Sr. Jeffrey Taggart, Upper School Spanish instructor, enthusiastically joined the Gerstell Academy community in August of 2018. On his first day on campus, and every day since, Sr. Taggart has been impressed by the Gerstell community's self-challenges of striving to become better citizens as they internalize and implement the leadership program. He holds an appreciation for partnering with teachers passionate about their workand an entire community committed to becoming better leaders and human beings.
“The leadership program challenges our students and community to grow as people," says Sr. Taggart, "to aspire to live up to the highest ideals as embodied in the Leadership Principles and Attributes.” Sr. Taggart truly appreciates being a part of the Gerstell community “where I have the opportunity to work with respectful students who demonstrate leadership.” says Sr. Taggart.
Throughout his varied career, Sr. Taggart has faced a variety of challenges as he worked to reach his full leadership potential. A graduate of Haverford College earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, he first worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras where he trained farmers to raise killer bees for honey and pollen production. He was stung about 3,000 times - a powerful lesson in perseverance! Living in a developing country with a different culture and language taught Sr. Taggart the importance of listening, self-awareness of the impact of his words and actions on others, and adopting an enhanced appreciation for America's wealth, opportunities, education, and health care.
Upon returning to the states, Sr. Taggart taught most levels of Spanish for five years at his alma mater, Gilman School. There he established a study abroad program in which he led students on summer trips to Honduras, where they stayed with local families and studied Spanish. He also participated in a year-long Fulbright Teacher Exchange to Chile where he taught high school English. He then returned to his studies, this time at Georgetown University, to earn a Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies with an economics concentration.
Sr. Taggart worked for over 10 years in business management training and consulting across the country and in Latin America before learning the true meaning of passion, persistence, and conviction as a stay-at-home dad for his two sons (now ages 5 and 8) for seven years.
In his personal time, Sr. Taggart enjoys playing guitar while singing with his students, or challenging them on the basketball court. He was a choir member for 12 years in a 60-person choir; he has lived, worked, traveled, and studied in 15 Spanish-speaking countries (and counting); plays fast-pitch baseball; and is an avid traveler. He, his wife, and their sons (tri-lingual in Spanish, French and English), have visited Italy, Croatia, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Colombia and hope to visit many other countries.