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TEC Student of the Month Award

April 2017 - Vanora St. Clair


With a genuine love of learning for learning’s sake, Vanora’s delight in studying Spanish readily spreads to those in her presence. A former psychology teacher, she is now a mindfulness meditation instructor. Her dedication to cultivating mindfulness manifests itself in her interactions at Tierra, where she is an especially kind and compassionate classmate, and a role-model who maintains a profoundly positive attitude throughout the process of building language skills. Growing up in Hawaii, Japan, and the East and West coasts of the U.S. fostered a respect for diverse cultures within her, and she became an adventurous spirit who has enjoyed travels near and far. An avid reader, explorer of the great outdoors, and dog-lover, Vanora’s taken on her new passion for the Spanish language and cultural world with zest, and we are grateful to have her as a valued member of our community!

 

March 2017 - Robert Dismukes


With a stellar attitude and warm smile, Robert’s great enthusiasm for learning Spanish is contagious. An exceptionally committed student since Winter 2015, he rarely misses a class and puts in significant time working on his skills at home. He is a gracious and kind classmate, helping to create a welcoming, amiable environment. Eager to immerse himself in Spanish, Robert has enjoyed time studying in Mexico and takes every chance he can to practice his language skills and befriend native speakers. His willingness to take on challenges and make mistakes illustrates his humility and patience - qualities that are a great boon in the quest to learn a foreign language. We are grateful for Robert’s contributions to our community at Tierra and proud to witness his impressive progress.

February 2017 - Tatyana Dembrow


Genuine and kind, Tatyana infuses the classroom with positive energy. Having started in our Beginner 1 class just one year ago, she’s taken on learning Spanish with dedicated fervor and clearly relishes the learning process. A family nurse practitioner, her desire to best serve her patients was part of the inspiration to set out on the journey to learn Spanish. Another of Tatyana’s passions is Africa: she discovered her interest in public health while studying abroad in Dakar Senegal and working in a neighborhood health clinic. Her family helped found the Cascade Festival of African Films, now in it’s 27th year, and she currently serves as its volunteer coordinator. The festival  is running now through March 4th, check out the amazing program! We’re thrilled to have Tatyana as part of our community at Tierra and look forward to continuing to see the fruits of her hard work!

January 2017 - Lynn Thompson

Lynn Thompson
Lynn's impressive dedication to her Spanish studies stems from her wholehearted passion for social justice which has guided her career and life for decades. With a background in social work, she is a dynamic leader who has directed many organizations that serve women and children, including family crisis centers and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Deeply interested in culture, literature, travel and history, her contributions to group conversations are thoughtful and highly stimulating. Lynn truly enjoys the process of learning Spanish, unbridled by worries of making mistakes, and builds strong relationships with her classmates and instructors. We are honored to count Lynn as part of our community at Tierra, and proud of the great work she does!

December 2016 - Liz Johnston


Bursting with enthusiasm for learning Spanish, Liz arrives for her classes with arms waving, a wide smile, and a cheery “¡Hola!”. Genuine and kind, she makes a pointed effort to get to know and practice with all of her classmates, warmly contributing to the feeling of camaraderie fomented in small-group classes. She’s hardworking and tenacious, never giving up as she rides the waves of feeling excited and challenged in the learning process. Joining us for our community fiestas, Liz quickly integrated herself as part of the Tierra community and is always eager to lend a helping hand. We’re grateful to have Liz as a dedicated Tierra student, and look forward to continuing to see her jump the hurdles of building Spanish skills!

 

October 2016 - Laura Graser


With great focus and commitment, Laura has built up her Spanish skills and taken advantage of every opportunity to delve into cultural learning in her two years studying at Tierra. A lawyer by profession, her desire to best serve and understand her Spanish-speaking clients was one impetus for her to pursue a higher level of proficiency in Spanish. Also inspired by her fondness of travel and eagerness to have authentic exchanges with locals, in her most recent adventure abroad this summer she spent several weeks studying Spanish in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. A highly motivated student with a quenchless appetite for reading in Spanish, she has no fear of the limits of her own understanding and pushes towards ever-deeper comprehension. We're thankful to have Laura as part of our community at Tierra, and look forward to seeing where her quest for fluency takes her!

September 2016 - Phuong Nguyen


A stellar student who stands out for her drive and commitment, Phuong is motivated to learn Spanish by a love of languages and desire to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients in her job as clinical manager. Hailing from Vietnam, she brings a unique perspective and experience as a seasoned language-learner which enrich the class as whole. A kind and supportive classmate, her cheery attitude and ever-present laughter inject the classroom with positive energy. As she uses Spanish frequently in her workplace to establish a positive relationship with patients, she studiously pursues expanding her Spanish knowledge in class. We’re so glad to count Phuong as part of our community at Tierra, and look forward to continuing to see her skills bloom!

August 2016 - Stuart Worley

Strikingly committed to his Spanish studies, Stuart has been a mainstay in his classes at Tierra since starting out in Beginner 1 in early 2014. An avid traveler, he was originally motivated to learn Spanish by journeys to South America and recently returned from an exciting trip to Ecuador and Peru. Stuart’s wide range of interests and talents have him wearing many hats including retired engineer, musician who plays the french horn, accomplished amatuer photographer, and helicopter pilot among others! As a student of Spanish, he’s a kind and enthusiastic classmate who always makes the effort to go beyond the task assigned to do research or extend the activity in a way that helps him to deepen his educational experience. We’re grateful for Stuart’s continued dedication to learning Spanish and look forward to continuing to see his skills flourish!
 

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