Camden Rothleder '19 | The Plank
Since 1976, Mr. Gerry Campos has been a familiar face at Jesuit High School, but after 43 years, he has decided to pass the baton to the next generation of teachers.
Mr. Campos has taught nearly every Spanish class offered at Jesuit. He has also been involved with other areas on campus: coaching baseball for 13 years, football for two years, and P.E. for a semester.
Mr. Campos has left an indelible impact on many of the students he has taught, and his influence has not escaped the notice of his colleagues.
For the past few years, he has exhaustively prepared Spanish 2XL students for future accelerated classes, a fact for which Ms. Alma Morales, the teacher of AP Spanish, is especially grateful.
“Students voiced seeing him as a very inspirational teacher,” Ms. Morales said. “He prepared students by providing a wonderful grammatical and lexical foundation for the gradually more complex study of Spanish. Mr. Campos created the most effective vocabulary and grammar packets that students still keep to review concepts and basic verbs. I have to thank him for preparing my AP students and motivating them to keep on going all the way to the Spanish 4 AP.”
The quality of preparation for future classes is also echoed by many students. Dean Babb ’20, a student of last year’s Spanish 2 XL class, confirmed that Mr. Campos’s teaching methods have helped him significantly throughout his junior year.
“For me, Sr. Campos was a great teacher who created my Spanish foundation,” Dean said. “He emphasized repetition and memorization as key for learning Spanish and, really, for anything in the future.”
Yet for Mr. Campos, it was never only about teaching students Spanish; it was just as important to prepare groups of young men to enter a wider world.
Whether it be through discussing current social issues, spending lunches with students to ensure they knew the material, or being a compassionate person every time he showed up to teach, Mr. Campos left a positive mark on everyone he taught.
Ms. Leslie Willson, the World Languages Department Chair, is appreciative for all his years of dedication to making Jesuit a better place.
“Mr. Campos has been a tremendous influence on our Spanish program, and he will be missed both by colleagues and students,” Ms. Wilson said. “But not only does Mr. Campos make sure that students become proficient speakers and writers of Spanish, he also engages and challenges them to become men for others, compassionate people, and conscientious leaders who will hopefully work for social justice and change.”
No matter who takes Mr. Campos’ place, his long years of experience will be missed. Speaking from his years of practice, Mr. Campos has a few words of advice for future teachers.
“The most important thing for a teacher is to be competent, and that goes without saying,” Mr. Campos said. “Secondly, you’re there to be a role model, so you need to get your act together so that you can be a model for your students. You can’t see the issues the young students are having if you’re too busy dealing with your own problems.”
With Mr. Campos closing the final curtain on his career here at Jesuit, many are sad to see him go. Despite his absence, he will remain one of the most iconic faces of the school for generations of students and alumni.