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TEC Student of the Month Award

September 2011 - Janice Jenks

Janice Jenks

With a bright smile and contagious enthusiasm, Janice's joyful presence is a real boon to the classroom. Her positive attitude and abundant energy contribute to building a friendly and encouraging atmosphere, and are reflected in her delightful and creative approach to written homework assignments. In offering the gift of Spanish summer camp to both of her children and actively participating in the Tierra community by attending our holiday fiestas with them, Janice embodies our mission at Tierra to bring Spanish language and cultural education to the whole family!

August 2011 - Lusijah Marx

Lusijah Marx

Lusijah emanates kindness and positive energy, her presence in the classroom contributes to a special environment of enthusiasm and camaraderie. Her natural compassion and encouraging nature play a key role in making learning Spanish more of a group endeavor, a priority which shows when she helps to organize her fellow classmates to meet outside the classroom to keep practicing. A dedicated student, Lusijah's creative responses to homework assignments show careful study and imagination. Her community work in the field of mental health here in Portland and around the world is an inspiration to us all so we're very proud to count Lusijah as a Tierra student!

July 2011 - INT II on Tuesdays 5:30pm Spanish Class

For the month of July, we have decided to do something a little different in place of our Student of the Month award; we would like to specially recognize a unique group of students who have been studying together from 7 months up to nearly 2 years. We proudly name this group our "Class of the Month!" for July 2011

Lawrence's Spanish Class

Every Tuesday night at 5:30 the mission at Tierra is celebrated with the magnetic presence of what has been our longest running and most consistent class in our 2 year history. Tierra's vision of learning through human warmth and interaction is exemplified by the strong synergy that sparks between these seven individuals who have become community within our walls and graced our space with their signature banquet of food, laughter, language, grammar and humor. This July, Tierra Educational Center commemorates Craig, Jenny, Teresa, Rob, Emmanuelle, Maryam and Jocelyn as our distinguished Class of the Month and salute all their hard work and dedication, both individually and as a group. Thank you for helping to make the atmosphere at Tierra so vibrant and inviting!

June 2011 - Laura Valent

Laura Valent

A distinguished student for myriad reasons, Laura has put extraordinary effort into learning Spanish, and with patience, determination, and hard work, has achieved admirable advancement. Inspired by her work with at-risk youth, she decided to pursue a career in teaching ESL and Spanish, which catapulted her into intense study in order to achieve this goal. She emanates passion for learning and earnest interest in the deep and cultural aspects of language. This summer she will continue to expand her knowledge studying at UNAM in Mexico City. We are certain that with her unique sensitivity and authentic sense of purpose, Laura will be a positive and inspirational force in the lives of young people here in Portland and a true asset to the community.

April-May 2011 - Katherine Gottfried

Katherine Gottfried

As a compassionate and committed nurse, Katherine was motivated to begin studying Spanish by her desire to build bridges and communicate with Spanish-speaking patients. Endowed with great tenacity and abundant enthusiasm, she has shown true passion and determination in her dedication to learning. She exudes excitement about the Spanish language and Latin American culture, often arriving with humorous anecdotes or glee at having dreamt in Spanish. Kind and generous, Katherine possesses the kind of community-based orientation that we at Tierra applaud and hope to nurture.

March 2011 - Lyle Brown

Lyle Brown

A fortuitous combination of serious drive and natural ability have allowed Lyle to learn to speak Spanish at a break-neck pace. Thanks to his logical approach and meticulous study habits, he often offers insight into perplexing grammar rules and his contributions help all the students in his class to understand. Keenly interested in communication and dialogue, Lyle exhausts the possibilities for "intercambios", taking every opportunity to practice Spanish and build relationships here in Portland as well as abroad in Mexico. Lyle manages to balance hard work with good fun and milk his Spanish studies to the fullest.

February 2011 - Becky Wandell

Becky Wandell

With a big smile and bubbly enthusiasm, Becky brings joy and purpose to the classroom. A truly community-oriented vision fuels her dedication to learn Spanish in both her professional life, as a public school teacher who goes beyond expectations to form a conversation club with Spanish-speaking mothers of her students, and in her personal life as a seasoned international traveler and volunteer. An adventurous spirit, she has troves of experience and a knack for hilarious storytelling. Becky's passion and community work serve as a wonderful example of what we at Tierra hope to foster and an inspiration to find more ways to get involved.

November-December 2010 - Ken Southerland

Ken Southerland

Ken is a super star student for bountiful reasons. First and foremost, he is doggedly committed to learning Spanish: his consistency, dedication, and cache of flashcards have born much fruit in his speedy acquisition of the language. A fine representative of Portland bike culture, Ken shows up for class no matter what part of town he's coming from and in spite of rain, wind, cold, and anxious rush-hour drivers. With his quick wit and sociable nature, he brings humor, intellect, and zest to the classroom, reminding us all to stretch our limits of expression in our second language.


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