By Atlee Myers
Throughout the numerous renovations, multiple principals, and dozens of graduating classes, there’s one thing at Wethersfield High School that has never changed and his name is Sco. Richard Scopetto graduated Rocky Hill High School with the class of 1966 and has been working for Wethersfield Public Schools for 45 years. It can be said with great confidence that he is the most indispensable member of the WHS staff. When you roam through the collection of yearbooks in our library, you can always count on Sco’s lighthearted smile being on at least one of those pages.
Scopetto chose to work in education because he says, “I figured where can I go where I can see a lot of smiling faces early in the morning and a lot of them?”, and what better place to find that then a school. When asked why he chose to teach high school physical education, he replied with a little chuckle, “Because high schoolers don’t pay attention, so can you imagine what first grade is like.”
He has a bubbly outgoing personality and always has a joke waiting to be told. When he isn’t teaching multiple physical education classes, Scopetto also coaches freshman boys soccer in the fall and girls tennis in the spring and in his past has coached wrestling, cross country and both indoor and outdoor track.
As a coach, his players, like female tennis double player Kendall Cathcart, say “Sco is a positive influence to everyone who plays for him. In stressful situations or if people are tired of practice, he finds a way to make us laugh.” And it has worked, last year the team finished with a winning record of 15-3 and the conference championship title. In the present season they hold a 4-2 record and just recently had a great win over top ranking Simsbury.
Scopetto uses his practices to teach his players more than just tennis skills but life skills. Cathcart says she’s learned to think less and just play, which is a metaphor one can transfer into their day to day life, “He always tells us that if we over think the game we mess up more and don’t have as much fun. And to always smile, no matter what the turn out just smile and have fun.” How Mr.Scopetto lives his life can be summed up in that quote, no matter what just smile.
As a senior and captain of the tennis team, Cathcart has spent the past 4 years playing for Scopetto and when asked what her favorite memory of him, she says there are just too many to hone in on one specific moment. Instead she says, “My favorite memory is him just cracking jokes about the other team when we are down to try and motivate us. He also takes players who win a tough match like Glastonbury or if no one wins, the players that win the most games in their match out to dinner to a nice restaurant like Bricco or Jay Gilbert’s. At the dinners, I love hearing his life stories, dumb stuff he did and funny stories he tells us.” Scopetto’s dedication to his players goes beyond the tennis court, he works to establish lasting and trusting relationships with his team.
If Scopetto wasn’t a high school teacher he says he “Would probably be an astronaut.” Whether that is a genuine passion of his or just a joke, we will never know. That’s the thing about Mr.Scopetto, he jokes so much you can never be quite sure when he is being serious, but he would surely be an interesting addition to the NASA team. This being said, his sense of humor and laid back attitude makes him a favorite among students and a teacher I for one will never forget.