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MC Weekly

January 22, 2014

RAY MOSCOWITZ: Gentile's work with inmates mirrors his career

Former Mac superintendent says many in prison desire to learn.

You talk casually, but substantively, with Carmine Gentile over the years; and you get answers to direct questions posed in an email; and you come to the conclusion that decency is embedded in the man’s soul.

That’s my take — which is probably not the same as some people’s views in the Maconaquah School Corp. So be it.

Gentile has a spiritual nature, which has propelled his life. It may not have been evident during his time as superintendent of Maconaquah schools — 2001-2007 — but it was beating strongly.

And so it is no surprise that when you ask Gentile about his work — quiet work — with prisoners at the Grissom Correctional Facility these days, you get responses grounded in faith.

Carmine (Carmelo) Alfred Gentile grew up in the Bronx, the oldest of three children and only son of Diego Gentile, an insurance agent, and Maria Gentile, a seamstress.

While growing up, Gentile realized many people who were influential in his life were teachers.

Some of them taught at Bogota High School in Bogota, N.J., 4 miles across the George Washington Bridge from the Bronx.

By the time he was graduated in 1969, Gentile possessed math ability, which he developed at William Patterson College in Wayne, N.J. He earned a bachelor of science degree in math/education in 1973, knowing he wanted to emulate teachers who had influenced him.

“I had a sense of wanting to help others,” Gentile says, when asked how he became interested in education.

He decided to seek a job in the Midwest, because the cost of living was less expensive than the East Coast and because one of his sisters lived in Portage, Ind. He got his first job in Fairborn, Ohio, north of Dayton, as a high school math teacher. Gentile eventually moved on to teach at Rogers High School in Michigan City.

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