Leah Amyakar, Ed.D. Teacher in elementary, secondary, and Adult Education programs, elementary principal, parent educator and district administrator in California schools. Instructor in teacher preparation programs for California State University Long Beach, La Verne College, and University of Phoenix. Mah Jong instructor in community centers and community colleges. Volunteer interpreter at Fort Nisqually, Community emergency preparedness coordinator, Trainer for women’s shelter workers, PJ Library Coordinator, and Alzheimer’s Association volunteer. Avid mystery reader and traveler.
Lukas has been teaching for TCC Continuing Education since 2018. He has taught Radio & Podcast classes, Cannabis Certificate classes and must recently Microsoft Word. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has experience teaching Math, Science and Technology. He brings his passion for technology and love for teaching to the Microsoft for Seniors class. Lukas believes continuing education an important part of life-long learning. He has taught middle school, parochial school, and in college settings. He brings his passion for teaching to Tacoma Community College.
Myriah Barringer is a nine-time published poet and author. She has publications in the poetry, short fiction, and short memoir genres. She has her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts from Centralia College (2017), her Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Martin’s University (2019), and her Master of Arts in Multicultural English Literature and Language from Heritage University (2022) where she studied decolonizing literature curricula methodologies, creative writing, and sociolinguistics. She worked for the Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering, Saint Martin’s University, writing short-form journalism articles for their e-newsletter. She has been teaching writing and literature classes at various community colleges in Washington State since 2019 and has been teaching at TCC since 2021. She runs a highly successful blog on Ancient Egyptian archaeology with 36,000+ followers in her spare time.
Andy Becker is a writer, gardener, and lifetime learner, who lives in Western Washington among the cedar trees with his wife Donna and their two dogs, Nova and Splash. Andy was a successful small-town lawyer who found respite from the vicissitudes of fighting for the little guy against insurance companies by gardening, hiking, and camping with his family, and by expanding his spirituality through Judaism. During his early years of gardening, he was often frustrated, beset by rocky soil, hills, and too many slugs and deer. Despite these challenges, Andy has never failed to grow vegetables every spring and summer. His current garden includes a greenhouse, eight raised beds, a thirty-yard vegetable bed, and a forty-yard stretch of raspberry vines. Author of the Spiritual Gardener: Insights from the Jewish Tradition to Help Your Garden Grow, Cracking an Egg, The Kissing Rabbi: Lust, Betrayal, a Community Turned Inside, and The Spiritual Forest: Timeless Jewish Wisdom for a Healthier Planet and a Richer Spiritual Life.
Wanda DeGolier, owner of 8Rs Indoor Plant Specialists, has years of experience providing ongoing indoor plant care to commercial and residential clients in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia. She has developed a unique understanding of different types of indoor plants in a wide range of conditions. Her expertise is specifically suited to the Pacific Northwest and is based on her extensive plant and soil knowledge, experience, and experiments. In addition to owning a small indoor plant nursery, Wanda also runs a plant hospital, where she takes in sick plants and nurses them back to health. She firmly believes that indoor plants improve people's lives and make the world a better place.
I am a full time visual artist and art instructor living in Lakewood, Washington. I received my BFA with focus on printmaking. I work primarily from my home studio. For the past few years, I have been creating art in various mediums including painting, textiles, mixed media and collage. Dreamlife, encounters with nature, animals and everyday life influence the imagery and symbolism in my work. The people and cultures from extensive globetrotting and the areas surrounding me in the Pacific Northwest, ignite my creativity and stimulate my imagination.
Emily Grantz (they/them) is a certified yoga teacher (RYT-200), who specializes in gentle classes that are accessible to folks of various sizes and abilities. When not teaching yoga, Emily facilitates and consults with hybrid teams at Functioning Workplace Consulting. In all of their work, they prioritize building community and creating inclusive, trauma-sensitive environments.
Amon Greene has been teaching Tai chi chuan for almost 25 years and practicing for over 30. Tai chi was instrumental in his 25-year career in massage. Amon has been a competitor and instructor in the martial arts since the age of 5. In 2010 he traveled to Shanghai to witness one of the first public performances of Tai chi by the Wu Dan monks. His lifelong passion for Tai chi has many inspirations but none greater than the teachings of master Chungliang Al Huang, through his Living Tao Seminars. Currently he is working as an adjunct faculty at TCC and has collaborated on translations of the Dao De Jing, Confucius’ Analects and Sun Tzu’s Art of War. It would be his honor if you’d join him in playing with the art of Tai chi chuan.
