American Dream: teacher edition

Mr. Carlos Brusel has been a Spanish teacher at Jesuit High School for the last 17 years. Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Brusel moved to America in 1985.

Mr. Brusel graduated from high school in Spain, and decided not to go to college; instead, he found a career with Johnson & Johnson selling medical supplies like casts, bandages, and masks to hospitals.

When he was 22-years-old and well into his job with Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Brusel was promoted to selling cardiovascular supplies, which helped patients in the Intensive Care Unit survive after major medical operations.

As the technology of the business was becoming more and more complex, Mr. Brusel feared that he would not be able to sustain his job. “It was very difficult for me to understand what I was selling . . . Then, I realized that the people that they were hiring were people with a college degree,” he said.

While working as at Spanish tutor in Barcelona, Mr. Brusel’s students from America spoke highly of California. He seized the opportunity to move to Capitola, CA, get an education, and start a new career.

“I was fascinated by the way the people at Johnson & Johnson taught strategies on how to sell their machines,” Mr. Brusel said.  This opportunity established an interest in becoming a teacher.  

Eventually, Mr. Brusel relocated to Sacramento where he graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a degree in Spanish. The next step for this aspiring Spanish teacher was to find students to teach.

Mr. Brusel spent two years as a substitute teacher in the San Juan Unified School District, ultimately landing a job at Jesuit. “It is nice to be surrounded by young people with dreams, expectations and goals,” Mr. Brusel said. “It makes me feel younger.”

Mr. Brusel revisits Spain more than once a year, visiting his friends and mother who now looks after his old apartment.

Although he misses his old home and his family overseas, Mr. Brusel loves his job. “I made three intelligent moves in my life,” he said. “To quit smoking, to move to the United States, and to work at Jesuit.”