What could be more exciting than learning Spanish while living in South America? As a young man, Sam Gesch had the opportunity to do exactly that during his junior high and high school years! Living with his missionary parents involved in Bible translation in the Amazon of Peru, Gesch developed a strong love for Spanish, as well as other cultures, languages, and indigenous groups.
After high school, Gesch returned to the United States to continue his education. He graduated from two colleges in Iowa with a BA in Spanish and a master’s degree in linguistics and English literature. He now serves as a full-time Spanish teacher for Alpha Omega Academy. Gesch enjoys his responsibilities of taking calls and working with distance learning students and their parents. After previously teaching Spanish in a conventional classroom for seven years, Gesch appreciates the absence of discipline problems and said, “The best part is the interaction with the students by email and phone and not having to tell them to be quiet and sit down.”
Gesch describes himself as a friendly, multicultural Christian. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Shelbi, and their three children, and he has a variety of hobbies, including drawing, carving, making native-style jewelry and leatherwork, playing guitar, writing, and reading. A big fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings series, Gesch appreciates Tolkien’s unique sense of detail, linguistic abilities, and his basic understanding of the working of good and evil in the world.
With his diverse cultural background, Gesch especially enjoys seeing how God’s will can be seen and expressed through different cultures and languages. He hopes to be known as a humble servant used by God to “share the depth of God’s redemption of cultures, as well as people.” Influenced by a loving high school teacher who faithfully served as a mentor and youth group leader, Gesch hopes to be a similar role model while working with his Spanish students at Alpha Omega Academy.