Leslie J. Hall the author of the Kaitlyn Willis Road Signs mysteries, a humorous, PG-rated, amateur sleuth series starring a NW code enforcement officer. She also writes women’s fiction and in training to become a book coach. Leslie loves to speak, teach, and share her passion for writing with others. When not writing, Leslie volunteers for writer-related events, leads Write Night (a weekly virtual facilitated critique group), teaches beginning writing at community colleges in continuing ed, laughs as much as possible, and when not doing all of that, hangs out at the beach whenever possible. She lives in Bremerton, WA with her husband and her pandemic rescue cat, Mia. Learn more about Leslie’s writing and her classes at www.lesliejhall.com.
Kit Kapphahn is a medievalist specializing in the literature and culture of medieval Britain, especially Wales, and its neighbors. She holds a PhD in Celtic Studies from Aberystwyth University. Her research focuses on the reflection of life in literature - how the past may be a foreign country, but it's one we can visit and understand. Having taught in England, Wales and the US, Kit is an active member of the British branch of the International Arthurian Society, the Celtic Studies Association of North America, and the North America Wales Foundation.
The result of Wendy Kendall's passion for purses, mystery and romance is the intriguing In Purse-Suit Mysteries. Kat Out of the Bag introduces Katherine Watson purse designer/sleuth who moves from designer bags to body bags. The prequel, Purse-Stachio Makes A Splash delves into a chilling cold case. Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense at Killer Nashville, Snow Kiss Cookies To Die For creates a tangle of mystery and love. A summer read that will keep you on the edge of your beach towel, Cherry Shakes In The Park blends danger, divas, and frothy delights. Ribbons of love run through the newest book, Heart of Christmas Cookies and Dreams. With BA degrees in English and Political Science, and an MBA from Willamette University, Wendy enjoys investigating the Pacific Northwest life, and she leaves a trail of her own clues as a blogger, podcaster, speaker, project manager, and syndicated columnist.
An experienced gardener and landscaper with a passion for sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. With 45 years of gardening experience in various climates and soil conditions, Tom has developed a deep understanding of plants and their needs. Tom began his journey in 1990 as founder of Friends of Moab, Utah, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the use of native and drought-tolerant plants in landscaping. To further promote this cause, Tom wrote a guide booklet to help people incorporate these plants into their landscapes. Serving as a Master Gardener through the University of Utah Extension Service, Tom went on to teach Master Gardener classes. Sharing his knowledge and empowering others to develop their gardening skills has always been a priority for him. He’s owned and operated landscaping businesses, was a member of Thurston County Seed Savers, and now, Tom operates his own landscaping business in Bremerton and Port Orchard, Washington. This venture allowed him to continue providing professional services while adapting to the specific climate and soil conditions of the region. Throughout his career, Tom’s accumulated extensive knowledge and expertise in gardening, landscaping, and promoting sustainable practices. “I remain dedicated to sharing my knowledge, empowering others, and creating beautiful, environmentally-friendly landscapes.”
Rebecca Lexa M.A., OMN, is a lifelong nature nerd who has always enjoyed sharing her love of the natural world with others. She has a Master's Degree in counseling psychology with a certificate in ecopsychology, and is also a certified Oregon Master Naturalist. She has been teaching in varying venues for almost twenty years, and is an experienced public speaker. Rebecca teaches her online courses from her art studio on the southwest Washington coast, where she lives on a farm with twenty chickens, a flock of sheep, innumerable ducks, and the best dog in the world.
Tyrean Martinson is an imaginative writer, teacher, and podcaster with over twenty self-published titles, with a small press published novella, and short stories, poetry, and articles published by small presses and traditional publications. She is a fan of speculative fiction, poetry, Shakespeare, and both Star Wars and Star Trek.
