v Halley Theroux
If you wander into Room 815 during any regular school day, you would probably be bombarded with a tall Steve-Carrell-look-alike with enough witty jokes and comically sarcastic remarks to last a life time.
Famous for a vocab of made up words that would rival former president George Bush, Jim Genty has a way of breaking past conformity in the class room as well as everyday life. Genty uses innovative lesson plans that include “drawlings”, exciting demonstrations and a little comedy to keep every moment free from monotony. On occasion he even finds You tube videos that can relate to the days topic.
Although there is never a dry or dull moment in his physics lessons, Genty’s teaching style is not his only claim to fame.
Like his sons, Vic and Sam, this high school teacher likes to fight dreariness with his weapon of choice, a skateboard. He first picked up a skate board at age 8 and the rest is history. Skateboarding has become not only a shared passion for Genty and his sons, but it is also an excuse to bond and teach the boys that it doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about as long as you have passion. Nothing says family fun like a half pipe.
“When the three of us started skating together we didn’t know how to build things like a half pipe or how to use them. We wanted to learn how to drop in. We said, ‘OK, we’re going to learn this together.”
Not only does Genty take joy in this out of the norm pastime, but he is also an advocate for the true value of skateboarding as a sport. He preaches that it is just as beneficial to individuals as football or soccer, even if it isn’t as widely recognized.
“I have been involved as a skateboard activist, with some local skaters in Austin and Round Rock who, like myself, realize team sports are not for everyone.”
Genty argues that students, who use skateboarding as an outlet for their extra energy and time, deserve just as much attention and opportunity as students involved in team based sports.
He takes the stand that public skate parks are of an equal necessity to basketball courts and parks. The skate park is the one place where age and gender hold no bearing, only skill and dedication matter.
“Public skate parks are a wonderful vehicle for building relationships between a variety of individuals which cuts across socio-economic and age group “barriers”. Ultimately these facilities create a stronger community where ever they are allowed to exist by allowing people to build relationships through a common interest.”