Captain Luis Zerpa teaches Spanish, coaches weightlifting and sponsors our Spanish and Chess clubs. A native of Venezuela, he enjoys sharing both his culture and his Christian faith with the Cadets. "I enjoy impacting the life of my students by integrating into the curriculum current events and showing them that through hard work and effort, they too can make a difference in their communities."
Cap. Zerpa grew up in New England boarding schools as did his children. "I loved growing up in a prep school environment and wanted a similar experience for my kids. That's why we moved back to the US in 2000. It's a safe and enriching way of life with people who care about your future." Hargrave is a special place because we focus on more than just academics: "it is the total human development which also includes: faith, athletics and character education."
One thing he did not like about his New England boarding school upbringing was that faith was not allowed in the classroom. Schools are very secular in New England and this lead to an emptiness in his life. He considers this aspect to be one of Hargrave's most important competitive advantages. "Faith is the foundation of who a person should be. We all fall short, but with the right foundation of faith, we can all grow with the right purpose. The most rewarding aspect of being at Hargrave is that I get to share not just my culture but also the Christian faith with my students."
Learning a new language is a good challenge to have. When his students have difficulty, he lets them know that he cares about them and that it is ok to struggle. "Challenges are good because when you overcome them, you become a better person in the process." He explains concepts by targeting different learning styles and giving students time to master the material.
One thing he wishes everyone knew about Hargrave is how much everyone cares about each other's well-being.