By Alex Stanley ’12
Which teacher has the nickname “Samboni,” and was identified as a potential funeral director in a career test?
Answer: Dr. Sam Ewing, who was born in Orange County, Calif.
Dr. Ewing explained Orange County had a different connotation when he was younger, rather than that displayed by the popular television show.
When it came time to head off to college, he said he was itching to get to the east coast, since he had lived his whole life in California.
He decided to attend Duke University, a prestigious college in North Carolina.
“It has a good mix of some of the things you would expect from a larger school, like the sports and having larger community, but it also has the feel of a small school,” Dr. Ewing said about his undergraduate experience.
In fact, he earned his nickname, “Samboni,” a clever play on his first name, from one of his friends at Duke.
For his entire life, Dr. Ewing struggled with the choice of what career he was going to have.
He wanted to be a lawyer, a businessman, a doctor or even a minister at different points in his life.
At Duke, he said he had a couple of influential professors who encouraged him to become a teacher.
With his mind made up, he decided to attend Harvard University for graduate school.
At the time, he said Harvard had the best education for the field he was interested in, which was political theory.
He taught as a graduate student at Harvard, and then left to teach at Elmira College in New York.
He said it is a privileged profession to “be perpetually in school.”
“I was trying to get back out closer to California, and I moved to Arizona,” Dr. Ewing said about how he came to live in Phoenix.
He applied for a position at Brophy, and the rest is history, so to speak.
He teaches AP European History, AP United States History and AP Comparative Politics.
Since his background is in political philosophy, Dr. Ewing said that the history classes he teaches sometimes lean toward his own interests.
He also said that having a good sense of humor is a great tool to have when teaching what can possibly be “dry subjects.”
He is also Chair of the History department at Brophy.
History teacher Mr. Matt Gaimari said that Dr. Ewing is “absolutely” the best man for the job.
Dr. Ewing said his current interests outside of school include reading and hiking, although he finds that teaching takes up the majority of his time.
His music choices include jazz, classical and contemporary.
Food-wise, he is a fan of many different types of food. He especially likes sushi, and said he wishes he could cook more foods than he is able to.
Nowadays, four years into his Brophy career, Dr. Ewing laughs at the thought of becoming a funeral director.