[Jeanne Christensen, 2018 Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year. Photo by Jeff Stevens]
Article By: Pam Stevens
Jeanne Christensen, Mira Mesa High School Sapphire Sound band director, was selected as 2018 Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year by a vote of Mira Mesa Town Council members at the December 2018 MMTC meeting. Jeanne – or “Mrs. C,” as she is called fondly by her students and their parents — will be honored at the MMTC’s Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year Dinner in spring 2019.
[Maria Pankau (left) made the announcement at the MMHS Sapphire Sound Winter Concert December 6, 2018 that the Mira Mesa Town Council had just selected band director Jeanne Christensen as Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year. Photo by Pam Stevens]
A Volunteer of the Year Dinner Committee is now forming to plan the event, which is also a fundraiser for the MMTC’s Verne Goodwin Scholarships, awarded to graduating high school seniors based on community service. This year’s VOY Dinner Committee, including Maria Pankau, Christina Keene, Charlene Ellsworth, and Pam and Jeff Stevens, will hold its first meeting in early January 2019. To get involved or for more information, email Pam Stevens, firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a brief biography of Jeanne Christensen, as posted at https://www.miramesatowncouncil.org/voy/2018-jeanne-christensen/
Jeanne Christensen is the Mira Mesa High School Sapphire Sound band director. Jeanne is paid for her work as a teacher at MMHS but those of us who know her know that there is no possible way for the district to pay her for the entirety of the hours she spends with the band. This is her life project and the students are her children. Many of her past students can be seen helping her continue on her search for excellence, from coaches to mentors to those living outside the area but still coming back to help with the tournament or just to visit with Mrs. C. Her students truly love her and are proud of the band she has created and the accolades that come Mira Mesa’s way because of Sapphire Sound. They are proud to be part of the Sapphire Sound history.
She has grown the band from 80+ musicians and color guard to over 200 students who make the well-oiled machine that is the Sapphire Sound. In her 25 years at the helm she has made MMHS and Mira Mesa well known as a community that supports the arts and has an outstanding music program in our schools. She has helped to set up a program that supports young musicians from the onset by providing them with opportunities to play with the big kids at the high school. Her perseverance in making Sapphire Sound the best in the district encourages students in elementary and middle school to excellence so that they too can be a part of Sapphire Sound. Jeanne has taken Sapphire Sound to see, and be seen, by the world… The Olympics in 2000, Australia, Hawaii, New York City, Breckenridge, Washington D.C., and many other amazing places.