Lalanne Series - Andrew Genco

By Victoria Schoen

Our third Lalanne teacher is Drew Genco. Drew is 23 and he is from Buffalo, NY. He attended Canisius College. This is his second year in the Lalanne program in which he teaches in the Dayton community at St. Helen. Here are Drew’s responses to the interview questions:

What is your favorite subject to teach? Math

What is your favorite subject to learn? English Language Arts (ELA)

What is the one most important thing that you want your students to learn from you or take away from your teaching? The one most important thing that I want my students to know when they leave my class is that it is not necessarily what they know, but rather how hard they work that will determine whether or not they are successful.

Who is your role model? Describe them: My mom is my role model. She has always been willing to do anything for her four kids in order to make us into the best people that we can be. She worked many different jobs over the course of my childhood, but the most important thing to her was that she had time off to spend with us. To this day she is willing to support us in anything that we are doing in any way that she can.

How were you inspired to become a teacher? I was inspired to become a teacher actually after I was already in my Teacher Education program. It happened during my first summer working at a summer camp in Angola, NY. It is a really unique camp, called Cradle Beach Camp, because it brings together children with disabilities and children from under-resourced homes and provides them with an opportunity to get away from the struggles of everyday life and just enjoy themselves for 10 days. The transformations that happened over that first summer were amazing, both in the counselors and the campers. The joy that was brought to everyone’s life really showed me that working with kids for the rest of my life was something that I wanted to do.  No matter how long and difficult the days were, it was worth it when you reflected on it at night.

Why did you decide to become a teacher? After I gave up my dream of being a professional athlete, I decided I wanted to be a teacher. I had many great teachers, and a lot of my extended family is teachers so it just made sense to me, like I never considered anything else. I think I really enjoyed helping people learn, so it was just obvious to me that I would be a teacher.

Why do you want to teach in Catholic schools? The really cool thing about teaching in Catholic schools is the community that is formed around our faith. It is so much deeper and more real than any other experience that you can have in a different school environment. It is also awesome to be able to share my faith life with my students and to grow on our faith journeys together.

What are three fun facts about you? I broke my femur in 6th grade while playing flag football in gym class. I once had a summer home in a different country (Canada). I’ve lived in New York State my whole life but I’ve never been to New York City.

If you could teach anywhere in the world where would you teach? Well, I really enjoy my school in Dayton, and will always have a soft spot for my hometown in Buffalo, but if I could pick a place it would be a community somewhere that has a strong French speaking community where I could do both of my favorite things, teaching and speaking French. I wouldn’t want to be a strictly French Language teacher, I’d rather continue to teach the primary grades but to ELLs with a French background.

Tell us anything else you would like the readers to know about you: I have loved my experience with Lalanne. It has helped me to learn and grow so much as a teacher and as an individual. I am so grateful for everything that I have gotten from the program. Also, I love the Buffalo Bills.

Other good comments about Drew from his fellow teachers and the staff of the Lalanne program:

 “I am excited to see what Drew has planned for his students as he heads into his second year of teaching! He is a wonderful example of what it means to be a Catholic school teacher!”

 “Drew is a great friend and a good listener.  We often joke about his sport knowledge compared to my lack of sport knowledge.”

 “Thanks for being our Cincinnati contact and so welcoming when I first arrived at Lalanne.”

 “loved by all and is a truly gifted teacher”

“Drew has a huge passion for sports and Buffalo!”

“Drew likes Eich. Drew like Buffalo, and buffalo wings. Drew also likes teaching third grade. He is a dedicated teacher who loves and cares for his students.”

“Drew has the most unique sense of humor that makes all of us laugh.”

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