, Salem, MA

Local News

February 3, 2014

Taking the time to listen

DANVERS — Patricia Gentile’s first act as North Shore Community College’s new president was to close the school when a snowstorm hit the region Jan. 1.

Since then, Gentile has been on a 100-day listening tour, meeting with local lawmakers, school superintendents, college faculty, students and business leaders. She has been learning about the North Shore and the college, which has campuses in Danvers, Beverly and Lynn.

Gentile came to the North Shore from Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey, where she worked in a variety of leadership roles. She lives in Swampscott now and spoke recently with The Salem News.

Tell me about your background.

I haven’t had the usual journey to become a college president. When I first started out after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, I taught for a year in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Catholic school system — grade 5, in a very distressed neighborhood — and quickly found out that I was very ill-equipped to teach fifth-graders.

How long did you do that?

I only did it for a year. I knew it wasn’t for me ... (She later taught in a Catholic high school for five years, but declining enrollments led her to switch careers.)

That’s when I got, because of my volunteer activities, involved in the nonprofit community. Worked as an executive director, chief operating officer or chief executive officer for a number of charities — local, regional and then national. And I realized after my first charity ... I need some more business tools in my tool chest, and that’s when I decided to go back and get my MBA.

Where did you get your MBA?

At the Wharton School (at the University of Pennsylvania) ... While I was there, I learned I really love finance, too. So, that’s how I got my joint finance and public policy and management degree at Wharton. I came out of there right into the financial recession of the 1990s.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream Raw: Woman Escorted From Ferguson Protests California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Holder Hopes to Bring Calm to Ferguson Today in History August 21 Holder Pledges Top Investigators for Ferguson US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List
Comments Tracker