Mission trip inspires love of Spanish, teaching for Ms. April Goforth

Brittany Nelson

Ms. April Goforth teaches Honors and Advanced Spanish One in room 235. Having previously taught at Iroquois High School for eight years, she is entering her first year of teaching here at Manual. Ms. Goforth is here, she says, to teach students the joy of the Spanish language, which she herself found during a religious mission trip to Peru.

Ms. Goforth grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, where her love of the Wildcats developed. In high school, she participated in varsity soccer, as well as school plays. But as part of a Baptist household, religion was always a part of her life. “My family believed Jesus died to save us,” she said. This religious attitude led her to go on her mission trip after graduating high school.

During this mission trip, she and her church stayed with different families, and over the span of several visits, they built a food kitchen and began to build a school. “It was there that I fell in love with the culture and the language,” she said. She and local Peruvians then partnered to spread the gospel. “I think we all contributed equal amounts,” Goforth said. After visiting Peru and actually getting a chance to use Spanish to communicate and grow, Goforth’s career as a teacher had ignited.

Transferring from Iroquois, the school at which she began her teaching career, to Manual, she was a little nervous. “I had heard it was the best school in Kentucky, and it was filled with talented and gifted students. I wanted to be sure I was talented enough,” Ms. Goforth said. She wasn’t looking forward to saying goodbye, but Goforth just had to know what else was out there. “I had built up a reputation at Iroquois. I had made friends with my colleagues so it was sad. I would have to start over, but that can be a good thing,” she said. “There’s no way to compare the two schools. They are each different in their own ways. I loved my job and I love this place as much.”

“I would like to retire here,” she said. Her eyebrows raised and her smile grew bigger. “Why would you want to give up working here? It has been a week and a half and already there’s been a lot of learning. I love it here. This is the kind of setting any teacher would love.”