By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bill Conger: Determined to make a difference
Tells of traumatic event that changed his career path

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

Bill Conger is a counselor and educator at West School but before that he was a newsman, his career change coming as result of tragic circumstances and his need to make a difference in young lives.

“This is my second career,” Conger said, noting he had been in radio and television before transitioning to the educational field. It was that news career that sat the table for his present work at West School.

“When I was working at WSM I heard on the scanner there was a robbery at a pawn shop,” Bill revealed, noting he hurried to the scene to report what was going on. “I went under the crime tape and saw over to the side, there was a body covered by a sheet. It had obviously turned into more than just a robbery.”

It was at that point Bill got the shock that would make him reassess what he wanted to do with his life. “The police spokesman told me it was the body of a 14-year-old,” Bill said, noting that while he loved his career, he knew he had to do something to make a difference. “I wanted to do more than just a thirty second story for the radio. I wanted a chance to do what I could to prevent another child from ending up in a life ending situation.”

In his role as a school counselor, Bill says he feels he has accomplished his goal to make difference but it can be challenging.

“Sometimes it’s not the best of situations that they live in,” he admitted. “There have been times when they have been in a crisis situation. I’ve been here late at night with the crisis team to get them in a situation where they are safe and out of harm’s way.”

Bill pointed out the work is worth it. “There are students over the years you feel like you’ve connected with,” he said. “You hope that you’ve been a mentor if nothing else. We’re not just here to teacher, we’re here to love and care for them.”

Bill said he wants to continue honing his skills, adding he has went back to Tennessee Tech for higher education.

When he is not at his school job, Bill has a number of things he likes to do in addition to being a regular contributor to the Smithville Review.

“I enjoy playing the drums,” Bill revealed, adding he plays with his church worship team and is dabbling on learning to play the mandolin.

He also still enjoys writing. “I’ve written a couple of books,” he said, adding he hopes to have a new one published he is collaborating on in the near future.