It is undetermined when the Spanish language originated, but it is certain that praise surrounding the language and culture on campus have been around since Timber Creek was established. Teresa Williams, an upper level Spanish teacher, had made it a goal of her’s to start a Spanish National Honor Society for her students. After years for trying, Timber Creek’s Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica (SHH), or Spanish National Honor Society organization formed.
“We’ve had a club since year two,” Williams said. “We started prepping [SHH] in 2015 at the request of one of my Spanish five students, Caden Johnson.”
Spanish Club and SHH are not two branches of the same organization. The clubs are separate entities, and aren’t limited to students who know or want to learn the language.
“We take anyone who wants to celebrate Spanish culture, not just native speakers,” Williams said.
The organizations have welcomed plenty of members, making Spanish Club one of the biggest clubs on campus, with over 100 active members.
“We’ve doubled [in size] due to the amazing leadership,” Williams said. “It was a pleasant surprise. I was glad to see leadership push something both they and I are so passionate about.”
Managing all of the members in the club may seem like a challenge; however, Chrisna Tamak, the President of Spanish Club knows how to deal with it. Instead of getting overwhelmed, Tamak sees these new names and faces as a great opportunity to spread the main goal of Spanish Club.
“[It’s] a nice, safe, positive environment to learn about the culture,” Tamak said. “[The] club’s environment is fun, and our mission to help people learn the culture makes me feel welcome.”
Spanish Club isn’t the only organization on campus to help spread Spanish culture, the SHH does as well, despite the fact that they focus more on the community and how it can be of service to the native speakers in Keller. They’ve had plenty of community service projects, and have even raised money for an orphanage in Mexico.
“Locally, we aid Spanish teachers, ” Williams said. “We’ve [also] started a book drive to collect not just Spanish books, but all languages.”
Tamak is not only the President of Spanish Club, but also the Vice President of SHH. One of her main jobs is to organize the meetings with Spanish teachers for community service opportunities.
“I met with all the teachers and got the schedules for tertulias made,” Tamak said. “I’m also responsible for ‘Help for Spanish Teachers.'”
‘Help for Spanish Teachers’ in essence gives teachers temporary student aids. SHH members will meet with a teacher who has put in a request for aid either before or after school, and the students will gain service hours for the time dedicated to helping the teachers. SHH members Catie Faubel and Miriam Wamsley see this time as an opportunity to expand upon their knowledge of Spanish and better themselves as humans.
“I like the [many] opportunities it gives us to learn more about the culture and serve the community, which also improves our skills,” Wamsley said.
In addition to sharpening their Spanish skills, giving back to the community is important to these Spanish organizations.
“I’m excited to interact with the Spanish community more through service projects,” Faubel said. “It’s a way to grow in culture, and it’s a way to keep myself accountable.”
Both Spanish Club and SHH don’t focus on the politics of the Spanish community, but they do take time to address it. The clubs educate their members about current events, but don’t take stances or express a bias during these discussions. The clubs’ center of attention is aiding the community, and spreading the love of Spanish culture.
“We try and help the people that are here,” Williams said.
The extent of the impact on the Spanish community is extremely beneficial, and Williams, although the sponsor for both Spanish Club and SHH, is not the organizer. She lets the students lead the organizations, and allows them to do what they believe will result in the success of their goals.
“I’m just a glorified secretary,” Williams said.
The students in both organizations excel at the goals and missions they’ve set for themselves. They hope that they can expand their success to their personal goals for aiding the community. To join either Spanish organization, ask Williams in room S1