Kevin Gentz Voted as 2020 Impact Teacher


Kevin Gentz is this years senior voted Impact Teacher. Gentz said that teachers are inspired to be better by their students and the answer of whether a teacher is impactful or not is answered by this question: “Do you like investing your life in the life of another?”

Kevin Gentz is the first face many students see when they come to the high school as eight-graders. Gentz has been a Link Crew adviser for years and he makes an impression. In the 12 years Gentz has taught at Albert Lea High School, he has made an impact on students and staff members alike which is why he was nominated as the Impact Teacher by the senior class. 

Gentz always knew math was a big part of his life but teaching wasn’t his goal. He originally wanted to work for the government before he realized how much coaching impacted his life.

“I realized the people who made the biggest impact on my life were my teachers, my coaches and my parents,” said Gentz. 

Gentz is now the one impacting students and athletes.  Whether they are in his class or on the track, Gentz knows how to reach students.  He even offers life advice on the school’s news show “The Growl” where he makes occasional appearances on a segment called “2 Cents with Gentz”. Even though he teaches mostly seniors and juniors, these broadcasts allow him to reach every student at ALHS. 

One of his pieces of life advice is to “Win the day. Each day make a plan to get things done. What can you do to win the day because when you win the day you win the week and when you win the week you win the month and you continue to move on from there.”

Another one of his life lessons: “Don’t always plan on the future. Live in the present. There’s no guarantee you get your senior year, for us it was Covid 19. Live in the moment; live each day as it comes.”

When it comes to teaching math, Gentz loves the fact that it is always something new.

“You wouldn’t be able to say ‘I already know this’ like you can with other classes.There’s a difference in learning about things and learning how to do things,” said Gentz. “I love teaching.You literally get to take a skill and place it in the hands of others. It is without a doubt a deep passion of mine.” 

Not only is Gentz an impactful teacher but he is also a great storyteller. He is not afraid to take time during class to share these life lessons. It makes his students feel understood, and also, creates and builds relationships. Gentz is all about building relationships with his students, and much like the purpose of Link Crew, he wants them to feel comfortable and to not be afraid to ask questions. 

“His ability to be serious and meaningful while still being such a crazy and comedic teacher makes him one of the most impactful and meaningful teachers I know,” said senior Bailey Vinge. “Gentz has truly made me realize my love for math and the type of person I want to aspire to be.”

Gentz believes that in order to be good at a service job and, especially teaching, you need to like investing your life in the life of others.

“You don’t teach math, you teach students,” said Gentz. “Teaching starts with the relationship and not with content.”

Gentz said that he loves teaching, not just for the sake of teaching math, but for the personal interaction, the back and forth exchange, the joking, the conversations, and the ‘Hey, how are you? Gentz said that is the biggest joy that comes along with teaching. 

“I love joking around and laughing with Gentz in class,” said senior track runner Andrew Willner. “I always looked forward to hearing about his experiences and what he had to share with us.” 

Willner said he was thankful for all that Gentz has done for him and that he is going to miss being taught and coached by the impactful teacher that is Gentz.

Something that sets Gentz apart from other teachers is how he wants to build a relationship and make connections with every single one of his students. 

“Relationships are important,” said Gentz. “Being near each other is important. Don’t take for granted your opportunity to build relationships, to gather together and to be around each other. Being in class together is a special thing even if you can do learning apart, there’s value in being together.”