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TEC Student of the Month Award

July 2013 - Mary Laughlin


Passionate about learning and fascinated by everything to do with Latin America, Mary's eyes sparkle with curiosity as she discovers the nuances of the Spanish language and deepens her cultural understanding. A particularly committed student, she has a penchant for joining two back to back courses at a time and exudes enthusiasm throughout the four straight hours of Spanish classes. Motivated to sharpen her language skills in part by her love of travel, Mary's an adventurer who treasures exploring new territory and is always seeking to cultivate her knowledge and appreciation of the people, places, and cultures she encounters. Having taught for decades, Mary's love of education is unceasing and she's become an esteemed member of the Tierra community!

June 2013 - Mary Watkins

With a keen interest in language and a dry sense of humor, Mary approaches learning Spanish with creativity and determination. An early childhood educator who helps kids with special needs, Mary’s dedication to her work is the principal force that motivates her to become fluent in Spanish. Inquisitive and thorough, she investigates the nature of Spanish structure, asking pertinent questions that bring clarity to the topic at hand. In writing assignments, her focus and commitment shine through as she imaginatively employs the communicative tools she’s learned thus far. We congratulate Mary for the progress she’s made and for her goal of using her Spanish abilities to make school a more welcoming place for her young students and their families.

May 2013 - Mike & Bonnie Vawter

Since deciding to study Spanish together, this married couple has become a mainstay in their Spanish classes at Tierra. Committed students who clearly enjoy learning, Mike and Bonnie add creativity, intelligence, and good-natured fun to the classroom dynamic. With travel plans in the making, they are motivated to develop their language skills in part by the desire to explore new places and be able to interact on a deep level with the people they encounter. Diligent and thorough, Mike and Bonnie are truly laudable students whose genuine interest and dedication have led them to make great progress in their time at Tierra.

April 2013 - Mark Griffin

Driven in his quest towards fluency in Spanish, Mark’s dedication and inspiring community work make him a true asset to the Tierra community. An attorney who focuses his practice on protecting workers and consumers from fraud, discrimination, and illegal employment practices, he has positively impacted the lives of many in the region in his tireless fight for justice. He takes advantage of his language skills to communicate with his Spanish-speaking clients, as well as with his multi-cultural family. Endowed with a great sense of humor and fascinated by the diverse cultures of Latin America, Mark’s warmth and curiosity enrich Spanish class  for everyone.

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