Continuing Education Instructors

photo of Leah AmyakarLEAH AMYAKAR, Personal Interest

Leah holds an Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University.  She served as a teacher and administrator in California schools, community colleges, and universities for 38 years.  Her experience encompasses parent education, staff development, grant writing, lobbying, supervision of student teachers, and training art educators through the Getty Museum. Leah has volunteered as a guardian ad litem for children in foster care, supported the Days4Girls Project, and is currently a docent at Fort Nisqually in Point Defiance Park. She is an avid reader and has enjoyed playing and teaching Mah Jongg for the last 16 years.  She continues to teach and coach American Mah Jongg in Tacoma and the surrounding areas.

SUSAN ALEXANDER, Personal Interest

Ever since her first trip to Portugal, where she was captivated by the intricate pebble sidewalks and classic buildings clad in decorative blue and white azulejos (tiles), Susan Alexander has been in love with mosaic art – its movement and texture, its multi-cultural significance, its timelessness, and the endless possibilities inherent in the enduring art form. A native of upstate New York, Susan retired in 2012 from a 30-year career in non-profit resource development and now happily shares her creative spirit with private and continuing education students throughout the Puget Sound area. In her Olympia workshop and through her business, SALVAGGIO!, she creates custom mosaic jewelry and art for homes, gifts, gardens and businesses using salvaged materials, useful household items, vintage furnishings, and old architectural embellishments.

headshot photo of Lukas BarfieldLUKAS BARFIELD, Personal Interest

Lukas Barfield is a cannabis writer, reporter and activist who lives in Tacoma, WA. He holds a Master's Degree in Education and has experience teaching Math, Science and Technology. This experience, combined with lifelong experience with cannabis, allows him to bring the rigor of Math and Science to the subject of cannabis. He is the Director of Advocates for Medical Cannabis, a WA non-profit dedicated to bringing a medical cannabis system to Washington State based on compassion and science. Lukas writes for Ganjapreneurs, other cannabis websites and has been published in Marijuana Ventures Magazine. He has taught in middle school, parochial school, and college settings and is looking forward to bringing his passion for teaching and cannabis to Tacoma Community College.

photo of Nancy BartlettNANCY BARTLETT, Personal Interest

Nancy Bartlett has been part of the bridge world for over 30 years. She began playing social bridge when her children were young, and over time supplemented her social bridge with competitive duplicate bridge. Nancy obtained the level of Bronze Life Master with the American Contract Bridge League, learning from other Life Masters. She is now passing her knowledge on to other bridge players and find many of her students active in both social and duplicate bridge groups around Gig Harbor. Nancy grew up in Colorado and has lived in Washington with her husband, Albert, for the past twelve years.

illustration of Thomas BeckTHOMAS BECK, Job & Career Training

Illustrator, Designer, Educator, Engineer  Thomas has been creating illustrations in every facet since his youth. He earned a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design and continues to study Graphic and Web Design. Thomas is the Sole Proprietor of Insanity - Print and Publish, LLC. 

Throughout his professional and educational career, Thomas has been rooted in education: military training, adult education, college professor, and peer tutor of all ages.

Thomas served fourteen years of military service as a nuclear-trained electronics technician. He has a thorough understanding of the engineering method and its relation to the design process.

photo of Judy BuskirkJUDY BUSKIRK, Personal Interest

Judy Buskirk has always lived near the waters of Puget Sound in Washington State, so it is not surprising that the sea and the natural world are her primary sources of inspiration.

Buskirk earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Washington, Seattle, and taught in the Edmonds and Peninsula School Districts. It was when her own children were in middle school that she decided it was time to fulfill her artistic vision and study art at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle, then, an art foundation school.
She has since illustrated children's books, filled sketchbooks with ink line designs, and has painted in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media. She now expresses her personal imagery through the use of the luminous, brilliant colors of alcohol inks. She says, "It's a "wild ride," because of their nearly uncontrollable nature. Her classes provide a safe place to explore and "to see what would happen if….."

