Editor's Note – To celebrate Catholic Schools Week we will post stories that spotlight members of our school community, from students and parents to educators and coaches, and why they decided to join the Gibbons family and share in the special joy of Catholic education generally and of a Gibbons education specifically. The stories they share celebrate what makes Gibbons great.
Lauren Gentile ’04 was a student at Cardinal Gibbons when she discovered her love for science. So, it is only fitting that in 2014, after working five years as a researcher - including two years pursuing a master’s degree in secondary science education, and teaching for one semester in a public school - she would return to her alma mater as an educator.
“The favorite part of my corporate sector job was working with med students from UNC and Duke, which encouraged me to go into teaching,” she explains. Credit for her love of science, however, goes to retired Gibbons Educator Susan Goethals “whose excitement for the subject inspired me,” adds Lauren.
For her, there was no better place to marry those two passions than Gibbons. “The culture in public school wasn’t what I experienced and there wasn’t a place for faith in the classroom,” she explains. “But I knew Gibbons as a student, and it fit me.” Here, faith is central and students and educators build relationships, she says and adds: “I love knowing my students and having a relationship with them.”
What Lauren, who is expecting her second child, also loves about Gibbons is the support she receives as an educator and a person. “Everyone is welcoming as well as supportive of you having a career and of being a mom,” she says.
The same is true in the classroom. Lauren says she likes having “the opportunity not only to explore different labs and hands-on experiences with students but also to take things to the next level... and dive deeper into content with them.”
How does Lauren feel teaching at her alma mater? “The education I received helped shape me into who I am today, and I am helping shape these kids to be the best they can be,” she notes.
Years from now those kids may well be Lauren’s own. “I don’t see myself teaching anywhere but here,” she says and adds: “It would be cool for my children to go to the high school where I graduated and now work.”
And that, as they say, is a Gibbons legacy.
Check out our new audio series, "Crusader Conversations," which highlight the amazing moments of academic connections, relationship building, personal growth, and spiritual transformation that take place at Gibbons each day.