Continuing Education Instructors

Headshot of Leah Amyakar smilingLEAH AMYAKAR

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.



man in plaid shirt against yellow backgroundLUKAS BARFIELD

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 light blue shirtMYRIAH BARRINGER

Myriah Barringer is a six-time published poet and author. She has four published poems, one published short memoir, and one published short fiction story. Her latest publications were the poem "What Could Have Been" and the short story "The Vampire" published by Heritage University in April 2021. She has her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Centralia College (2017) and her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Saint Martin’s University, with a special focus on creative writing. (2019). 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 taught classes at Centralia College for the Continuing Education department from 2020-2021 and runs a highly successful blog on Ancient Egyptian archeology with 34,000+ followers. She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Multicultural English Literature from Heritage University.

Andy Becker in front of a wall of flowers, wearing a baseball cap. ANDY BECKER

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.

Josi Callan standing with her back turned to the camera, facing an easel and painting. JOSI CALLAN

Josi Callan has devoted her life to the enhancement of the arts, as an artist, a museum director, a curator and an executive of numerous nonprofit organizations. She was born in Great Britain and gained her enthusiasm for painting early on from her father – she says he could do anything with a bit of paper, watercolors and ink. She began painting in her teens, continued through college and then turned to a career in the nonprofits, where she was director of the San Jose Museum of Art for ten years, the founding director of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma and the director of the Experience Music Project in Seattle. She returned to her love of painting in 2010. Callan’s strong attachment with nature and her surroundings has been a meaningful constant in her life. She is inspired by what she sees; a newly opened rose, the deep magenta of a pansy, a disappearing trail, all present numerous possibilities. She aims to create a bit of magic with each painting.

Margaret with cameraMARGARET DOTY

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.



Smiling Emily Grantz outside in the rain with her hood on. EMILY GRANTZ

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 smiling, crouched down on steps leading to water with sunglasses and a backpack on. AMON GREENE

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.

Portrait of Leslie HallLeslie Hall

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


Photo of Barbara Henderson with a vibrant smile in a blue and white striped shirt.BARBARA HENDERSON

Barbara Henderson is a mosaicist with a passion for helping others express themselves through the art of mosaics. She discovered art a little later in life than lots of other people, having been distracted by corporate life, ladder climbing, and the nonsense idea that she wasn’t creative. Now her favorite thing is to watch a student realize their unique ability to produce something personal and meaningful, and to develop their own artistic vision. She serves on a variety of boards and committees and lives in Gig Harbor with her husband and far too many dogs and chickens.




Kit Kapphahn's head shot, she is smiling big and bright with bright happy eyes. KIT KAPPHAHN

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.



Wendy Kendall smiling big hold a book outside. WENDY KENDALL

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.

Photo of Tom Kuehne standing in front of a Japanese Maple at the Gig Harbor Campus entrance.TOM KUEHNE

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.


Patrick 'Pat' Lowinger is a historian, freelance writer, and educator. Patrick possesses an MA in ancient history from American Military University and a MA in Archaeology from the University of Leicester. In addition to teaching, Pat is currently conducting research in pursuit of a PhD in Ancient Mediterranean Studies. Pat’s interest and area of focus are on the people and societies of the ancient Mediterranean – ranging from the Late Bronze Age through Early Medieval periods. Pat's primary area of research examines the sociocultural interactions and exchanges between ancient migrants/colonists and autochthonous inhabitants and western coast of the Black Sea during the period of Roman occupation (1st century BCE- 5th century CE). Pat's secondary area of research focuses upon the adoption and spread of Christianity in the littoral regions of the western coast of the Black Sea including the associated regional phenomena of religious pilgrimages during the 2nd- 5th century CE. As an active member of the Association of Ancient Historians, Archaeological Institute of American, Society for Romanian Studies and Bulgarian Archaeological Association, Pat remains academically engaged – spending his summers in Romania doing archaeological field work at the Romano-Byzantine fortress and civilian settlement of Halmyris.

