The people I look up to are those that are hard working, trustworthy, caring, and challenge me to do my best in everything. Out of all the people that I know, Tara always comes to my mind as someone that I can look up to because she has these qualities. She is the type of person that you can always go to when you need to talk, or even share an idea. She is very approachable and a really good role model. As a teacher she has high standards for her students so that they have something to strive for. It is never an unrealistic standard that no student can achieve but enough to push her students to go further than they ever thought they could. With that, Tara is a great person and someone that truly benefits the lives of those around her.
Kaitlyn (grad 2010)
I had Tara Ong Padilla as a Spanish teacher for 4 years during high school and the thing that separates her from the rest was her level of caring for her students. I could tell from day one that she was driven to help students succeed and inspired us to take learning a new language to the next level. Her dedication was truly shown when she took charge of planning the graduating ceremony for our high school of which I was a committee member. She only wanted the best for her graduating students student’s and consistently impressed me with her organization and leadership of this inexperienced student committee. After 12 years of school and 3 years of university I have yet to see someone make such a commitment to the students. Her ability to go above and beyond for her students sets her aside from the rest is truly remarkable and I know will make a difference in your student’s lives.
Logan Bell (grad 2012)
Tara Ong-Padilla, better known by her students simply as ‘Senora’ is a fantastic teacher. She is committed to the learning of her students and their well being both in and out of the classroom. Going the extra mile to be available for council to students who need assistance for either personal or academic matters. Tara creates an atmosphere that immerses students in the subject at hand, making learning an easy and enjoyable task. On a personal level, Tara is responsible for getting me involved with the exchange program. Without her, it would not have been an opportunity that I would have considered and throughout the experience she was always available for assistance of any kind. I can easily say that Tara is why I stuck with the Spanish language and without question the reason that I enjoyed learning the language so much.
Lance (grad 2013)
I have known Tara Ong-Padilla since 2010 and still to this day we are very close friends. While I was attending Springbank Community High School I was honoured to have the opportunity to have her as my Spanish teacher for three consecutive years. Mrs. Ong-Padilla had very high expectations not only for her students but herself as well. She made sure that her students were learning, applying the language and of course, having fun. Every year we went to a Spanish restaurant to eat and be more immersed in the culture. In addition, during my grade 12 year, Mrs. Ong-Padilla successfully planned a trip to Chile which I took part of.

Tara is very kind and caring, she was always there to help each and every student, whether it was school related or not. She was like a mother to all of us; we were more than just students to her and she was definitely more than just a teacher to us. She always made sure we were doing well in the classroom but more than that she helped us excel in all areas of our lives.

Tara is an extremely trustworthy person; she never left a promise unfulfilled. She always came through; I can’t remember a single time I was ever left to wonder if she would actually be there when I needed her.

Tara helped mold me into the person I am today, she taught me so much in and out of the classroom. I am thankful everyday that I was privileged enough to have her in my life, as a teacher, and role model. I wish everyone could be as fortunate as I was and I know she will continue to impact the lives of many children the way she did mine.

Julia (grad 2012)
I have known Tara Ong-Padila since 2003, she has taught all 4 of my children at Springbank High school. Tara excels, not only in teaching, but being involved in making our school and community a better place. Tara has worked tirelessly to plan and organize graduation and fashions shows and charity events during her tenure at Springbank. Tara brings enthusiasm, organizational skills and most importantly, a deep caring and understanding of encouraging students to live up to there full potential.
Laurel Stoness (SCHS parent)
I have had the pleasure of knowing Tara Ong-Padilla for 7 years. Over those years, I have known Tara in many different roles and capacities. She has been a teacher to both of my children at Springbank Community High School, as well as the lead teacher supervisor on Springbank High School trips abroad.

Tara is extremely personable, patient, highly organized, and pays attention to details. Tara has a wonderful rapport with people of all ages whether it is with the students, her fellow teachers or the parents of the students. She will make difficult decisions in a timely manner. She is a thoughtful, problem solver. She is reliable, dedicated and has excellent communication skill. I feel confident in saying that she is capable of handling any situation with thoughtfulness and maturity. Tara’s colleagues and students also commend Tara hardworking and helpful manner. During my children’s years at Springbank High, Tara and I have become friends through the countless hours of extra-curricular school activities that she has been involved with.

All these qualities make Tara a great educator and a natural leader. This is a rare combination. I would not hesitate in placing my child in a Spanish preschool that was managed by Tara. Having Tara as your child’s first educator would be an outstanding decision.

Brenda Aves Hruska (parent)
I am writing in regard to Tara Ong-Padilla, whom I believe would be a great leader in the preschool industry.

I met Tara during my student-teacher practicum at Springbank High School, during which I was mentored and supported in my studies and experience. She not only provided me with the expected duties, but also walked me through my mistakes, and made me feel like a respected and valued addition to her class.

Tara’s teaching style is engaging, interactive, and respectful. After getting to know her students during my field-experience, it quickly became apparent that Tara was their favourite teacher. I believe this speaks volumes about her character. She is respectful, hard-working and trusting. The amazing relationships she developed with her students were built on the feeling that they could trust her and that she cared about them.

During my time with Tara, I learned that she was a teacher with passion, integrity, and self-discipline and that she had the same high expectations from me. I have learned so much from her as she was always willing to take the time to discuss my growing teaching practices as well as her own. Tara has also always been incredibly reliable, even after my field-experience was completed. At the end of my 2013 practicum with her, she promised me she would be there to help me along my path to being a teacher and has followed through completely, always offering help and support. We are still friends to this day.

I do not hesitate in recommending that Tara Ong-Padilla is a hard-working, trusting and reliable person. I strongly believe she will be successful in opening and managing a bilingual preschool.

Dunja Mihajlovic (student teacher)