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!

Kelsey Bjorkman
  • American Sign Language

I was born in Washington State but have called Minnesota home since 1998. My interest in American Sign Language (ASL) began during my senior year of high school when a Deaf mother offered an ASL class at my homeschool co-op. Upon taking the class, I found a deep passion and love for the language, culture, and people of the Deaf community. I began researching career opportunities within the Deaf community and came across the idea of ASL interpreting. I began attending North Central University in Minneapolis and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Culture Studies as well as a TEFL Certificate (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).

Immediately after graduation I was hired as a part-time teacher by the Minnesota chapter of Communication Services for the Deaf as part of their Adult Education program. Since the spring of 2012 I have been teaching English to Deaf immigrant adults in the Twin Cities area. I have also been teaching American Sign Language to homeschool students at various co-ops and locations since 2013. In the fall of 2014 I began classes at the University of Minnesota to receive my Masters and Teaching License in Adult Education.

When not working on lesson plans or teaching, I am usually running and cycling around my current hometown of St. Anthony Village. I also enjoy sewing, quilting, photography, and piano. I am excited to have joined the team of teachers at the WEST co-op! Having been homeschooled my entire life, I am delighted at the prospect of investing in the next generation of students.