Arwen Marohn is all smiles outside and wearing glasses.ARWEN MAROHN

Mother, painter, glass artist, weaver, empath, nature & animal lover, Arwen has taught small creative workshops to adults and youth throughout Washington and now at her studio, Colibri Soul, in Port Orchard. Her work has been displayed at various local galleries, the Edmonds Arts Festival, and Shoreline Arts Festival. She’s a published writer and has participated in various community building arts related projects, "I am grateful for every opportunity I get to create with my hands and the process always feeds my soul."

Tyrean smiling in front of a book shelf.TYREAN MARTINSON

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.



Mel Michaels with a big smile at the beach. MEL ALYN MICHAELS, PHD

Mel Michaels earned his BA in Literature/Writing from Evergreen State College, his MFA in hybrid poetics from Goddard College and he just finished his Ph.D. at The California Institute of Integral Studies in 2020. His thesis, “Transing Beatitude: Exploring Vulnerability through the Beat Lens – a Scholarly Narrative on Body, Sex, Shame and Risk” examines the parallel nature of confessionalism and vulnerability as it was explored by the beat canon and bridges the concept into the 21st century. Mel weaves queer theory, sexuality, and gender as it provides a significant and philosophical meaning when understanding how vulnerability shows up in our lives. In addition to his knowledge of Beat Studies and Trans/Queer subject matters, Mel is passionate about hybrid poetics and screenwriting. Some of Mel’s poetry from his book Fatal Adjective, have been published across various magazines. In his down time, Mel enjoys cycling, random road trips and the typical pacific northwest pursuits.


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.

Ken in black teeshirtKEN PIMPLETON

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.

Mark Richards

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.


woman in glasses with blue earringsREGINA SADONO

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.

outline of France with the French flag coloring itGLORIA SWITZER

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.

Jeff Tepper headshot, smiling outsideJEFF TEPPER

Jeff Tepper received his PhD in Geology from the University of Washington and was on the faculty at the University of Puget Sound for 20 years until retiring in 2021. At Puget Sound he was the department’s ‘hard rock’ geologist, teaching courses in mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry, and geographic information systems (GIS). He also mentored over 50 undergraduate thesis projects. Jeff’s research focuses on the igneous and tectonic history of the Pacific Northwest including the origin of the Cascade Range. He is also interested in geomythology – the quest for geologic explanations for ancient myths and legends including the sinking of Atlantis, the parting of the Red Sea, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah – and has taught classes on this topic.

Josie Turner sitting outside in a beautiful dress. JOSIE TURNER

Josie Emmons Turner’s most recent work is published in the Madrona Project: Art of the Public Voice by Empty Bowl Press. Her work also appears in “Now That You’re Are Gone” by Poet’s Choice, High Shelf X, Creative Colloquy Vol. Four and other anthologies. In 2020 and 2021, she collaborated with musicians and visual artists to create work acknowledging the pandemic. Most notably is the song cycle “Songs for the Spring of Waiting” with composer Gregory Youtz and “A Place to Mourn” with Olympia artist Kathy Gore Fuss. This past fall, she was commissioned by St. John’s Episcopal Church, Gig Harbor, to write 4 poems for the season of Advent, put to music by composer Dennis Northway. Turner received her MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at PLU and served as Tacoma Poet Laureate 2011-2013. She is a resident of Gig Harbor.

man with glasses in stripped shirtJEFFERY "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.


My attraction to gardening developed many years ago as a result of my frustration with the quality of produce in the grocery stores. I often felt that organic anything always seemed overpriced. I became involved with an organic community garden nearly twenty years ago, and have remained an avid and evolving gardener ever since. I greatly enjoy growing my own food and having control over the amendments that I choose to use in my soil, in addition to the easy access to a wide range of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. I find that gardening allows me my zen time. This past year has not been remotely normal for most of us. But, when I worked in the soil, planting seeds, and weeding, I felt grounded. I felt at peace. It is my hope and goal that my years as a Master Gardener and an Organic gardener will seek to enhance the gardening experience of my students.