News from Tacoma Sister Cities


Tacoma-Cienfuegos Sister City Committee sends local teacher to Cuba

Stephanie Skaggs has taught English and social studies at the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) of Tacoma Public Schools for three years. In 2012, she taught English at a bilingual high school in Cartago, Costa Rica.

With great enthusiasm, the Tacoma-Cienfuegos Sister City Committee selected Stephanie Skaggs as the recipient of its first Fellowship Travel Grant to Cuba. Stephanie traveled to Cuba during her winter break this past December. She spent four days in our Sister City, Cienfuegos, on the south coast; a few days in the colonial city of Trinidad about 40 miles away and finish her stay in the capital, Havana. 

Stephanie is a proud, third generation Tacoman. She graduated from Wilson High School and Western Washington University. She is deeply imbedded in her community. Since high school, she has been politically active and regularly attends grassroots community action groups. She says, “Tacoma is my favorite city and I’m invested in it becoming a thriving place on the global stage.”

Stephanie has taught English and social studies at the Science and Math Institute (SAMI) of Tacoma Public Schools for three years. In 2012, she taught English at a bilingual high school in Cartago, Costa Rica. “Seeing the world is a major priority in my life,” she said, and she remains in contact with her host family and co-workers in Costa Rica.

Stephanie explains that at SAMI, staff have the privilege of professional autonomy to create their own curriculum that aligns with federal and state standards. “We also have a strong commitment to providing our students with diverse, robust Humanities material. This means that the opportunities to bring the information I learn from this trip back into my classroom and school would be limitless. I constantly impress upon my students the importance of being global citizens.”

Jack Warnick receives Tacoma Sister Cities Sylvia Sass Outstanding Achievement Award

Jack Warnick receives the Tacoma Sister Cities Sylvia Sass Outstanding Achievement Award. Jack and his wife Lily Warnick founded the Kiryat Motzkin Sister City relationship 40 years ago. Jack is a retired businessman and active philanthropist who also organized a global classical concert of the Tacoma Youth Symphony and young musicians from throughout the world. Jack is pictured with the founder of Tacoma Sister Cities Sylvia Sass (left) and Tacoma Sister Cities President of the Board Clare Petrich.  

Sister Cities rallies to help China

Tacoma’s Sister Cities Committee mobilizes to help raise funds for response to coronavirus outbreak in China

Tacoma’s Sister Cities Committee has mobilized to provide local community members who wish to help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak in China with a secure way to donate funds via PayPal at Funds donated will help Tacoma’s international partners in Mianyang and Fuzhou address the sudden and surging demand that exists across China for medical resources and supplies.

“While public health officials in Tacoma and across the United States continue to closely monitor this global health crisis, we have grown deep and connected relationships with Mianyang and Fuzhou,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “This is an opportunity to be responsive to our global neighbors in their time of need by sharing resources and support. I urge everyone to support the Tacoma Sister Cities program in these efforts.”

“Tacoma’s ties across the Pacific to Mianyang, our Friendship City, and Fuzhou, our Sister City, are deep and strong,” said Sister Cities Council of Tacoma Chair Clare Petrich. “Our students’ lives have been transformed after visiting China. Tacoma’s Chinese Reconciliation Project could not have been completed without Mianyang’s help. Tacoma’s favorite team watersport of Dragon Boating began in China 2,500 years ago. When we learned of the coronavirus emergency, our hearts went out to people we know and care about. This is the mission of Sister Cities – to know our neighbors and help when we are needed. Sister Cities will ensure that Tacoma’s generous donations will be used to purchase and send the medical goods desperately needed in China.”

Additional information on Fuzhou, China – Tacoma’s Sister City since 1994 – is available on the City of Tacoma’s website via

Subscribe to our newsletter

To stay updated with all the latest news, and offers.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.