The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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Math teacher adds growth to the classroom

Nathanial Swindle
Stephanie Gentile writes down the quadratic formula as well as complex numbers during one lunch in Room 256 on Oct. 24, 2023.

From quadratic factoring to vibrant shapes, new Algebra 2 and geometry teacher Stephanie Gentile loves it all.

“Before coming to Ocean Lakes, I taught at Kecoughtan [High School] in Hampton, Va., for five years and Maury [High School] in Norfolk, Va., for three years. I honestly loved all the schools I taught at because of the students; life has just moved me to different places,” said Gentile.

Although she loved math, Gentile didn’t originally want to become a teacher. Her parents pushed her to go to college and study in the medical field, but Gentile figured she would get sick from the sights every day, so she didn’t pursue it.

“I chose to teach math because of my college stats teacher. My teacher, Patrick Kelley, made me realize I do like math and am pretty good at it,” said Gentile. “I enjoy going through the solving/simplifying processes and knowing there is always a correct answer. I just had to figure out how to get there.”

According to her students, in just three months, they have felt the positive impact Gentile’s had on their school life and they look forward to the rest of the year with her as their teacher.

“I think Ms. Gentile is a great teacher. She helps us understand the material rather than just telling us what to do,” said freshman Camille Snellinger.

“[Ms. Gentile] is very nice to every student, and she’s actually interested in what you have to say,” said sophomore Liam Johnson. “She helps me with anything I need help with.”

Having recently had a baby, the commute to work is convenient because Ocean Lakes is close to her home.

“I’ve really enjoyed the school spirit and the politeness of the students so far. The other staff members have been super nice and helpful,” said Gentile.

Gentile wants her students to always keep an open line of communication with her. She hopes to better understand and work with her students so that they can put forth their best effort.

“My two life rules are to make an effort and be a decent human. At a job, sport, band, theater or any other extracurricular activity, you should actively be making an effort. You need to show you want to do more, to do better,” said Gentile. “Everybody has a personal life. Everyone has bad days. So just don’t be the person that makes another person’s day worse.”

Student growth in class is very important to Gentile. When her students are open to change, work together and value each other’s differences, she feels accomplished.

“I really enjoy seeing students make friends in my class. It’s still important to learn how to learn and push through the struggles that math often presents, but I care more about them as people than as math students,” said Gentile. “I have witnessed many friendships blossom over my years of teaching and that is, by far, the best part about this job for me.”

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About the Contributor
Nathanial Swindle, News Editor
Nathanial Swindle is a junior, second-year journalist and the news editor for The Current. He enjoys helping out his mom at his local VFW post, volunteering and taking care of his two golden retrievers. Nathanial wants to study business at Notre Dame and become a financial advisor after college.

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