Foreign Language Tutor

Mari Rodriguez

  • Middle School Spanish
  • High School Spanish I
  • High School Spanish II

I am a graduate of Christ for the Nations Institute Mexico City with a degree in Biblical Studies and Missions. After completing my Biblical Studies, I served as a missionary in Argentina and worked with street children. I returned from Argentina to finish my Missions certification. Upon completing all of my studies, I went to the Philippines where I served as a missionary alongside Family Circus, a ministry reaching the children and youth of Davao City.

I have been married for twelve years and have three children that God has given me the privilege to homeschool. My husband and I were children’s pastors at Grove Christian Center for four years. The past four years I have taught elementary Spanish, and Spanish I and II at WEST. It has been a blessing to get to know my students and build relationships with many families. I’m also a private tutor for students that want to present the Spanish CLEP test.

I enjoy teaching children and have been able to hear not only the students who have attended my classes communicating in Spanish but their parents as well, which gives me great pride. I love to teach my students not just the language, but also the important things that go along with it such as the food, dances, and songs from Latin American culture. It is an honor to teach at West and I am excited for the adventure that awaits us in each class!

Laurie Johnson
  • American Sign Language

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and came to Minnesota to attend North Central University. Shortly after graduating from NCU in 1988, I married a native Minnesotan and now call Minnesota my home. My husband and I have been married for 23 years. We have a daughter, who is a Freshman at NCU majoring in ASL Interpreting and Elementary Education, and a son who is a junior in high school. 

I graduated from North Central University in 1988 with a B.A. in Pastoral Studies and a minor in Deaf Culture Ministries, Summa Cum Laude. I stayed at NCU for two years to work in the Deaf Culture Ministries office and completed my B.A. in Deaf Culture Ministries. I continued taking interpreting courses at local colleges and in 1997 I obtained my certification as an ASL Interpreter.

In 1988 I began my interpreting career, interpreting at my home church in Bloomington, and shortly after accepting positions as an interpreter at Intermediate School District 287 and the University of Minnesota.  Since 1997 I have been self-employed as a free-lance ASL interpreter.

I have taught ASL as a substitute in several home school coops and have also individually taught students learning ASL. I also have enjoyed interpreting for many Christian events over the years such as Women of Faith; the Billy Graham Crusade and Luis Palau Festival, at which I was also the ASL Interpreter Coordinator for both events.

In my free time I enjoy watching both my children play high school and collegiate sports, scrapbooking and taking Kay Arthur Bible studies.