Thursday, April 26, 2012
Angela Gentile has been teaching at Boston Latin Academy for five years. She is currently teaching 9th grade college English and also coaching JV girls’ basketball and has been for the past four seasons. Recently, Ms. Gentile ran the Boston Marathon because she wanted to build community and school spirit at BLA. She also ran to raise money for the school. She partnered with Boston Rising, which is an antipoverty fund that partners with others, including educators, to reduce poverty in Grove Hall. Boston Rising matched the first $5,000 Ms. Gentile raised with another $5,000 for the school.
This is not her first marathon-she ran in 2006 in Vermont. “But running in Boston is something to aspire to!” says Ms. Gentile.
During a phone interview with Ms. Gentile, I asked her how she felt when she crossed the finish line. She said, ”At first I just wanted to reach Kenmore, but when I saw the students cheering for me, it motivated me to push harder and finish.” This was an incredible experience for her she felt a great sense of accomplishment. I asked her if she felt she had built school spirit and community. “Definitely!” she said. “The students understand that they are part of a community and learned that a small step goes a long way. Just by the students being there and supporting me shows how one can contribute in a big way.”
Anders Kirleis, a freshman at BLA and a student of Ms. Gentile said that Ms. Gentile’s story has inspired her. “She trained hard to run this race,” said Anders. Ms.Gentile kept a chart in class that showed how many miles she ran a day. “She has shown us how schools can partner with the local community and help make a change.”
I asked if she would run the marathon again. “Maybe,” she said. ”It involves a lot of training, but then again, who knows, ask me in January.”
Congratulations to Ms Gentile on her run and her great accomplishment!