E-newsletter Signup

Sign up for the Parents e-newsletter, In the Loop.

Email us: parents@spu.edu

Reaping the Benefits


Hannah Tchobanoff and her parentsDan and Doris Tchobanoff of Steilacoom, Washington, were optimistic when their daughter, Hannah, left for Seattle Pacific University to become a teacher. Though not SPU graduates themselves, they had a meaningful college experience and wanted one for her.

Their hopes were rewarded. To Hannah, SPU was the place where world change took root, the place where she was not only equipped to teach students but also given the faith tools to build a strong Christian foundation for her profession. She earned an undergraduate degree in 2000, a master’s degree in 2007.

That is why every month the three Tchobanoffs contribute to the University Fund for student scholarships at SPU. “I choose to give money to organizations that I believe in and that I know use the money for God’s glory by helping others,” says Hannah, whose grandparents had contributed to her education fund when she was a child. “This is part of what I give back for God blessing me.”

Places of Blessing

Some of those blessings occurred in Gwinn Commons, where a midweek worship service known as group provided contemporary worship and relevant speakers. As a student, Hannah says group was her favorite time of the week.

“Sometimes I didn’t even fill out a chapel credit sheet,” says Hannah. “I just wanted to be there for me and God, not for credit. It’s the place where I started to fully know that my faith was my own and that I loved God with all that I was.”

Another campus place that fed her personal growth was Brougham Pavilion, where she cheered Falcon sporting events, one year winning airline tickets for attending the most. She made friends there, worked in the gym equipment room, and performed solo hand bells in the annual Student Talent Show in Brougham. The hand bells, an important part of her student teaching, ignited the musical enthusiasm of third and fourth graders.

Reaping the Benefits

Hannah’s chief goal was to be a light for Christ in public schools. Today, she has hit the mark and teaches second grade at Cherrydale Primary School in Steilacoom. Her Wednesday mornings classroom helper is her mom, who attended a one-room schoolhouse for grades one through eight.

“What a blessing to experience teaching with Hannah,” Doris says. More than once, their students have giggled over a lively interchange between “Miss Tchobanoff” and “Mrs. Tchobanoff.”

“SPU’s effort to engage the culture and change the world in Christian commitment is something that all Christian schools and churches could benefit from,” Dan says. “Through our donations, Doris and I count it a joy to team with SPU in Christian education to its fullest.”

View Feature Story Archives