Confino rocks on: his journey from road manager to English teacher


Photo by Amanda Slud

English teacher Nicholas Confino hard at work in between classes.

On the road 250 days a year, backstage at rock concerts and music festivals, working with famous bands and musicians; all of this was the job of English teacher Nicholas Confino when he was a road manager for underground rock bands. Before becoming a teacher in Montgomery County, Confino toured and consulted with different rock bands.

Confino found his music career highly rewarding, recalling a time he was at the 2010 Mountain Jam festival in New York and was able to bring an old high school friend backstage to see their favorite band. “It was something really nice I was able to do,” Confino said. 

When Confino was a kid, however, he wanted to be a lawyer. Throughout college, he worked at a firm that practiced environmental law, but that experience persuaded him not to go into law. After seeing the hours people put in and realizing how little time he would have with his family, he decided not to go down that path. 

During the summer while in college, Confino worked with the Maryland State Department teaching students from the Balkans about politics and how to start non-profit organizations. This experience planted the seed for starting a teaching career.

Confino came to Montgomery County after hearing positive reviews and taught at Whitman and Rockville before coming here. He was familiar with the school through Common Sense because, as the newspaper advisor at Whitman and Rockville, he made his students read other schools’ papers to try to improve theirs. “I liked the diversity and how engaged students were [at Wootton],” Confino said. 

Freshman Lexie Lindauer, who has Confino for English, said she enjoys his class. “I really like how he interacts with students and really teaches us, and doesn’t just tell us. He makes English fun . . . I’m glad to have him,” Lindauer said. 

Confino finds that skills he picked up while working in the music industry can also be applied to his classroom teaching. “Teaching is similar to the music industry, in that anything can happen at any time in the classroom, and you have to be on your toes,” Confino said. 

Confino likes teaching high school by introducing ideas to students and seeing them run with them. Something “that is unique is students are more willing to engage and talk, are pretty respectful of others’ ideas, and recognize the importance of hearing different thoughts and ideas,” Confino said.

Junior Sofie Vinick, who has AP Lang with Confino, enjoys his engaging methods of teaching. “The way he teaches is very versatile which I, and many others, really appreciate. He thoroughly explains everything and we are always kept in the loop with whatever’s going on, which is really nice,” Vinick said.

In the past couple of years, Confino has started to reenter the music industry. He now consults between management and bands, a way for him to get back into music without being on the road constantly.