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TEC Student of the Month Award

September 2020 - Brian Sussman

With a heart of gold and inspiringly positive attitude, Brian infuses the classroom with his warmth and generosity. Since starting his studies at Tierra in the spring of 2019 he’s been unfailingly dedicated to his morning Spanish classes, advancing through our curriculum as he steadfastly and patiently worked hard to master new grammar structures and develop his speaking skills. A musician and composer by trade, he has an artist’s sensibility, rooted in empathy, and makes being a supportive classmate a top priority in his Spanish classes. Brian isn’t afraid of making mistakes, and this is key when pursuing a second language; in treating himself and his classmates without judgement, he helps set the tone for others to likewise liberate themselves from our inner critics. We are grateful to have Brian as one of our valued students at Tierra and look forward to continuing to accompany him on this amazing learning journey.

August 2020 - John Kieran Paul

Juan Pablo or Pablito, as he’s known in his Spanish classes, is wholly dedicated to his Spanish studies and to using his Spanish skills to be of service to the Spanish speaking community. An advanced learner, his immense curiosity and genuine interest in understanding the intricacies of the language and diverse cultural manifestations across the Spanish speaking world are inspiring. Having centered social justice in his professional life, he spent nearly two decades working with migrant workers and now advocates for renters in public housing, having the opportunity to use his Spanish skills to help Spanish speaking families to access the services they need. An attentive and empathetic classmate, he naturally contributes to building a sense of camaraderie in any group class that he joins. We are proud to count Juan Pablo as a valued student in our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to accompany him on this learning journey!

 

June 2020 - Anna Zeigler

An immensely enthusiastic student who has a great love of language and learning, Anna’s dedication to her Spanish studies has yielded many fruits. Having started three years ago knowing only the present tense, she has since studied about every grammar structure that there is in her twice-weekly classes and honed her skills to become an Advanced Spanish speaker. A retired nurse, Anna is deeply committed to social justice and immigrant rights, and has been able to harness her blossoming Spanish skills in several community organizations she volunteers with. A model of kindness and compassion, Anna’s delight in her classmates and profound concern for the moral integrity of our society have a wonderful impact on those who accompany her on this learning journey. We are honored to count Anna as part of our community at Tierra and stand with her in the fight for truth and justice.

May 2020 - Lyndi Liersemann

Lyndi’s history at Tierra goes way back - she has taken classes on and off since the fall of 2012!! We’re always thrilled to see her return for another class as she adds loads of positive energy and friendly support to any group she enrolls in. At the moment she is busy being a new Mama to her 1-month old baby, so we consider one silver lining to the coronavirus reality as being that Lyndi, and others who would not be able to attend classes in person right now, are able to join in online! A thoughtful and enthusiastic student, she embodies that balance of someone who actively participates and asks great questions while also yielding space to classmates and contributing to the cohesion of the group. We’re so glad to count Lyndi as a valued member of our Tierra community!

 

March 2020 - Laura Tauber

Laura Tauber

A steadfast student who’s been exquisitely dedicated to her Spanish classes since starting in Beginner 1 nearly three years ago, Laura’s hard work has paid off as she’s advanced through Tierra’s curriculum and developed ever-stronger skills. A warm and caring classmate, she is always eager to participate and helps foster camaraderie in any group she’s in. Inspired in part by her love of travel and dreams of living abroad, she delighted in her ability to reach out to people in their native language on a recent trip to Mexico. Her unceasingly positive attitude is an example and gentle reminder for us, particularly during these trying times, that anything is possible and our attitude deeply impacts our experience. We are honored to count Laura as a valued member of our community and look forward to continuing to see her stretch herself to reach beyond her goals.

 

January 2020 - Laleña Dolby

One would be hard-pressed to find a person more fun to be around than Laleña. Warm and compassionate, her presence infuses the classroom with positivity, making the process of learning Spanish more enjoyable for everyone. Traveling to Tierra twice-weekly from the farm where she and her family grow rootstock and seedlings for fruit trees, one of her primary motivations in studying Spanish is to be able to communicate and connect with the Spanish-speaking crew who work on the farm. This deep desire to gain fluidity in Spanish has fueled a serious dedication to her studies, yielding impressive progress in the year she’s studied at Tierra. We are honored to have Laleña as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to see her surpass her goals and delight in the language.

 

December 2019 - William Heerdt

Wholly committed to his twice-weekly morning class for the past two years, William, who goes by “Memo” around Tierra, is a gem of a student. Brimming with enthusiasm for learning Spanish, his skills have bloomed during his time studying with us and his steadfast perseverance has paid off. Having retired from his career as a project engineer, he dedicates a significant amount of time outside of class to his inquiry into the Spanish language. A genuinely warm and generous soul, Memo is a thoughtful and sensitive classmate who always seeks to take care of his compañeros. Passionate about effecting positive change, he is deeply concerned about climate change and dreams of using his Spanish skills to connect with hispanic communities and discover solutions together. We are grateful to count Memo as one of our valued students at Tierra and look forward to seeing where his hard work will take him!

 

October 2019 - Laura Pahlmeyer


Bursting with enthusiasm for learning Spanish, Laura has been wholly dedicated to her weekly Spanish classes since she became a student at Tierra two years ago!  To get more individualized support in honing her Spanish skills, she has also recently added private lessons into the mix of her studies. Warm and friendly with a great sense of humor, Laura tends to instigate laughter and connect with classmates, building community wherever she goes. A pharmacist who has the pleasure of working with many Spanish speaking families, being able to communicate with her patients in their native language is one motivation that inspires her to continue deepening in her studies. We’re thrilled to count Laura as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to watch her reach for the stars to achieve her goals!
 

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