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First Fellowship Travel Grant to Cuba offered to teacher Stephanie Skaggs

With great enthusiasm, the Tacoma-Cienfuegos Sister City Committee selected Stephanie Skaggs as the recipient of its first Fellowship Travel Grant to Cuba. Stephanie traveled to Cuba during her winter break this past December. She spent four days in our Sister City, Cienfuegos, on the south coast; a few days in the colonial city of Trinidad about 40 miles away and finish her stay in the capital, Havana.

Stephanie is a proud, third generation Tacoman. She graduated from Wilson High School and Western Washington University. She is deeply imbedded in her community. Since high school, she has been politically active and regularly attends grassroots community action groups. She says, “Tacoma is my favorite city and I’m invested in it becoming a thriving place on the global stage.”

Stephanie has taught English and social studies at the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) of Tacoma Public Schools for three years. In 2012, she taught English at a bilingual high school in Cartago, Costa Rica. “Seeing the world is a major priority in my life,” she said, and she remains in contact with her host family and co-workers in Costa Rica.

Stephanie explains that at SAMI, staff have the privilege of professional autonomy to create their own curriculum that aligns with federal and state standards. “We also have a strong commitment to providing our students with diverse, robust Humanities material. This means that the opportunities to bring the information I learn from this trip back into my classroom and school would be limitless. I constantly impress upon my students the importance of being global citizens.”

Article from the Tacoma Weekly

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