Ellen Christensen was born and raised in
Waukesha, WI as the seventh of thirteen children of Ervin and Ruth Scherwinski.
She attended St. Mary's grade school and Catholic Memorial High School in
Waukesha. She began her college education at St. Norbert College in DePere, WI.
She transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to study voice with
Madame Yolanda Marculescu-Stern, a coloratura soprano from Romania. Mrs.
her teaching career at St. Mary's, Waukesha while still finishing her
degree. She taught 3rd through 8th grade general music. After student teaching
at Tonawonda Elementary and Waukesha South High School, she completed her
Bachelors degree in Music Education in 1988. Mrs. Christensen is certified and licensed to teach pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade general and choral music.
Her first teaching job after earning her degree was in Milwaukee at LaFollette
Elementary, a large inner city public school with approximately 650 students.
She taught children as young as three years
old up to 5th grade. During this time she married Joseph Christensen and soon
became an at-home mother to raise daughters Emily and Erica. She also began to
work out of a home office as a proofreader and graphic designer for Sure-Win
Typography, her father's business.
In 1996, the Christensen family moved to Racine, WI - Joe's hometown. Mrs.
Christensen became involved with the Parent Teacher Association at
Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary, successfully fundraising to install two
playgrounds. In 1998, she purchased
Sure-Win Typography and still works part-time as a graphic designer. In 2000,
she attended the World Music Drumming workshop and studied West African
drumming and South American rhythms with Sowah Mensah. In the fall of 2000, Mrs.
Christensen returned to the classroom at Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School teaching
6th grade general music and the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs. She also
returned to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and in 2002 attended the
VoiceCare Network Impact Course in Collegeville,
Minnesota. She completed her Masters degree in Music Education in August, 2005.
Mrs. Christensen has performed in Oliver, Godspell, Funny Girl, Amahl and the
Night Visitors, La Boehme, and La Traviata. At the University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she performed in the opera workshop, concert choir, vocal
jazz ensemble, and choirs for the annual Viennese Ball scholarship benefit and
the annual Madrigal Feast. She was a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus,
did some voice-over work, and sang a jingle for a local radio advertisement.
Mrs. Christensen is currently a cantor/conductor for St. Rita Parish in
Racine, WI. She is an active member of Music Educators National Conference (MENC),
the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Racine Educators Association
(REA), and the National PTSA. She was hired to be the Vocal Music Director for
William Horlick High School in August 2005.