AOF’s New Academy Leader: Mr. Ball-llovera


Jasmine Rizo

Mr. Ball-llovera stands in front of a bulletin board he decorated with projects he made his students complete about their background in hopes of getting to know the AOF students more personally.

Jasmine Rizo, Staff Writer

The Academy of Finance at Gables is a magnet that houses over one hundred students, gearing them towards success by granting them the foundations needed in the business world. Through curriculums pertaining to the field of finance such as accounting and entrepreneurship, AOF leaves graduates prepared to excel in a real life workplace.

As Ms. Lopez, the previous AOF lead teacher, steps down, the academy is ready to welcome Mr. Ball-llovera as the new leader of the 2021-2022 school year. Tackling one of Gables’ largest magnets, Ball-llovera is planning ahead for the school year as he settles into the Cavalier family.

Ball-llovera’s path to becoming the AOF lead teacher began in his college years in Florida International University where he majored in business. Ball-llovera later decided to switch his career path and instead obtained a degree in English, leading him to step into the area of teaching. Although he did not know it at the time, the combination of experience in both business and education would soon prove to be helpful in his position at Gables.

Prior to becoming lead teacher, Ball-llovera was an English teacher for nine years in Somerset Academy. Alongside his experience in teaching, he also coached basketball at Braddock High School. This experience provided him insight in the importance of teamwork, an approach he uses to engage students while teaching.

This school year I hope to get this program running and grow the AOF program more and keep up what Ms.Lopez was doing,

— AOF Lead Teacher Mr. Ball-Llovera

“I like a lot of team based work…one person needs another person to answer a question and if you are not listening to someone you fail, so I like a lot of collaborative opportunities,” AOF Lead Teacher Mr. Ball-llovera said.

While Ball-llovera’s love for teaching and finance was the main reason why he committed to becoming the AOF lead teacher, another motivation for accepting the position was the ability to enroll his 18 month old daughter in the Gables Little Cavaliers program. After having heard astounding reviews and details from Gables’ teachers of the opportunities that students receive from Gables Little Cavalier Program and Early Childhood Education, Ball-llovera knew he was choosing the right place for both him and his young daughter to learn and grow.

As the school year begins and Gables slowly heads back to normalcy, Ball-llovera faces the obstacle of having to safely plan AOF events while relying on the cooperation of several people. Having transitioned from a small school to the diverse population of Gables, there is a vast majority of school events which Ball-llovera thinks COVID-19 will impede on. Ball-llovera plans that with the aim of growing the program, he will be able to overcome these obstacles by staying organized and collaborating with the AOF board members.

Pullquote: “He loves making an impact in students’ lives and he puts maximum effort in everything that he does. So whatever is thrown at him, he’s going to try his best and do his best and he has such a positive attitude it’s hard not to love him,” Ms. Noval said.

Ball-llovera offers leadership guidance for his students, encouraging them to join clubs they are interested in, including Future Business Leaders of America. As the lead teacher, Ballo-llovera wants to make sure that every AOF student is involved in order to make the most of their high school experience.

“He is a very interactive teacher which makes him easy to talk to which although I was not in Gable’s last year I believe is exactly needed for the means of further improving the academy,” sophomore Stephanie Morales said.

Although Ball-llovera is still becoming familiar with the Cavalier family, he seems to have already found his place amongst AOF students. Despite being new to the school, Ball-llovera has welcomed the Gables spirit and always wants students to remember “Go Cavs!”