Picture after picture told the story of Jeanne Brown, one of Hesperia's longest-serving and most popular elementary school teachers.


There was a class photo of one of Brown's first classes at Mariana Elementary in Apple Valley, which she taught from 1958 through 1962. Another photo showed her at at her first Hesperia school, Joshua Circle, which benefited from Brown's abilities from 1962 through 1969.


But there was more. Lots more.


There were photo albums, school T-shirts and sweat shirts and all types of school memorabilia. In fact, the display table at a special party held in Brown's honor in the chapel of Victor Valley Christian Church had mementos from her stints at Juniper (1969-1979), Mesa Grande (1979-1988), Kingston (1988-1992) and Cottonwood (1995-1998). A video of Brown's official retirement party play continuously in the chapel lobby.


But the true testimony of Brown's teaching were in the numerous guests who came to celebrate her 50 years in Hesperia and 37 years of teaching. Kirk McCarty, now a Silverado High School teacher, was one of several former students to help Brown celebrate.


"We sang a lot," McCarty remembers of his time in Brown's classroom in 1971. "She was nice. That's what makes a good teacher - people skills. And she remembers everything."


Percy Bakker, who served on the school district's board of education in the 1960s when Brown taught at Joshua Circle, said, "She was one of the most friendly and outgoing ones. She stood out."


Former Joshua Circle principal Bill Alves, who met Brown when he was a teaching vice-principal at Juniper, was impressed with Brown early on.


"She was considered our top teacher," Alves said. "She was considered a master teacher in our book. She was very creative."


Brown, who is the sister of former longtime school board member Jack Hamilton, entertained the idea of helping to host the celebration after her husband of 49 years passed away.


"I didn't get a 50th wedding anniversary," she said. "So I thought, 'I'll do 50 years in Hesperia!'"