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I learned the expression “tener ganas” during my first year of teaching at the Academia Los Pinares in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Still a wet-behind-the-ears, I was a 22-year-old teacher full of enthusiasm and trepidation.

Teaching English and biology and coaching sports, I adapted to a new culture. Travelling with my then girlfriend, now wife Laurie, we lived a full life. Playing on a semi-pro soccer team and a professional fast pitch softball team all while, I was pushing myself to build my Spanish fluency.

My Honduran Director, Bertha de Flores, was terrific. She modeled great people skills and taught me a lot of Spanish expressions. Tener ganas was one I heard many times, an expression which expressed people’s passion to do something positive. “Tengo Ganas este dia” I am pumped for the day! “Esta escuela me da la ganas” This school is great, I love it, or “Tengo ganas por un arroz con pollo.”

Man, I’m dying for some chicken with rice (a Honduran classic). The expression reflected the enthusiasm and drive my Honduran friends brought to their work, projects, and especially their relationships with other people.

We will explore the connotations and implications of our school theme in 2022-2023 together.

For me, tener ganas means passion and enthusiasm for the good things you will learn at school, for your friendships and opportunities. It also is reflected in one of my favorite motivational Bible verses. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might”

I recently asked a Guatemalan friend what tener ganas implied for him. He said, “You do something, but you do it correctly, you do your very best to get it right.” That’s the kind of spirit we want to instill in all Menaul School students, the spirit that says with hard work, dedication, and the right attitude – you can do anything.

Looking forward, I am excited to explore what this very World Smart theme means for our lives together. I can tell you with all sincerity, ¡Tengo ganas por el año escolar ya! I am ready for the new school year to start!

Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year, I pray that it might be a year of growth and learning together.


Mr. Lindsey R. Gilbert, Jr. 
President and Head of School