Mr. Keith Maginsky is a physics teacher at Southmoreland High School. A former employee of Sony, Mr. Maginsky was an engineer, a carpenter and a skilled craftsman.
Mr. Maginsky grew up in a town called Port Jervis in rural New York, and grew up with his mother, father, and three sisters.
“I was always spoiled because I was the only son,” said Maginsky. “I grew up in an area surrounded by huge lakes, and streams as well as untouched, uncultivated vast wilderness.”
Mr. Maginsky said he and his father “naturally took up hunting and fishing as a hobby” and used them “as a means of escaping the loud obscenities of civilization.”
Mr. Maginsky said he still hunts coyote and fishes for “trout in streams and bass in lakes.”
Having a diversified background, Mr. Maginsky has an engineering degree from Boston’s Northeastern University, as well as a masters degree in education.
Soon after graduating from NU, Mr. Maginsky landed a civilian job for the United States Navy, building what they call “Point and Shoot Rockets.” Point and Shoot Rockets are an unintelligent series of rockets that are similar to Rocket Propelled Grenades, or “RPG’s.” Upon firing the rocket the operator can only pray that it hits its designated target.
While viewed by many students as being a highly intelligent person, junior Andrew Evans paid his teacher an even higher compliment. “He is a genius.”
“Many people think I’m smart and talented, but I’m not, I just put the time in it to be able to master the skills that I enjoy doing, just as it is with everything else,” Mr. Maginsky explained. “Anyone who is considered remotely decent at anything had to invest all their time and interest into the thing that makes them happiest in life.”
Mr. Maginsky is an obvious fit in Southmoreland’s high school science department.
“Every single day it’s something new, whether that would be a lesson in science, or advice to one of my students on life problems,” he said. “I enjoy giving the students complex problems so that way they have to figure them out, and that not only helps them academically, but in their future career, and home lives as well.
“Many students seem to think that I was never a ‘kid,’ and that I never had to learn how to grow up and accept responsibilities, or figure out solutions to my problems,” he continued. “But the truth is that everybody has to sooner or later, and the sooner students learn these skills, the sooner they will be able to take the steps necessary to be fully self supporting adults.”
Like many teachers, it is the opportunity to help students that drew Mr. Maginsky into the teaching profession.
“What I enjoy most is how rewarding it is when a student comes to me and tells me that my advice really helped them out,” said Mr. Maginsky. “It’s not a job if you love what you do.”
But teaching has pitfalls as well. “There are not many things I don’t like about teaching, other than when a child refuses to put effort into anything, or they just goof around the whole period,” he said.
Behind Mr. Maginsky’s soft-spoken exterior, there is a craftsman who can think, formulate, and put together many things that the average person couldn’t dream about.
One of his ingenious projects is a wood baking oven that is powered only by water.
“I didn’t want the project to involve anything that could potentially be dangerous,” he said. “What happens when you have extremely dry timber and a spark is put to it? The wood will ignite, so what I did was pumped water through two carburetors connected by a series of tubing. This in turn makes it possible to recycle the same water as long as you want, even if you never want to change it, the water will remain consistent.”
Mr. Maginsky said he doesn’t always build “complex mechanisms.” He also makes “small things” like tables, chairs, and anything else he needs to make.
Even with all that on his plate, Mr. Maginsky still finds time to travel across all of the continental United States, parts of Europe, and even Africa. He has seen things that a majority of people have only seen in history books or television shows.
“I have seen almost everything, from the Capital building of the United States, to the Great Pyramids of Giza,” he said.
Mr. Maginsky has extraordinary goals not only for himself, but also for the students he teaches as well. He has many interesting experiences, which many students may find to be an inspiration and lead to attaining happiness through hard work, preservation, and righteousness.