Teichert-Pineiro Endowed Scholarship
To honor the memory of their mothers, who were both Spanish professors, Stella T. Clark and José A. Clark have established the Consuelo Teichert and Celia Pineiro Endowed Scholarship at CSUSM. Stella, the retired founder of the Modern Language Studies Department at CSUSM and José, a retired librarian, were inspired by the hard work and enterprising spirit of their mothers, who made their career in the US after immigrating from Mexico and Cuba, respectively.
Consuelo, the daughter of a prominent politician in Mexico, was forced to suspend her studies during the Cárdenas presidency, when Marxist doctrine made teachers refuse to work and Catholic schools were outlawed. Taught by tutors and her home library, Consuelo was able to demonstrate competency for admission to the University of Mississippi where her husband was hired as a professor in the late 50’s. There, she eventually earned her B.A., M.A. and a Ph.D. all with honors, going to school full time while tending house for her three children and husband Pedro. After her children were grown and married, Pedro was hired to the newly founded University of West Florida in Pensacola. There Consuelo started her career as a professor of languages, teaching Spanish and Italian from 1967 and served with distinction until her retirement. She served in that department as chair and authored a Spanish textbook for beginners.
Celia, the daughter of a prominent newspaper owner, studied Journalism in Havana and became a columnist in that city’s major newspaper Prensa Libre. On the advent of the Castro régime, she had to abandon Cuba to follow José who, at the age of 14, was sent into exile to Miami. Later, following a job opportunity, she moved to Leavenworth, Kansas. She started graduate school at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in the mid 60s, along with her second husband Sergio Pineiro. Although she completed all the Ph.D. coursework and passed the comprehensive exams, Celia chose to follow a different path and became a high school Spanish teacher in Dodge City, Kansas, where her husband found a teaching position at a local college. After she retired from the high school she found a “second wind” as editor of the local Spanish newspaper, La Estrella, thus reaching full circle in her career as a journalist. As the Dodge City Star columnist of “Ask Celia” she became a local celebrity.
Although they lived quite a distance apart, Celia and Consuelo became great friends along with their husbands. They had been introduced during a Christmas visit when the two in-law couples coincided in San Bernardino visiting José and Stella in their one-bathroom house. They came from different countries and backgrounds but they all shared one thing: they had immigrated to the US under difficult circumstances and had to improve their lives by suffering hardships and working hard. With help of their amazing sense of humor, they all eventually were successful and made a very good life for their children along the way. Stella and José treasure the main quality they inherited for their mothers: a positive, enterprising and optimistic spirit. Though they came to the US with very little, they prevailed and were able to instill in their children a strong belief in their own abilities and in the importance of education.