LOS ANGELES (OCT. 4, 2021)— The GRAMMY Museum® is pleased to announce Bennett VanOudenallen of Mount Notre Dame High School in Cincinnati as the recipient of the 2021 Jane Ortner Education Award. The award honors K-12 academic teachers who use music in the classroom as a powerful educational tool. VanOudenallen will receive an honorarium and Mount Notre Dame High School will also receive a grant.
"Our Jane Ortner Education Award highlights the importance of innovative educators using music in the classroom," said Michael Sticka, President of the GRAMMY Museum. "We are thrilled that this year's honoree is Bennett VanOudenallen, a teacher who has proven his devotion to creating a positive influence in his classroom through the power of music with his one-of-a-kind lesson plans."
The Jane Ortner Education Award celebrates educators who integrate music into virtually all aspects of the classroom experience — not only academic subjects that include English, social studies, math, science, and foreign language instruction, but also foster creativity, self-confidence and the critically important social skills of cooperation and respect. Applicants submit one original unit of lessons that incorporates music, which is then reviewed by a panel of teachers and education administrators and evaluated for creativity, teachability, transferability, and level of student engagement.
VanOudenallen's submission for the Jane Ortner Education Award is a reflection on cultural diffusion and race in America. This is the third year in which a monetary honorarium has been given as part of the Jane Ortner Education Award. In addition to the honorarium and grant for Mount Notre Dame High School, VanOudenallen will receive two tickets to the upcoming 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards® in Los Angeles in January 2022, plus travel and accommodations.
"I am honored to receive the GRAMMY Museum’s Jane Ortner Education Award," said VanOudenallen. "I love guiding students through the deconstruction of music’s, specifically my personal passion – the banjo’s – current stereotypes in order to build a deeper understanding of all the complex and blended elements that lead us to the depth of variety that music offers today. The Jane Ortner Award is a meaningful acknowledgment and true celebration of the importance of music to education and our shared history.”
“Mount Notre Dame, founded in 1860 by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, is the premier girls Catholic high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Bennett VanOudenallen exemplifies how our expert faculty equip students for life,“ shared Karen Day, Mount Notre Dame High School principal. "Bennett’s lessons are creatively designed and extraordinarily delivered – hooks that keep our students critically thinking about content knowledge, discussing their insights at the dinner table and leading as empowered women who transform our world. We are grateful to have Bennett on the MND team where students and faculty benefit from his expertise."
Building on the Museum's successful education programs and initiatives, the Jane Ortner Education Award for teachers and the Jane Ortner Artist Award were established by the GRAMMY Museum in partnership with Chuck Ortner — entertainment attorney, Museum Board member and husband of the late Jane Ortner, a devoted and beloved public school teacher who valued music as a tool for teaching academic subjects and building confidence and community. Previous recipients of the Jane Ortner Artist Award include Lady Gaga, Jackson Browne, Janelle Monáe, and John Legend. First Lady Michelle Obama was the Keynote Speaker at the 2014 Jane Ortner Education AwardLuncheon.
Applications for the 2022 Jane Ortner Education Award will be accepted through May 2022 at grammymuseum.org/janeortnereducationaward.
ABOUT BENNETT VANOUDENALLEN
Bennett VanOudenallen majored in management at Miami University (Ohio). He taught as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in rural Massachusetts, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala, and a National Park Service Volunteer in Arizona before obtaining a Master’s degree in Educational Design from Plymouth State University. He has been teaching Social Studies courses at Mount Notre Dame High School for the past 13 years. VanOudenallen is also the Academic Team Coach, Province Leader and member of the Professional Development team. He resides in Cincinnati with his wife and two young daughters. In his free time, he enjoys playing the banjo in the family band.
ABOUT THE JANE ORTNER EDUCATION AWARD
The Jane Ortner Education Award celebrates educators who integrate music into virtually all aspects of the classroom experience — not only academic subjects that include English, social studies, math, science, and foreign language instruction, but also fosters creativity, self-confidence and the critically important social skills of cooperation and respect. The program offers free professional development for teachers and a free online library of music-integrated curricula. Participants recognize that making music a central part of the educational experience fosters the development of a broad range of social skills, including creative expression, confidence-building, collaboration, and social responsibility. Previous recipients include California educators Erica Amann (El Dorado High School), Jonathan Bernal (Topaz Preparatory Academy), Sunshine Cavalluzzi (El Dorado High School), Bianca Wilson Cole (Washington Prep High School), Kylie Ko (Mark Keppel Elementary School), Nicole Naditz (Bella Vista High School), and Nathan Strayhorn (Fayetteville High School) of Fayetteville, Ark.
ABOUT THE GRAMMY MUSEUM
Established in 2008, the GRAMMY Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music through exhibits, education, grants, preservation initiatives, and public programming. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum explores and celebrates all aspects of the art form — from the technology of the recording process to the legends who've made lasting marks on our cultural identity.
For more information, visit www.grammymuseum.org, "like" the GRAMMY Museum on Facebook, and follow @GRAMMYMuseum on Twitter and Instagram.
# # #
Grammy Museum/Crescent Communications