Joshua Gentry (M.T. ‘14): Advice from brother fuels career choice
Gentry named 2020 Gilman Teacher of the Year at Hungary Creek Middle School
Joshua Gentry (M.T. ‘14) was recently named the 2020 Gilman Teacher of The Year by his colleagues at Hungary Creek Middle School, where he teaches health and physical education.
Gentry majored in health sciences, with a focus in health and physical education at VCU and earned his Master of Teaching degree from the VCU School of Education.
Gentry said he was drawn to VCU because of the diversity of the campus and credits the School of Education for providing excellent guidance to him and his classmates through professional and compassionate professors.
“Misti Mueller and Deb Getty are huge influences in my teaching and in my life. I don’t think I would be half the teacher or person I am today without either of them,” said Gentry. Dr. Misti Mueller is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and program coordinator for the B.S. Ed. in Health and Physical Education program. Dr. Deborah Getty exited the SOE in 2013.
Gentry came to VCU at the age of 32 and initially struggled to balance working and attending school full-time.
“At times, the only thing that kept me afloat was my age. When it came down to it, that is what saved me. I was old enough to know the difference between what I could and couldn’t do, what sacrifices I needed to make and how I was going to make them,” said Gentry.
Gentry said he was inspired to go back to school by his older brother.
“We had a conversation one day about making a change for myself and doing what I was good at: teaching and coaching kids,” said Gentry. Unfortunately, Gentry’s brother passed away before Gentry completed his masters degree.
“He wasn’t there to see me graduate, but looking back, he had the best seat in the house,” said Gentry.
“No one is ever too old to do anything. Knowledge is power. If you want to do something, go do it. Life is too short for what if’s.”
Gentry said he would advise anyone who’s considering going back to school to go for it, no matter how old they are.
“No one is ever too old to do anything. Knowledge is power. If you want to do something, go do it. Life is too short for what if’s,” he said.
BJ Harlow, Hungary Creek Middle School health and physical education teacher, cites Gentry’s can-do attitude as one of the reasons he’s an amazing teacher.
“He’s professionally certified to teach health and physical education, but his skills go way beyond the health and physical education world. He serves as a mentor to our students and embodies a sense of trust with each of them where they are comfortable inside and out of all learning environments,” said Harlow.