Teacher Spotlight: Ruben Modesto


Stephon Spiegel (12th), Reporter

Mr. Modesto is the leading force behind Pitman High School’s Marching Pride, he is the director of all band ensembles and helps organize events such as concerts and band reviews.

I asked him some questions that would provide further insight into his career as a music educator.


After graduating high school, Mr. Modesto began his career at Delta College and aided with band and coaching. I asked him what made him desire pursuing a career in music education.


A: “I really liked helping and teaching, so I decided to do music education.”


He then began to attend the conservatory of music at the University of Missouri – Kansas City (UMKC).


I then asked him what his favorite part of being a band director was.


A: “Seeing growth in the four years, helping young adults find what they are passionate about, helping them discover talents, and getting students better than they ever thought they could be. Playing in an ensemble is like functioning in society.”


As a student of his I can agree with the fact that in my four years of band in the high school world, I have grown, from an immature and jovial kid to accomplished and ambitious adult.


He also stated, “I like the hang time before concerts and gigs, seeing everyone eat in groups while their phones are stacked at the center of the table (a personal challenge we would do at pregame so there would be no distractions), and the adrenaline rush of performing – I still am amazed we played at the Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center.”


As someone who is seeking the same career of band director, I asked Mr. Modesto what advice he would give to someone seeking a career in the world of education, music or not.


A: “Teaching is all about relationships. No one learns from someone they don’t feel like cares about them. This gig is a lot of work, but worth it – It can’t be a backup. You either want it or you don’t. You will remember mistakes more than success. Mistakes I have made with students still haunt, but we learn and grow.”


That advice was very crucial to hear, as someone desiring to go in the same field, interpersonal relationships with your pupils is a key aspect to building an inclusive and efficient environment. During my time at Pitman High, I have felt that inclusive environment that Mr. Modesto has facilitated and it has helped me grow as a person.


Thank you Mr. Modesto for all you do for the school, band, and us individuals.