APS News Release

Jefferson Band Director Receives National Recognition

Catrina TangchittsumranThomas Jefferson Middle School band director Catrina Tangchittsumran was named to the School Band and Orchestra Magazine’s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” list.

Directors were nominated by students, both former and current, colleagues, musical instrument retailers, band parents, administrators, friends, former band directors who might have even taught them, and sometimes a spouse of a director who admires the hard work and dedication their other half gives to their school music programs.

Tangchittsumran is in her 16th year of teaching.

What is your proudest moment as an educator?
Most of the proudest moments I have had are small–little glimmers and flickers where something finally clicks for a student. Last year, many of my students experienced that collectively while on stage during District Assessment. Many of my students face personal challenges to even be able to participate in band, so it was inspiring and humbling to help lead them through such an exciting and nuanced performance. I have always known they were great, but it was validating to know the adjudicators recognized it too as my students earned straight Superiors for the first time in school memory!

How do you hope to make a difference in students’ lives?
I hope that every student who passes through my classroom develops a deep appreciation for music. While not every student will become a lifelong musician, I believe all students benefit from learning skills in collaboration, interdependence, discipline, perseverance, and self-expression that are taught through music ensembles.

What’s the most important lesson that you try to teach your students?
The most important lesson that I try to teach my students is that working hard can lead to success but is also a goal in its own right. Taking on a challenging task, putting forth your best effort, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people you can will always be satisfying. I also hope they learn the importance of using deodorant on long bus trips.

The full issue can be found online.