Faculty profile: Sam Gruber

What he teaches: Middle and Upper School Academic Services coordinator, 9th Grade Economics, Varsity Boys Basketball Coach (Region champion, 2021-2022).

Years at Prep: Just completed his 5th year overall (2nd at Prep).

Education: Centre College, B.A. in History; University of Louisville, Master of Arts in Teaching
Background: Sam grew up just outside of Louisville, Ky., playing baseball and basketball as a child. He played guard at Division III Centre College, where he swished 46 consecutive free throws before missing one attempt his senior season. He finished his career 53 of 54 from the line (98 percent).

How he got into teaching: Sam entered college thinking he wanted to be a teacher and a coach. Then, he thought about attending law school. The thought of teaching and coaching prevailed, though.
"I love being around kids. I love basketball," he said. "The impact that all the teachers and coaches had on me, I wanted to pay that forward. There was no passion for law."
He began his teaching career at his alma mater, Oldham County High School. For three years, he taught world history, economics and government, while also coaching the freshman basketball team. 

How he found Prep: In November 2019, he got engaged to Peyton, a Savannah native who played volleyball at Centre College; they got married a year later. When she got into the Physician Assistant program in Augusta, Sam moved with her and sought to continue his career. He learned of an opening at Augusta Prep - right after Covid struck. When he arrived for his interview, few people were on campus. 
"I was here and it was (then-Head of Upper School) Andy Gyves and (Head of Middle School) Monica Messner for my interview," Sam said. "I also met Tim Shafer. He was here teaching with his five screens in the classroom."

What he enjoys about Prep: "The community. From the moment I stepped foot on campus and there was hardly anyone here it still felt warm. It reminded me a lot of Centre College. It's very welcoming. Just a beautiful campus. And the people are very nice."

Hobbies: Sports (he's a huge Boston Red Sox fan), Collects albums (owns more than 200), Huge Beatles "nerd" ("I think I can match anybody in Beatles trivia."), Tries to watch Jeopardy! every night (always up for a trivia challenge).
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Augusta Preparatory Day School is an independent, college preparatory school serving children ages 2 through Grade 12 from the greater Augusta-Aiken area.