Michael Dare-Gentile

Submitted

PLEASANTVILLE- Michael Dare-Gentile, of Mays Landing, a North Main Street School technology teacher died on his way to work Tuesday, Oct. 4 when his bicycle was struck by a car on Route 40.

The Hamilton Township police responded to a motor vehicle crash involving a bicyclist at 6:17 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4. An investigation revealed that motorist Matthew Bramble, 25, of Newfield was traveling east on Route 40 when he struck Dare-Gentile, near New York Avenue. The teacher was wearing his helmet. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Bramble was not injured.

Dare-Gentile with 30-years in education was recently nominated by the school principal, Teresa McGaney-Guy for the LifeChanger of the Year, an annual program that recognizes educators who make an impact in students’ lives.

“I just submitted his name because of all of the work he has done for the children and he has been with the district for 30 years and worked before and after hours always with lots of energy,” Principal Teresa McGaney-Guy said through tears.

Dare-Gentile, 61, known to most as “Mr. G” worked with McGaney-Guy for four years at North Main Street School but they first met while teaching at Leeds Avenue School in Pleasantville in 1997.

“He was not just a teacher, he was a professional and a friend,” she remarked. “We are so sad. His office is right next door to my office and I am so used to talking to him throughout the day.”

One of Dare-Gentile’s major accomplishments in the district was writing the grant to help the school receive the Apple award. “He played a big role and took ownership of that project with me,” McGaney-Guy recalled.

The award equipped all students at North Main Street School with an iPad and each staff member with a MacBook Air and iPad, the North Main Street principal said.

In addition to being book smart and tech savvy, Dare-Gentile also offered many other attributes to the teaching profession and the students.

McGaney-Guy wrote in the LifeChanger nomination of her peer that he “has countless talents and a passion for helping to transform a school environment. Not only does he teach students about technology, but he also teaches them about kindness, doing good things for others and making the world a better place. He is a positive influence in the school and a key player in the school's culture.”

Renee Alford, a basic skills instructor at North Main Street School who worked with Dare-Gentile on the Apple program said she will miss her colleague.

“He just has touched so many lives in so many ways and he just didn’t want any recognition for it. We have worked in many capacities. He was always such a team player. He forged a relationship with everybody but each one was unique. We will have a hard time finding anyone to fill his shoes. He was one of those unique people who was book smart and technology smart but could also communicate so well.”

In addition to working countless hours as a teacher to helped out before and after school. Dare-Gentile also participated in a lot of different charities, including Camp Nejeda for juvenile Diabetes.

McGaney-Guy said the school will honor Dare-Gentile’s legacy by taking part in some of the charity events he participated in.

She said she spoke with Dare-Gentile’s wife and funeral arrangements are not yet confirmed.

Email Madelaine Vitale at mvitale@catamaranmedia.com.