Her belief: "Art encompasses more than the visual. Exposure to music, performance, dance, architecture and literature, as well as the visual, enriches life, aids in early childhood learning, and satisfies a deep need in the viewer."

photo of Theresa CosgroveTHERESA COSGROVE, Personal Interest

Theresa Cosgrove has worked as a management analyst for the Federal government for over 25 years and is very knowledgeable about data gathering and evaluative methods.  She has applied this direct experience of fact-finding and investigative techniques to her hobby of genealogy.  She has a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin and was awarded a year-long Graduate Fellowship in France.  In addition, Mrs. Cosgrove is a dual-citizen of Luxembourg and has worked in Europe for over 14 years.  A former board member of the Bainbridge Island Genealogical Society, she is presently a member of three genealogical groups in the South Sound, including being a board member of the Tacoma Pierce County Genealogy Society.  She is also an Honorary Archivist for the Washington State Archives.  She has been a freelance French translator and interpreter for over 10 years.  She has been a member of the Seattle Chapter of the Alliance Française and taught French language classes at various schools and community colleges.  She presently is a member of the French American Business Group-Pacific NW, Conversations Francophiles á Tacoma, Le Club Français-Tacoma and a French conversation group in Gig Harbor, WA. Her other interests include horses and art.

image of Daniel DaughertyDANIEL DAUGHERTY, Job & Career Training

Daniel Daugherty owns and operates Forklift Operator Certification Services, a leading forklift safety training company established in 2002, with locations in California, Oregon and Washington. Mr. Daugherty has been an instructor of forklift safety training at local colleges since 2004, and currently holds classes at Bates Technical College, Tacoma Community College and Olympic College Bremerton. He is also the author and copyright holder of three forklift safety training manuals.

photo of Leslie DavenportLESLIE DAVENPORT, Personal Interest

Psychotherapist, author, speaker, teacher and consultant, Leslie Davenport, MS, LMFT is one of the early pioneers of raising awareness about the power of mind/body practices for healing. A founding member of the Institute for Health & Healing in San Francisco, one of the largest hospital-based integrative medicine programs in the country, she devoted 25 years to developing programs that integrate the best of scientific advancements with psychological and perennial wisdom practices. She continues to train professionals as faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, Master’s Program in Integrative Health. She is the author of three books including Healing and Transformation through Self Guided Imagery. She also applies her experiences with healing models to sustainability themes as a consultant in Climate Psychology.

Whether seeking resources to support health and healing, reduce stress, or build greater strength and flexibility for life’s personal and global challenges, she teaches a range of mind-body tools with warmth and enthusiasm in a style that is enjoyable and accessible to everyone.

photo of Wanda DeGolierWANDA DEGOLIER, Personal Interest

I have worn a lot of hats in my life, but Zumba, by far is the most fun! It creates friendships, and unlike other types of fitness classes, it's great for helping memory and cognitive function. I have a BS degree in Business Administration, as well as 17 fitness certifications including ACE Group Fitness, ACE Personal Trainer, SAIL, and a host of Zumba licenses. I maintain a website with my choreography at

DL FOWLER, Personal Interest

photo of DL Fowler

Award winning author DL Fowler created and teaches Psychology of Stories, a course for aspiring and published authors offered by Tacoma Community College’s Harbor Institute. He also hosts an online community of writers’ focused on exploiting the power of psychology in storytelling and leads discussions on writing craft for Kitsap Writers Forum.

Also known as the Lincoln Guy, he authored Lincoln Raw, a biographical novel, which is curated in the Lincoln Collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. His other works include suspense novels, Ripples and Lincoln’s Diary, and a book on writing craft, Transform Your Fiction.

photo of Margarita KnowltonMARGARITA KNOWLTON, Personal Interest

Margarita Knowlton, RVT, KPACTP is a professional dog trainer and a registered veterinary technician. She has over 17 years of experience working in the animal field as a veterinary technician, animal shelter worker and a dog trainer. She obtained her accreditation as a dog trainer from Karen Pryor Academy for Training and Behavior and constantly continues to further her education in animal training and behavior by attending workshops, seminars and online classes. She has taught a variety of dog training classes at animal shelters, private facilities and at her own business; and has helped hundreds of dogs become calm, well adjusted and happy members of the family.

Patty LeePATTY LEE, Personal Interest

Patty Lee, Ed.D., Retired Educator/Consultant   I have been a teacher most of my life, enjoying students of all ages in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and now Washington. I moved to Gig Harbor in 2016 after 13 years in Santa Fe, NM, where I taught at the Community College in Teacher Education. I have a passion for learning and helping others learn. Throughout my educational career, I became fascinated by the importance of effective communication in speaking, listening and writing. I have developed skills in facilitating adult groups in many areas that include Journaling with Meaning and Purpose, Self-Reflection and Mindfulness, Teaching Strategies that make classrooms fun, Teacher-to-teacher Support Groups and Book Study Groups.

