Gemma Ruiz  |  FCS Teacher Story Header

"What inspired me the most is the idea of investing in the minds of tomorrow, contributing with a little grain in someone’s life that can flourish into a better, healthier adult, and consequently, a better, healthier society. " - Gemma Ruiz, Spanish Teacher

I was born and raised in Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain. In Spain, less than 2% of the total population is Christian Protestant. We are a minority. I grew up in a family with two different practicing faiths, Protestantism and Catholicism. From a very young age, I wondered what the truth was. At 13 years old I found The Truth, Jesus as my Lord and Savior. 

Moving forward, I have lived in different cities in Spain, Switzerland, and Ireland for a month each and in the US for about 10 months. Currently, I live in Roanoke with my husband, Adam. Adam is from the countryside in the middle of nowhere in southern Lynchburg. We met each other by God’s algorithms and humor. We have been married for 2 years.

As soon as my husband and I knew the dates to move back to the US, I started looking for jobs in the US. I knew I wanted to teach at a Christian school. So, I typed Christian school in Roanoke in Google, and FCS was the first that popped up. God orchestrating, FCS happened to have a Spanish teacher position available.

I started reading the information about Christian Classical Education on the FCS website and remember thinking “Ha! This seems similar to the school and high school I went to, although mine were secular.” At the same time, what most attracted me to the school was the emphasis on God, logic, rhetoric, and seeing students as holistic individuals, who have more than “just” a mind, but also a soul and a spirit. Coming from Europe and specifically from an educational system where all schools in Spain teach philosophy, ethics, and civic values (from a secular worldview) as core subjects, and classical culture and Latin as optional subjects, I found there had to be a Christian antithesis. And there, reading about Christian Classical Education on the FCS website, I found the antithesis, and I decided I really wanted to work at FCS.

What are your hobbies or things you enjoy outside of the school?

I love hiking and being in nature, reading books and scientific articles, listening to music and singing (just for an audience of one), gardening, going to the beach, traveling, learning about new cultures and languages, trying new food, poetry, painting, going for long walks, and discovering and learning historical and cultural connections to the Bible and Jesus’ life. 

What post-secondary schools did you attend? Degrees held?

I have a BS + MS in Psychology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain; an MS in Perinatal and Child Psychology and Psychopathology from the University of Valencia (UV), Valencia, Spain; and an MA in High School Teaching and Educational Guidance from Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Barcelona, Spain.

What year did you start teaching/working at Faith Christian School?

This is my first year at FCS.

Have you taught or been involved in schools somewhere else prior to FCS? If so, where, and how long?

  • Language Teacher (English, Spanish, and Catalan) in different settings in Spain, Switzerland, and Poland (2006-2016)
  • School Counselor and High School Teacher in the Public Education System in Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain (2017-2018)
  • Instructor at a university in Barcelona, Spain (June-July 2017; March-July 2019)
  • Supervisor of undergrads in Spain and USA (Feb.-July 2016; Feb.-May 2020)
  • Work Orientation and Health Subjects as a High School and Associate Degree Teacher in the Public Education System in Catalunya (Nov. 2021- Aug. 2022)
What's a favorite book you've read?

El Hereje (The Heretic) by Miguel Delibes, Radical by David Platt, and Spiritual Direction by Henry Nouwen.

What do you find most compelling or distinct about Christian classical education? 

Bringing Christ to the classroom by giving students the opportunity to be active agents of their learning and not just passive agents. This is achieved, among others, by promoting critical thinking, curiosity, and boldness to ask good questions. Students are equipped, in a safe, Christ-loving environment, with academic knowledge but also knowledge of God, and how to stand firm in their faith in the world. 

What or who inspired you to work in education?

What inspired me the most is the idea of investing in the minds of tomorrow, contributing with a little grain in someone’s life that can flourish into a better, healthier adult, and consequently, a better, healthier society. 

If you have a "life verse" or a verse that is ministering to you right now, what might it be? 

My “life verse” is Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

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