Born and raised in Milan, Italy, Barbara is a dedicated teacher and musician that recently moved to Seattle. Her grandmother was a piano teacher, and she grew up been surrounded by music and musicians. She attended the Conservatory of Milan graduating in Music Theory and Complementary Piano. Deeply passionate about places and cultures, and about how humans and territory interrelate, Barbara spent many years traveling and learning about humanities, social studies, cultural studies, music as a mean of communication and expression. In her spare time, she reads a lot of books, watches a lot of documentaries and hikes in the wonderful nature of the PNW. As a musician, she has performed and recorded with several artists both in Europe and the US. She works as a professional teacher and musician, mostly teaching music, Italian language, Italian history and culture. In addition to teaching, Barbara is currently completing a BA in Human Sciences of the Environment and Territory.
I began my teaching career at Highline Community College in the Fall of 2006 prior to completing my Master's of Social Work degree and the Certificate of Public Administration at Eastern Washington University. In October of 2007, I resigned from full-time employment at Lakeside, but still work there as a consultant on a per-diem basis. I went on to accept a position as Program Mamager/Evaluator at Community Counseling Institute in Tacoma. Now I teach in Human Services and Chemical Dependency full time at Tacoma Community College and part time at Highline College. I am the Chair of the DOH SUD Advisory Committee, the Treasurer for WACASE, the Secretary for the TCC Teacher's Union, and the Treasurer for the State Teacher Union and I am a consultant for several SUD Agencies.
For over two decades, Mark Richards has been sharing his love of music with aspiring guitarists in the Gig Harbor area. As an experienced instructor, he has helped countless students discover their musical talents and master the art of playing the guitar. Beyond teaching, Richards is also an accomplished musician in his own right, having served as the lead guitarist for The Shy Boys, Gig Harbor's number one cover band, for 17 years. His passion for music is infectious, and his dedication to his students and craft is truly inspiring. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player looking to take your skills to the next level, Mark Richards is the perfect guide to help you achieve your musical goals.
Regina Fletcher Sadono PhD is an experienced and dedicated teacher who works with lifelong learners to build on their own capabilities while they acquire knowledge, skills, and tools that promote success with personal and professional goals. Regina believes that education is the single most important pathway towards manifesting our dreams. Regina has taught at well-known universities throughout the US, including University of Wisconsin, University of Phoenix, University of Central Florida, Cal State Northridge, and Cal State Los Angeles. She has demonstrated her profound commitment to the arts and arts education by raising into the millions for nonprofit organizations such as California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Monterey Symphony, Education Through Music, A Noise Within, and Gig Harbor Film Festival. Regina’s mastery of the literary arts has earned her the Eisner Prize for Highest Achievement in the Creative Arts and the Samuel Goldwyn Creative Writing Award. She serves her community as a longtime volunteer for the Gig Harbor Quilt Guild and Gig Harbor Film Festival. Regina was a presented on story structure at Write in the Harbor 2017, 2018, and 2019. Regina did her undergraduate work at UC Berkeley with a double major in English literature and dramatic art. She holds an MFA in dance from California Institute of the Arts and both an MFA in screenwriting and a PhD in theater from UCLA.
Ron is a member of the American Watercolor Society and a Signature Member of The Northwest Watercolor Society. He has participated in numerous classes and workshops taught by renowned artists, and also teaches watercolor classes himself. Ron's paintings have won many awards at juried art shows throughout the Northwest. His artwork is inspired by the stunning scenery of the region, including mountains, beaches, and boats. We are thrilled to have Ron as a part of our community and look forward to seeing more of his beautiful watercolor paintings.
An enthusiastic Francophile from an early age, Gloria majored in French in college and received B.A., M.A., and Candidate in Philosophy degrees from UCLA. She spent her junior year abroad in Bordeaux, France. She taught French at UCLA as an Associate for four years where she received an Outstanding Teaching Award. Subsequently, she was a school director and regional manager for Berlitz Language Schools. After obtaining an MBA degree from Pepperdine University, she worked in a number of marketing management roles in the financial, high technology and educational sectors. She served for 11 years as Dean of Admissions for a private law school in California, retiring in 2016. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Gloria has been interested in learning and teaching of languages; she has acquired proficiency in Spanish and German. She and her husband enjoy travel, especially in Western Europe.
JEFFERY "JEFF" WATERS
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.