Bachelor of Arts: Intercultural Studies Fresno Pacific University
Working towards Masters in Spanish: National University
My name is Christian Bergthold and I am a Reedley native. I grew up being a part of two local churches that played crucial roles in my spiritual growth and development. I attended "the other high school" in town, and after passing the CHSPE test my junior year I lived and worked at Hume Lake for more than a year doing the Joshua Wilderness Institute. I spent the next two years in Northern California where I eventually decided that I wanted to be a teacher. Following that season I started college, and after transferring to Fresno Pacific in 2011 I met Brittany, my beautiful and talented wife. After getting married in December of 2012 we spent our last semester of college doing a study abroad in Costa Rica, which helped me to fall in love with the Latin American culture and the Spanish language. We spent the next year in Mexico teaching English, and after getting pregnant with our first son we decided to move back to the States. It just so happened that Immanuel was in need of a Spanish teacher, and I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve been here for four years now, and I have loved each group of students that has walked through my door. Brittany and I have two energetic and clever sons, Haven (3) and Fletcher (17 months).
Spanish is much more to me than a language; it is a door to connect with a people group culturally different than many of our students and families at Immanuel. It is an opportunity to build bridges within our community — especially in the body of Christ — and to bring about a unity desperately needed in our nation. Teaching Spanish goes into far more than grammar as we brave topics such as immigration and other hotbed items in current events. My goal is for students to learn how to speak Spanish and understand the Latin American cultures it represents, but more than that I want them to fall in love with Spanish in the same way that I did — through learning and practicing both in class and in the real world. My mission as a teacher will be complete if ten years from now my current students come to me and say, “Mr. B.! I’m still using my Spanish!"