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BP Teacher dies in kayaking accident


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      Mark Rauterkus

      From WPXI 11

      Local school district grieving after teacher dies in kayaking accident

      Bethel Park School District is mourning the loss of a history teacher who died in an a tragic kayaking accident.

      The school district tells Channel 11 called Jon Gentile, a teacher for the last 15 years, an incredibly well-respected and beloved member of the high school and middle school staff.

      His colleagues say Gentile was the kind of teacher who made students want to go into teaching.

      Fellow history teacher, Doug Fink, who consider Gentile one of his best friends said students adored him. “They absolutely adored him, loved him, the kind of guy who makes you learn but they also have fun.”

      English teacher, Chelsea Casagranda, said Gentile was the best man in her wedding. “He was really able to develop that personal relationship with every student, he understood that curriculum was secondary to relationships…. he had a relationship with everyone; he was special.”

      Gentile was an avid outdoorsman who died Tuesday after a tragic kayaking accident. Many of his students paid tribute to him by showing up to school wearing plaid and flannel — his signature teaching outfit.

      “Students yesterday were wearing plaid shirts in honor of Mr. Gentile, something he liked to do and wear to school, which showed his laid-back personality. I think the students and staff have bonded together over this.”

      John was a husband and father to a 9-year-old boy, whom he recently brought to school for Take Your Child To Work Day. He sent his students a funny photo of his family during the Covid lockdown with the quote, “hope you’re all catching some quality time with family!”

      His friends say that showed the side of him that students loved.

      “He had that intangible factor, he was such a charismatic larger than life personality… despite his stature, that’s something you just can’t teach.”

      His colleagues organized a Go Fund Me to help Gentile’s family.

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