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Elyse S. Medina - Academic Director

Elyse Medina

Elyse Medina was born in Southern California and grew up in Ashland, OR. Passionate about both Spanish and teaching since early adolescence, she studied Spanish throughout her high school and university education and enjoyed tutoring and mentoring students from Spanish-speaking families.  She spent a year of college abroad in beautiful Granada, Spain and after receiving her Bachelor's degree in Politics from UC Santa Cruz in 2005, she taught English for three years in Granada and Madrid, continuing to expand her Spanish abilities. In 2008, she returned to the U.S., choosing Portland as her new home, and was thrilled to quickly find opportunities to teach Spanish to both children and adults.

Elyse has been teaching foreign languages since 2005 to students of all ages and backgrounds.  Teaching Spanish is particularly satisfying for her as it blends her aptitude for teaching with her ever-deepening interest in the Spanish language and Latin American culture. Elyse's teaching philosophy is centered on the belief that classes ought to be communicative and enjoyable, and she helps students to learn grammar structures through practice and conversation. Appreciative of the unique teaching environment that the small classes at Tierra provide, she is so often inspired by the curiosity and enthusiasm of Tierra students in their drive to learn and in their diverse projects in work and life.

Outside of the classroom Elyse enjoys traversing the city of Portland by bike, hiking and camping in surrounding environs, learning about and visiting Mexico, expanding her culinary skills, and re-learning to play the piano.