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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

What is Leandro Conti’s real job at Centennial?

A look into one of Centennial’s many crucial staff, a description that might be a surprise to many students

Leandro Conti is known for many things around Centennial High School— teaching is not one of those things. At least that’s the impression most, if not all, students who know the young staff member believe. The truth is that he’s very involved in the school, and more students should be aware of the work he does.

Arriving at the school originally in 2018, Conti had become the J.V. boys soccer coach at the age of only 21. Besides already coaching five club teams, he was more than equipped for the role. After two successful seasons with the team he temporarily left, but would come back once again under the same role in 2022, and this time he was also offered an in-building position as a roaming sub and the Test Coordinator.

“I just felt like teaching, or becoming a teacher was something I wanted to do, and it’s something I’m going to try to do now,” Conti said. From the perspective of someone who taught soccer daily, teaching school subjects couldn’t have been entirely different.

You’ve probably seen him pop in and out of your class here and there since last November, or maybe you saw him sitting around in the halls monitoring any activity. Contrary to popular belief, that isn’t all he does. When asked what his average day looks like at the school, Conti answered, “I usually get here around 7:30, and I have a first period, a third period, and a sixth period.” During those periods he watches over students who join Google Meets for classes not offered at Centennial, like linear equations and Chinese IV Honors.

“I think people that aren’t in those [virtual] classes, they just see me walking around and don’t really know what goes into it,” claimed Conti when asked if he thinks students know what he does. Besides monitoring the Google Meet classes, he also holds the title of Test Coordinator here at the Nest.

When asked what that job entails, Conti responded, “Usually when there’s more testing going on, so like PSAT, the MCAPs, MISA, all those tests, I’m the one that has to schedule all the times we’re gonna take the test, make sure everything is good to go for the students, I set them up into classrooms.” Although it’s a seasonal task, standardized testing is important for a lot of students, and it takes focus to make sure nothing goes askew during scheduling.

As of late, Conti has also taken on the job of coaching the J.V. girls basketball team after no other candidates had stepped up. Asking about his involvement with sports at Centennial, he simply responded, “I’ve always been a big sports guy,” also adding, “I wish I had a coach when I was growing up that would understand how you have to mix in student life with an athletic life.” Being a former high school and collegiate athlete, he understands the commitment of sports, but he realizes there is sometimes an imbalance between sports and schoolwork for some players.

He stated the possibility of him taking on other coaching roles at the school in the future, but as of right now there is one newly vacant position that has become his top priority, the varsity boys coach position.

With former coach Justin Thomas stepping down after nine years with the program, Conti is one of many candidates for the job. “He [Coach Thomas] was a big mentor to me, when I came in I was obviously still young, I had to learn a lot, and he had a lot of experience,” Conti said. As he already knows most players that would play for varsity next year, Conti claimed, “I think I have enough coaching experience with the kids that I think we could do really well.” Many of his former players would agree, as his success with J.V. over the last few seasons has the opportunity to ripple into the next level.

Whether he gets the opportunity to be a varsity head coach or not, Leandro Conti has been and will remain to be a relevant figure at Centennial. He may not appear to always be working, but when diving deeper into his resume, it is made very clear that his work is crucial to the school, on and off the fields and courts.


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About the Contributor
Ryan Brown, Sports Writer