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TEC Student of the Month Award

October 2012 - Jacob Carringer

Jacob Carringer


Inquisitive and upbeat, Jacob is an exceptional Spanish student who brings a welcome mix of focused attention and hearty laughs to the classroom. With a writer’s eye for language, his analytical observations and pertinent questions enrich the educational experience for all, while his thoughtful compositions reflect the effort he puts into studying Spanish. Jacob’s amiable nature and positive attitude have led him to form strong bonds with his fellow classmates; eager to use their Spanish skills and deepen their cultural understanding, he and three of his Tierra classmates are heading to Tepotzlán México this month for an intensive week of Spanish studies and cultural immersion. We at Tierra wish them all a ¡Buen Viaje!

September 2012 - Leila Everall

Leila Everall
Already fluent in Farsi and English, Leila’s dedication to mastering her third language stems from her commitment to better serve the Spanish-speaking community: as a chiropractor she has many Spanish-speaking patients whom she helps to overcome pain. She approaches studying Spanish with lighthearted determination and a healthy sense of humor, building camaraderie amongst her classmates and facing challenges with laughter. We at Tierra commend Leila and all healthcare professionals who are motivated to devote time and energy to learning a language by the desire to communicate effectively with the people they treat.


August 2012 - Stephanie Liberman

Stephanie LibermanWith a naturally cheery disposition and endless enthusiasm for learning, Stephanie makes Spanish class more enjoyable for everyone.  Dedicated to the community she serves as an elementary school teacher in Vancouver, WA, her continuing commitment to expand her communication skills and cultural knowledge is fueled by a genuine desire to engage and include her numerous Spanish-speaking students and their families. As a student at Tierra, she energetically contributes to creating a fun, supportive atmosphere and thoughtfully probes into all topics studied. Boundlessly positive and driven, Stephanie is a real boon to the Tierra community.


July 2012 - Tom Carter

Tom CarterPassionately committed to service work in Latin America, Tom’s enthusiasm for learning and sense of purpose infuses the classes he joins with positive, joyful energy. After experiencing volunteer trips with medical associations, he founded a non-profit NGO “Agua Pura Para El Pueblo”, dedicated to promoting simple, small-scale methods to help communities and families obtain safe, clean drinking water and improve sanitation. He and his wife Susan frequently travel to Mexico with the organization, where they can be found this month working on projects in Mexico City, Chiapas, and Oaxaca. Tom’s innate curiosity and natural optimism make him an exceptional student of Spanish and Latin American culture, always seeking to expand his ability to communicate with and understand the diverse communities south of our border.

June 2012 - Jacob Lewin

Jacob LewinWith his keen interest in Latino culture and refined sense of humor, Jacob brings fresh perspectives to the Spanish classroom . A retired radio reporter and news director, he continues to do freelance work in radio, often reporting on issues related to hispanics and immigrants and seeking to widen cultural awareness. His wholehearted dedication to giving back to the community can be seen in his volunteer work, tutoring Spanish-speakers with limited educational opportunities in English as a Second Language. A  frequent participant in the ''intercambios'' offered at Multnomah County libraries, Jacob commendably explores every avenue available to practice his language skills and make connections with the Spanish-speaking community.

May 2012 - Danielle McGurrin

Danielle McGurrin
Vivacious and friendly, Danielle's positive energy contributes to creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere in any class she joins. She is commendably determined to learn Spanish despite the demands of her academic career and is committed to her studies, often taking a private class when she's been forced to miss class. Having relished the opportunity to communicate with native speakers and explore the city-scapes and volcano-dotted countryside of Guatemala, her adventurous spirit and genuine desire to learn about Latin American culture fuel her dreams of further travels south. Always actively engaged in the class material and quick to ask questions, Danielle embodies the enthusiasm and drive that we at Tierra love to see.

April 2012 - Ryan Hildreth

RyanBrimming with enthusiasm, Ryan - or "Marcos" as he is known to his classmates - began at the Beginner 1 level at Tierra and has been dedicated to learning Spanish ever since. Armed with a pen and a stockpile of index cards, he seems to rejoice at the discovery of new favorite words and phrases. He recently upped the ante by enrolling in a second weekly course, and his determination to advance is evident in his eagerness to practice Spanish with native speakers and fellow students alike. With his ever-present smile and characteristic sense of humor, Ryan has a knack for inspiring laughter and making learning Spanish a more entertaining and memorable experience.

March 2012 - Craig Norman

Craig Norman Picture
Craig is driven to learn Spanish, and his steady and impressive improvement demonstrates that a commitment to study and practice truly yields results. In his two years studying at Tierra he has advanced through the levels; his analytical nature and organized approach boost his ability to process new information and expand his language skills. Joyful and kind, Craig brightens up the classroom and clearly enjoys the camaraderie built in group classes. His dedication to deepening his knowledge and genuine interest in Latin American culture are emblematic of what makes Tierra students so special.



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