The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museuem have narrowed down a field of more than 3,300 initially nominated music teachers from across all 50 U.S. States to 10 finalists for the 2020 Music Educator Award. This year's 10 finalists come from 10 cities across nine states. Initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.
The annual Music Educator Award recognizes teachers who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. Congratulations to this year's 10 finalists:
- Elizabeth Bennett - Buffalo Grove High School, Buffalo Grove, Ill.
- Stephen Cox - Eastland High School, Eastland, Texas
- Victor de los Santos - Santa Ana High School, Santa Ana, Calif.
- Geoffrey Gould - Swift River Elementary School, Belchertown, Mass.
- Elizabeth Hering - Churchill High School, Livonia, Mich.
- Jason Majerczak - Drexel Hill Middle School, Drexel Hill, Pa.
- Chris Maunu - Arvada West High School, Arvada, Colo.
- Lynne Ruda, Lancaster High School, Lancaster, N.Y.
- Mickey Smith Jr. - Maplewood Middle School, Sulphur, La.
- Kokoe Tanaka-Suwan - Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, Bronx, N.Y.
Each year, one recipient is selected from the 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The seventh annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.
The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.
Nominations for the 2021 Music Educator Award are now open at www.grammymusicteacher.com. The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher —students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.