He has been a teacher, a coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal and, still is a dad to two wonderful grown children. And now, he brings all that amazing work experience to Cut Bank. Welcome Tres Genger, the new principal at Cut Bank High School.
Genger is not just familiar with the workings of a school system, he is also familiar with life in a small town. He prefers that environment to the hustle and bustle of the world he left at Charles A. Lindbergh High School in Renton, Wash., a suburb of Seattle.
“I had thought about coming back to Montana for several years now and this time, the timing to do that was right,” he said.
Genger is a Montana native, having been born and raised in Fairfield, graduating from Fairfield High School in 1972. “I even played basketball in the old gym right here in Cut Bank, back in the day,” he reminisced.
He went off to college at Western Montana and did his undergraduate work there, graduating with a teaching degree in 1977. “I was on the five-year plan for college,” he said. “After that I taught business and physical education for a year in Box Elder and then returned to Fairfield to run my family’s farm for two years.”
From there, he went to Centerville, Mont. for a year and Ekalaka for three years, teaching business and physical education again. He then moved to Glasgow and taught there for two years.
He met his wife to-be, Barb Kavanagh, while at a volleyball match in Corvallis and in 1989, the two were married. Barb is the sister of Brian Kavanagh, the Publisher of the Cut Bank Pioneer Press.
Earning his Master’s degree had always been in Genger’s life plan and once again, the timing was right to do that at this juncture of his life. So, he went back to school and graduated from University of Montana in 1990 with a Master’s degree in exercise physiology.
He and Barb moved to Harlem where Genger became the athletic director and physical education teacher. They stayed there for a year and it was once again time to go back to school for Genger, this time to obtain his administrative endorsement.
The family moved to Hamilton where Barb taught math and Genger took his first assistant principal job at Hamilton High School. It was 1992 and they stayed there for three years. Then they shifted gears from the small town to the larger suburbia area close to Seattle.
For the next three years, Genger was the assistant principal at Sammamish High School in the Bellevue School District of Washington. “We lived in Kent, Wash. and the commute each day was tough.”
After that, he took an assistant principal job at Thomas Jefferson High School in Federal Way, Wash and stayed there for four years. The commute was better, but it was soon going to get much better when he took his first principal job at Charles A. Lindbergh High School in Renton, Wash. He stayed there for 16 years.
Barb was teaching math at Kentwood High School and was also an assistant and then head coach of the girls’ basketball team. She taught there for 23 years. She, too, will be working in the Cut Bank school system, teaching math to both middle and high school students starting this fall.
Barb and her husband of 30 years have two children, Jessie, who is 29, married and living in Shell Beach, Calif. and Skyler, who is 26 and lives in Kent, Wash.
“After living in the Seattle area and dealing with all the traffic and all the people, it felt like it was time, once again to return to a smaller community where the high school is the center of the community. I have wanted that for the last 10 years. So, when this principal position came up, it was going to the right place, at the right time. And it was like coming home.”
For Genger moving out to the Seattle area was “just part of life’s journey and moving back to Montana, is yet another part of that journey.”
Part of his journey through life found him not just teaching and working as an administrative member, but he was also a coach too in several of the schools, coaching football and boy’s basketball.
But now that his journey has brought them to Cut Bank, where they have purchased a home and are ready for their next life adventure.
“We have a lot of family connections here in the state and every time we returned for a visit and I would drive over Roger’s Pass and could see for miles clear out to the prairie, I felt like I was home. Now, when I make that drive, I truly am coming home.”
Genger concluded, “I am excited to be here and really like the people I am going to be working with.”