Another SCHS Teacher Is Out of the Equation

Twenty-one year veteran math teacher Michelle Genovese will be joining the crowd of teachers leaving Sandy Creek this year, leaving a significant legacy from her time as a constant at the high school and one of the pioneers of its highly successful Math Team.

“I love the Math Team,” said Genovese. “Math Team was the highlight of my day, especially in my first couple of years of teaching; it was just so much fun, the kids were great…They loved math and it was awesome to just be around kids who loved math.”

Under Genovese’s and other teachers’ leadership, the Math Team has done more than love math: Sandy Creek has won at least one award at four different competitions this year. However, it wasn’t always this way. In the 1990s, Genovese and another teacher built up the Math Team from humble beginnings.

“When I first started, I only had four kids and they didn’t give me a bus,” said Genovese. “We’ve gone to more [competitions] as we progressed. At first, there weren’t that many, but then as I found out about more and more competitions we do more and more different things, and when students say, ‘Hey, I want to go to this competition,’ for example Morehouse more recently, some of the competitions are really fun so we continue to do those over the years.”

Those four students were all male, but in Genovese’s final year, the Math Team has 66 members and a fairly equal percentage of boys and girls, which Genovese is very pleased about.

“It’s just so exciting to see students excel and also progress throughout the years,” said Genovese. “One of the biggest things about Math Team is that I get to see my students for all four years, whereas in the classroom you might just see them one or two years.”

Genovese extends that love of teaching to her students even as they progress through higher math classes. Above all, Genovese values creating a positive atmosphere where students can feel comfortable taking on unfamiliar knowledge.

“Learning in general is a love of mine. I like to learn more than just math, and I want to impart that love of learning to my students and also the love of exploring things and discovering things.”

And discovery, according to Genovese, is one of the great characteristics of math.

“There are still a lot of discoveries out there to be made in math in general, and I want the students to know that they are the future of making those discoveries in math,” said Genovese. “Students find different things and they can discover things in math on their own. It’s been very exciting to see students find a love of math, a love of learning, and a love of discovering new things.”

Genovese will continue teaching at Starr’s Mill High School next year.

“My daughter’s starting school down there, and time has become an issue for me,” said Genovese. “I’m hoping it will be easier to manage my time. But it’s a family decision.”

Sandy Creek students will remember and miss her as much as the Math Team.

“She was hilarious,” said Alexa Irias, a junior who has previously taken Genovese’s class.  “I’m very sad because we have a lot of teachers that are already leaving and it’s sad to see a good teacher go.”

From her memorable songs for formulas to her tireless efforts for her students, Genovese has helped to build the foundation that Sandy Creek and the math department in particular stands on today. Through all her twenty-one years, Genovese has never given up on a student or lost her sunny enthusiasm, and though her journey will continue at another school, everyone she has touched here will continue to believe in her and remember her place in their lives. We wish you the very best.

“I’ve loved the time that I’ve had and the opportunity that I’ve had, and it’s been a pleasure to be at Sandy Creek,” said Genovese. “Sandy Creek’s an awesome place to work at, and I’ve made lots of friends over the years. I’ve seen a lot of great, wonderful students come through here over the years and go off to their future careers… I’ve taught a lot of kids and I’ll miss it, definitely.”