Former Students Remember Madison Academic Band Director
NORTH JACKSON, Tenn. — Former students are speaking out about the kind of teacher Michael Congiardo, the band director at Madison Academic Magnet High School, was and the impact he had on so many students in the classroom. The students said they are devastated by the sudden loss of their band director. “I was definitely upset because I didn’t see it coming,” Bo Kitzman, a former Madison Academic student, said. “When I found out he had passed. It was tough,” Seth Harden, another former student, said. Congiardo, 49, was killed in a wreck Friday when his car struck a Jackson-Madison County School bus. Police said he had a medical condition that caused him to run a red light. “He was a great person and everybody around him whether they were an educator or a student they loved him. He was just a great guy,” Kitzman said. The former students said they kept in touch with Mr. Congiardo after high school. They both said they considered him a mentor. “To be idealistic, be positive about everything but also to have a dream but then set goals for it and be realistic about it,” Harden said. They say the band room was more than a classroom and Mr. Congiardo taught them more than just music. “He taught me to never judge another person, to always be open to somebody’s personality, whether they came from a different background musically or a different background in any way, shape or form,” Kitzman said. The pair said future students will miss out on a teaching experience that is rare and on a person who is unforgettable. A Jackson-Madison County Schools spokesperson said Congiardo worked for the school system for 15 years. Funeral Arrangements for Mike Congiardo: Visitation Sunday Night, March 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Shackleford Funeral Home in Selmer, TN. Graveside Services Monday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. at Mt. Vernon Cemetery on Hwy. 57 near the Eastview Community, south of Selmer.