Service in Idaho for former middle school band director |

Service in Idaho for former middle school band director

Staff Reports
Jim Burnett in a 1986 R-C file photo.
The R-C

A service was Wednesday in Idaho for retired Carson Valley Middle School Music Director Jim Burnett, who died Aug. 4, 2017, at his home near Rigby, Idaho.

Mr. Burnette taught at Carson Valley Middle School for 23 years from 1979 to 2002, according to his family.

According to an article written by R-C Staff Writer Joyce Hollister announcing Burnett’s arrival, he taught in Washoe County for two years before taking a brief break from teaching.

“These kids have a lot of pride,” Burnett said in the Sept. 6, 1979 article, “and there’s nothing I’m going to do to change that.”

Born June 27, 1942, in Tahlequah, Okla., Burnett was put up for adoption by his birth mother. He told The R-C the two were reunited after 36 years on Dec. 26, 1985.

Burnett graduated from Geneseo High School in 1960. He received a degree in music education from McPherson College in McPherson, Kan., in 1964 and started his teaching career in Almena, Kan. He taught a total of 12 years in Kansas and 25 years in Nevada with 23 years at Carson Valley Middle School in Gardnerville. He received his masters degree of integrating arts into classroom from Lesley University in 1990.

Burnett married Gina Cross in 1974. They were married for more than 42 years.

Gina and Jim traveled over much of the U.S. and some of Canada. Their favorite camping spot was in Hope Valley, just south of Lake Tahoe and their favorite vacation spot was Patrick’s Point State Park on the Northern California coast where they enjoyed agate hunting on Agate Beach.

Burnett received several national awards for his poetry. He was a member of the college trumpet quartet for two years, traveling and representing McPherson College. His middle school bands were very successful competing against high schools as well as middle schools in Nevada.

Burnett was involved with several churches. He attended Methodist and Church of the Brethren churches while growing up and was later hired as the choir director for a Lutheran Church. He and Gina were baptized into the LDS Church in 1995 and sealed the next year in the Oakland Temple.

He is survived by his wife, Gina Burnett, and his two children. He was preceded in death by his parents.