Spanish teacher Luis Gamboa

Maddie Garrou and Marin Pollock

New Upper School Spanish teacher Luis Gamboa has not owned a TV for 30 years.

Gamboa moved to California from his home in Guadalajara, Mexico, when he was only 16. His teaching career began 22 years ago. Gamboa attended Ignatius High in San Francisco and graduated from Loyola University in Chicago. He is set to graduate this year from the University of New Mexico with a PhD in Linguistics.

When Gamboa first arrived in California, he was intimidated because he could only speak Spanish. He had to learn English quickly.

Upper School Spanish teacher Luis Gamboa poses for a photo right before meeting with his advisory. (Dawson Chang)

“I am not a man of talent, but I am persistent,” Gamboa said.

Aside from teaching, Gamboa has a passion for boxing. He has a gym membership at LA Fitness, which he utilizes almost every weekend. Gamboa hates the smell of roses and has an even greater aversion to potatoes (due to a “horrible and unmentionable experience”). He enjoys both Plato and Playdough.

Gamboa’s favorite part of teaching is being with students. He loves witnessing their “aha! moments,” and he understands that learning a foreign language can sometimes be tough.

“Ni muy muy, ni tan tan” is one of Gamboa’s favorite expressions, which translates to “never to the extremes.” Gamboa applies this philosophy to his everyday life, using it whenever he’s teaching his students. He hopes his students will never feel too pressured to do anything or go to extreme measures in order to get work done.

Gamboa has enjoyed his time in the Upper School and looks forward to getting to know his students better.