I look forward to continuing taking classes at TCC as well as teaching.

photo of LoghryBONNIE LOGHRY, Personal Interest

Bonnie Loghry, MPH, CPH, RYT500 - Bonnie began her practice in Iyengar Yoga almost 20 years ago as a way to help deal with the increasing pain of her scoliosis. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UC Davis and taught college level anatomy, health and occupational safety classes prior to relocating to Washington in 2016.

A graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute Advanced Studies Program of San Francisco, she teaches yoga as an exploration of the relationship between this ancient discipline and modern science.Working from the premise that  ‘yoga is not just for flexible people’, Bonnie specializes in applications of yoga for musculoskeletal problems such as scoliosis, kyphosis and osteoporosis.

photo of Patrick Lowinger

PATRICK LOWINGER, Personal Interest

Patrick Lowinger is a historian and freelance writer. Patrick possesses an M.A. in ancient history from AMU and a B.S. in microbiology from CSULB. In addition to teaching, Patrick is currently pursuing an additional postgraduate degree in archaeology from the University of Leicester.

Pat’s interest and area of focus are on the people and societies of the ancient Mediterranean – from the Late Bronze Age through Early Medieval periods. As an active member of the Association of Ancient Historians, Pat remains academically engaged – having just spent the summer in Romania doing archaeological field work.  

JOSEPH MACHCINSKI, Personal Interest

February will mark 20 years that I have been in the landscape industry. After my stent with the Navy and being honorably discharged, I did not know what field of work I wanted to do. I had a couple jobs. One was for a pest control company working for the owner, doing odd jobs around his home and was about to work for the company when I left. I put my resume into a couple different companies. One was a carpet wholesale place and the other was a landscaping company.

Just as I accepted the carpet job, the owner of the landscape company told me "you don’t want to work inside breathing carpet fumes do you?" Therefore, I changed my mind and went with the landscape job. I knew the outdoors was my true love. Being an Eagle Scout and as a kid, I loved being with nature. Now I can help create outdoor spaces. I worked for that company for 6 years, mostly doing maintenance and learned the proper way to mow turf. While working there, I took the master gardener class, became a master gardener, and before I left that company, was working on getting landscape-industry certified. I joined another landscape company, which had a nursery as well as the landscape department. Plants and plant care was starting to be my interest. I was getting more educated on how plants grow and learning the correct way of pruning. I still felt like I needed to do more. Working for companies was starting to get old! I had many ideas that I could not bring to the table. I had a yearning to do something more.

In 2008, I applied for my business license. I quit my job and was scared at first. I did not have enough jobs to support my household. Therefore, I did my own stuff part time and applied at a nursery part time. I worked a full season learning the nursery trade: helping people choose the right plants for their homes. Unfortunately, that nursery closed its doors. This provided me the opportunity to work full time in my business. I started with approximately 10 customers and grew to over 60! 

Through the years, I earned the landscape industry certification as well as my commercial pesticide applicators license. Being active in the master gardeners, landscape industry certification, and having my pesticide license I take classes every winter to keep up on all landscape related issues and laws. 

Therefore, with my company I now can do what I want and how I want. I strive to help people learn the correct way to take care of their plants. My company is an organic and natural garden care company. I am a gardener.

Another love is being an active member and referred gardener of plant amnesty. Garden coaching and care is what I do. So if you want to create a low maintenance garden with little care that is what I aim to do! This fall I got a gig to teach classes on pruning and natural yard care. I have done that a number of times in the past and really enjoy it!

Yes, I love what I do and I keep active memberships in two professional landscape clubs as well as three chamber of commerce’s. As a garden coach, I will teach you to create a yard that you can enjoy, instead of being caught up working more in the yard with wrong plants and battling issues like disease and insects. Happy gardening!

photo of E.C. MurrayE.C. MURRAY, Personal Interest

E.C. Murray (Elizabeth Corcoran Murray) tutors and teaches at Tacoma Community College, Seattle Central College, and the Olympia Writing Center. A freelance writer and award-winning author, she wrote A Long Way from Paris, named a KIRKUS Best Book of the Year, and two “tiny books,” Life Kind of Sucks, and Writers Unblocked: Insightful Tips from Award Winning Writers in and around Seattle.

