Note from the Editor: This is an article in a series called "Wethersfield Heroes," where our students work to highlight and honor those in our community going above and beyond amidst the tumultuous year. If you know someone that you would like to nominate as a Wethersfield Hero, please contact Mr. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by: Yvonna Rodriguez
No matter when you attended Wethersfield High School, there is one voice students past and present can pick out of a crowd. That is the voice of gym teacher and coach Richard Scoppetto, better known to his students as Sco.
Mr. Sco has been a part of the Wethersfield community for longer than most current WHS students (and some teachers) have been alive. Not even he himself knows exactly when he joined our community.
While trying to pinpoint the start of his teaching career, he said, “I'm not sure when I started at Wethersfield High School. I started at Deane [Silas Deane Middle School] when it was a junior high and I student taught there and then I filled in for Joseph Cottone, the one they named the field [Joseph T. Cottone Field] after because he got sick.”
Mr. Sco is the epitome of dedication. He spoke to me about the effort he went through in some of his earlier teaching years. “I was the first teacher to teach special Ed here and PE. So I'd be at Deane, come here to teach a class then go back to Deane then come back here all in one day,” he said.
His dedication to his job became even clearer to see when he said that he has only had 7 sick days in the last 48 years.
While the exact start of his teaching career is unknown, what is known is the lasting impact he has had on Wethersfield High School students past and present. I spoke to members of WHS to try to understand the depth of his impact on our community.
Andrea Moyano, a senior at WHS who has had Mr. Sco as both a teacher and a coach, says he has impacted her life greatly over the years as her tennis coach. “Sco would often say to the team ‘not think, do’ or something along those lines,” she said, “he would try to get us out of our heads because we would overthink and mess up hits we could do in our sleep. I definitely try to use that in all aspects of life, especially moments when I'm really stressed or anxious.”
Joining a sports team in high school is hard, but it's even harder when it's a sport you haven't played before. That was the case for senior Alani Adams when she decided to join the tennis team last year. “Sco impacted my life by making me believe in myself when I didn't think I could learn a new sport,” she said, “he inspired me to keep trying and keep learning.”
Siobhan DeGray, an English teacher here at WHS and a member of the 2001 graduating class, was fortunate enough to have had Mr. Sco as both a teacher and a soccer coach. “Class was always interesting,” she said, “He never shied away from difficult or uncomfortable questions during health class.”
Someone who has been in teaching this long clearly must love their job, and after speaking with Mr. Sco it's clear to see that he enjoys teaching more than anything. “I come to work and have fun every day,” he told me, “I've never thought of retiring. Maybe when the fun goes I go.”
Towards the end of my interview Mr. Sco spoke to me about teaching as a whole, and the impact it has had on him. “I learn every day, but not from me. I dont think ive learned anything in the last 20 years from me. But I learn from these teachers and I learn from the students every day,” he said.
Mr. Sco is a pillar in the Wethersfield community and the impact he has had on our community will be everlasting.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.