frequently bring nuances of meaning to light and stimulate discussion, enriching the experience for all. A motivated student who enjoys the challenge of reading fiction in Spanish, his generosity and kind heart endears him to classmates. We are proud to count Pete as a valued member of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to see him achieve his fluency goals!

July 2017 - Paula Oldfather

A committed student with an infectiously positive attitude, Paula brings her joy for learning to every class she attends. She began studying Spanish at Tierra in a Beginner 1 course nearly four years ago after retiring as a pediatric nurse. Since then, she’s been dedicated to her studies, a tenacious fighter up to the challenge of any obstacle put in her path. Motivated by her love of travel, Paula’s put her Spanish skills to use making connections with locals on trips to Mexico, Chile, and Spain. Currently enrolled in two intensive courses (which translates to 4 class sessions per week), her devotion to building her Spanish abilities is inspiring. Kind and generous, she is highly regarded by all her classmates and helps create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. We are grateful to have Paula as part of our community and look forward to seeing her achieve her goals!

June 2017 - Ken Houseman

Deeply committed to his Spanish studies, Ken has made his classes at Tierra a top priority, often enrolling in two courses simultaneously. Perhaps his background in computer science and business inform his focused and methodological approach, one which is lightened with an infectious sense of humor and an invariably positive attitude. Inspired to learn Spanish in part to honor his partner’s family of Mexican heritage, Ken is also passionate about travel and has visited many Spanish-speaking countries, most recently, Cuba. He revels in the social aspect of small-group classes, building strong connections with his classmates and helping to create a truly supportive and dynamic atmosphere. We are delighted to count Ken as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to see him race toward his fluency goals!

 

May 2017 - Carynne Drake

Carynne Drake
With bubbly, joyful energy and endless enthusiasm for learning Spanish, Carynne lights up the room and contributes to creating a positive class dynamic in any group she’s in. Notably dedicated to her studies, Carynne has been taking classes at Tierra for nearly three years and has improved her Spanish skills by leaps and bounds in that time. Reporting that Spanish class is her “me time” amid a busy life caring for her three young children, she places great value in the community aspect of group classes and builds mutually supportive relationships with her classmates. Highly inquisitive and eager to widen her cultural knowledge, her reflections and questions often help bring group discussions deeper into the subject at hand and enrich the interaction for all. We’re grateful to have Carynne as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to seeing her continue to blossom as a Spanish-speaker!

 

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