With two writing certificates from the University of Washington, Murray has been a fixture in the local writing community for a decade. She founded Writers Connection, a newsletter and website with dozens of resources for writers as well interviews with successful writers, many of whom are New York Times best sellers. In her “past life,” she was county bureaucrat, earned a Masters in Social Worker, supported people with disabilities, and marketed Good to Go before the second Narrows bridge was built.,,

RossiTERRI ROSSI, Personal Interest

Terri Rossi is author, educator and pain relief specialist at her Best Body Moves clinic in downtown Gig Harbor, WA. She has over 30 years of experience in adult education and healing therapies. She offers gentle brain-muscle coordination techniques such as the Feldenkrais® Movement Method in individual and group formats to harness the power of the brain to allow the body to recover from illness, injury and brain trauma.

She is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner, Board Certified Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork practitioner and clinical Licensed Massage Therapist. A Master of Science degree in Information Systems Management and 20 years of technical training and writing at companies like Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Space Labs Medical allows Terri to develop and teach fun, interactive holistic classes that dramatically improves lives.

photo of regina sadonoREGINA SADONO, Personal Interest

Regina Sadono earned an MFA in screenwriting at UCLA, an MFA in dance at CalArts, and a doctorate in theater, also from UCLA. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the mythical underpinnings of ballet training. Her research on performance art and narrative studies has appeared in a variety of journals including Glow International, Art and Academe, Parole Gelées, TPQ Text and Performance Quarterly, and The Newsletter of CalArts CAP. She earned the Eisner Prize for Creative Achievement in choreography at UC Berkeley and the Samuel Goldwyn Creative Writing Award in screenwriting at UCLA. Dr. Sadono has taught dance, film, creative writing, grant writing, theater arts, and media studies across the United States at University of Wisconsin, University of Central Florida, University of Phoenix, UCLA, California Institute of the Arts, College of the Canyons, Monterey Peninsula College, and Cal State Universities at Northridge and Los Angeles. She has presented her work on story structure at the 2017 and 2018 Write in the Harbor conferences, and has been teaching professional and creative writing classes through Continuing Education for the past two years. Dr. Sadono works as a fundraiser in the nonprofit sector and is currently Manager of Strategy and Support with the Gig Harbor Film Festival. 

TIMOTHY SMITH, Job & Career Training

Tacoma-based artist, Timothy Smith, has been teaching and making art locally since 2016. After receiving his Bachelors of Fine Art from Cornish College of the Arts in 2003, his passion for fine art took him to New York City where he spent 6 years studying, creating and exhibiting paintings and prints.

In 2009, he received his Masters of Fine Art from New York Academy of Art with a focus in painting and printmaking. This hallowed institution is centered on the human figure and mastering the nuances traditional forms of painting, drawing and sculpture. By studying the ‘Old Masters’ and learning under the tutelage of New York City’s top artists and educators, Smith was able to gather a unique perspective on teaching and creating art.

During his time at NYAA, Smith reconnected with a four hundred-year-old printmaking process called mezzotint. This quickly developed into an obsession, as he fell in love with the unique characteristics that this dry-point method possesses. This new passion coupled with his love of classical painting has given the artist an outlet to explore his visceral fascination with light on the American landscape.

In 2011, Timothy moved to San Francisco, where he began studying digital art and entertainment design. During his time in the Bay Area, Smith worked as an illustrator, graphic designer, and concept artist for several major clients including Levi’s, Restoration Hardware, PlayStation, and Wells Fargo.

Currently, Timothy is working as a fine artist, illustrator, graphic designer, and art educator in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. He teaches painting, drawing and digital art at Tacoma Community College and privately out of his studio in North Tacoma. His work is represented by Davidson Gallery where his mezzotints prints can be viewed.

The artist’s newest paintings and prints depict urban and rural landscapes that examine his connection to an environment by attempting to capture the temporal and emotional qualities of light and atmosphere.

Both his work and his teaching practices encompass all areas of his experience and skills, and by combining the various disciplines, he is able to give his audience and students a unique and lasting experience.

headshot of Jeff WatersJEFFERY "JEFF" WATERS, Personal Interest

Jeff Waters is a retired financial advisor.  He lives with his wife, Carol and two cats in Canterwood, Gig Harbor.  He is the editor and past president of the Northwest Watercolor Society and teaches watercolor classes for the Washington Corrections Center for Women, Tacoma Community College and various other organizations.  He regularly sells his work.  He is active in St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Peninsula Art League.  His greatest joy is teaching.