Faculty Spotlight: Mr. Gerber

Mr. Gerber inside Wang Innovation Center

Ten years ago, Western Reserve Academy looked more like a traditional high school when Mr. Gerber arrived in August 2011 to teach in the history department. That was before Mr. Wang graciously donated the funds to have the state-of-the-art Wang Innovation Center built in 2016. The new technology hub was immediately used as a selling point that distinguished WRA from other schools. There was an opening for the lead position of this facility, and everyone looked to the IT director to fill the position.

Mr. Gerber started his career out of college working for Culver Academy in Culver, Indiana, as a history instructor for nine years. While at Culver, he was drawn to the revolutionary technology that the school had, with every student having a laptop. This evolving online culture at Culver called for certain faculty to adapt to the new style of learning that was available. Mr. Gerber was one of the few teachers that spent time with the software to enhance the student experience. Through this experience, he gained the interest and expertise that he brought to WRA.

Mr. Gerber, along with a close friend, opened Gerber Construction LLC after his time at Culver. His construction services were based out of Indianapolis, Indiana, and he saw a good deal of profit. However, as time went by, Mr. Gerber and his partner didn’t have the same vision for the business. For these reasons, Mr. Gerber returned to Culver for one more year before coming to WRA.

In 2011, WRA only had one computer lab, and it served as the main form of online access on campus. This lack of internet access was something Mr. Gerber was not accustomed to coming from a more technological advanced school in Culver, and it became an inconvenience. Shortly after, Mr. Gerber led the school community in a much-needed development to expand the academic culture at WRA.

One year Mr. Gerber brought 15 Chromebooks for students to access and transport to various locations around a campus that had 100 WiFi points scattered throughout. A year later, there were 45 Chromebooks, and every year the school became more digital as Mr. Gerber kept a steady stream of internet access coming. The WRA community has witnessed an overhaul on campus that came in the form of computers, hundreds of more WiFi access points and even WiFi for off-campus faculty housing.

Mr. Gerber has elevated WRA to new levels that provide students with new opportunities, and he continues to attempt something new every day.

-Gavin Liegl ’23

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