Patience and Perseverance Pay Off


Choosing a career can be a daunting task for many. For Mr. Marc Scianna, Coginchaug’s newest Physical Education teacher, deciding to be a PE teacher was a clear and fitting choice as he enjoyed both sports and working with children. Mr. Scianna described, “it just made sense to become a PE teacher. I absolutely love the decision I made.”

Growing up in Middlefield, Mr. Scianna attended the RSD13 schools throughout his youth. He participated in football, basketball, cross country, track and field, and chorus during his time as a student in the district. Upon his graduation from Coginchaug in 2006, he enrolled in Central Connecticut State University to pursue a degree in Physical Education. A few years later, he attended Concordia University, earning his Master’s Degree in Athletic Leadership. 

While simultaneously enrolled in college, Mr. Scianna volunteered at Brewster, Korn, and Lyman, assisting the other PE teachers with running their classes. This eventually led to him substituting at these schools, making connections with both the students and staff he interacted with. For the past decade, Mr. Scianna has co-run both Sports Camp and Tennis Camp with Mr. Edwards, another district PE teacher. Mr. Scianna’s involvement with the Durham-Middlefield community also extends beyond the district as he has been the coach for the Park and Rec basketball team for four years.

Before becoming a teacher at Coginchaug, Mr. Scianna worked at Barnard School in New Haven, a magnet school with students preschool through eighth grade. He recalled, “I enjoyed my time there, I learned a lot and met a lot of great people.”

Having an opportunity for a PE staff position in RSD13 has been an aspiration of Mr. Scianna’s for the past 15 years. When asked about the accomplishment he is most proud of, Mr. Scianna answered, “getting this job in District 13… It is something that I have spent the last 15 years working towards and waiting for the opportunity and it finally came this year.”

From day one as a teacher at Coginchaug, Mr. Scianna has been welcomed warmly by both students and staff. He mentioned that he remembers many of the students from his work at the district elementary schools years ago and is excited for the chance to reestablish connections with them. 

In addition to the classes of Sophomore PE that he is currently instructing this quarter, Mr. Scianna is going to be teaching Freshman PE and Senior Health, as well as several PE electives including Backyard Sports, Team Sports, and Walk-Fit for the remainder of the year.

Mr. Scianna’s hopes are that students who partake in his classes will look back on it as an enjoyable experience. While he realizes that not everyone is going to enjoy every part of PE, he emphasized that one of his main priorities is making his classes as fun as possible. Mr. Scianna detailed, “one of the most important things… when [my students] are with me in the gym is that they are enjoying themselves.”

For Mr. Scianna, the most rewarding part of being a teacher is witnessing the improvement his students make over the course of the class. He expressed that “there is no greater feeling as a teacher than when a learner who was struggling with a skill becomes successful.”