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TEC Student of the Month Award

Student of the Month

We at Tierra are continually inspired by our students' hard work and dedication to learn, and so to share their successes with you, we recognize one outstanding student each month with a "Student of the Month" award. With such diverse interests, projects, and reasons for studying Spanish, our students are the lifeblood of the school, transforming our center into a true community.

December 2021 - Amanda Matlin

An extremely dedicated student, Amanda began her studies at Tierra back in 2017 in the Beginner 2 level, and over the years has built up her Spanish skills to reach an advanced level of fluidity. Initially motivated to expand her Spanish skills by volunteer work she did building houses in El Salvador, her passion for providing all with safe shelter motivated her to find work at a local non-profit providing vital services to houseless people in Portland. She applies her blossoming Spanish skills when interacting with Spanish-speakers in her work and volunteer projects and is a wonderful example of someone who’s chosen to dedicate her talents to improving the lives of others. In Spanish class she’s a kind and encouraging classmate who always participates actively in class and makes her Spanish studies an important priority in her life. We are honored to count Amanda as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to witness her impressive progress in Spanish and inspiring work in our wider community.

October 2021 - Ron Sklar

A student who is remarkably dedicated to his Spanish studies, when one gets to know Ron one realizes that this dedication is actually not limited to his fascination with language but something he applies to all areas of his life. An avid runner, he often shows up for his 9am class beaming, having already gotten in his run (one wonders if it could be possible to bottle his energy). As a pediatrician, his primary motivation to gain Spanish skills was to be able to communicate with Spanish-speaking families. Now semi-retired, he continues to volunteer as a pediatrician and in vaccination drives, still using his language skills to bridge the gap and help those seeking care to feel comfortable and valued. In class he is always fully invested in whatever topic is being discussed and contributes to creating a playful atmosphere where classmates enjoy a sense of camaraderie and together discover the complexities of the Spanish language. We are honored to count Ron as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to delve into the deep questions in his company.

September 2021 | Julie Romberg

Having started her studies  at Tierra a little over two years ago in a Beginner 2 course, Julie has demonstrated impressive dedication, going to great lengths to develop her skills and achieving a higher intermediate level. A lover of language and travel with an authentic desire to engage with the Spanish-speaking community, she’s involved in her local community and taken study abroad immersion trips to Mexico and Guatemala. The real inspiration she provides is in her lack of fear in approaching learning Spanish; there is no challenge, whether understanding the complexity of nuanced grammar structures or navigating the technical aspects of online courses, that can deter her. Always expressing kindness and warmth to her classmates, Julie embodies the community-minded spirit we aim to cultivate at Tierra and we are honored to count her among our student community.



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