New Assistant Principal of Cyber Program Offers a Refreshing Perspective on Education

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Mr. Anthony Conti, assistant principal of Seneca Valley’s cyber program Academy of Choice, is a new presence to SV students this year, but a familiar face to the school. Graduating in 1998, Conti recently returned to Pennsylvania from Florida after the birth of his son, now two years old.

He never intended to be a teacher, but at his first job with a school, Conti was offered an opportunity to mentor a young athlete, an event that inspired him. When asked if working as a teacher is fulfilling, Conti replied, “I never come to work, even in the hard times, the stressful times, thinking of it as a job.”

Outside of education, Mr. Conti enjoys outdoor activities, reading, athletics, and most important, spending time with his wife and son. Mr. Conti said of his interests, “As you get older and as you grow, you start to get more comfortable with who you are and reach out to different things. I really try to be well-rounded and instill that on the kids: Don’t be just one sided, one dimension.”

Although a cyber program would seem to discourage student-teacher interaction, Mr. Conti stated that the opposite is true and enjoys building relationships with his students. He is a firm believer in the power and influence of a good teacher, saying, “I think the reality is that for eighteen or more years of our life, you spend more time with your teachers than your friends and probably your parents. Doing it the right way, doing it with a lot of passion is only going to help students.”

Mr. Conti has real love for Seneca Valley and commented, “When I started working at other schools, a lot of times I found myself comparing it. There’s a lot of school pride [at Seneca Valley] which I love, as well as the quality of education.”

Conti benefits professionally from his previous experiences in other schools, including a small private school primarily focused on academics and another in which he spent the bulk of his profession, a “…very culturally diverse area in St. Lucie County, Florida, where education was varied based on the child. I did work in some areas that were very low socially, economically-poverty.”

From all of his experiences, Mr. Conti observed, “When you wipe away everything, regardless of the area, the things that remain are quality teachers, students, and family that really care about education. When that happens, you see success.”

Mr. Conti’s enjoys and pursues developing relationships with students and encouraging them to grow, but his favorite part of teaching is seeing what happens to students after they leave. To him, he is gratified as a teacher when he can leave, “…even a little thumbprint of important information or lesson learned that has helped them create who they are, moving forward.”

Mr. Conti’s interview concluded on a light-hearted note concerning his notoriety for being well-dressed. When asked about his personal style, Conti noted, “I take a lot of pride in who I am as an individual, and I think that when you take something seriously and the way that I approach my work and operate, you gotta look good doing it.” It seems that this has been a trait carried over from previous schools, where the students “…used to tell me I had geek swag.”

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New Assistant Principal of Cyber Program Offers a Refreshing Perspective on Education