Recipient and Finalists to Receive Cash Honorariums, with Generous Support and Resources Provided by the GRAMMY Foundation®'s Education Champions: Converse, Disney Performing Arts, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Journeys

 Second Annual Award will be Presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony during GRAMMY® Week 2015

WHO:             A total of 222 music teachers from 208 cities across 41 states have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. In total, more than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

WHAT:           The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K – college, public and private schools) 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. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award) during GRAMMY Week 2015.

As announced on the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® by President/CEO of The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation Neil Portnow, TV and radio host/producer and GRAMMY Foundation Honorary Board Chair Ryan Seacrest, and nine-time GRAMMY® winner Justin Timberlake, the award was open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone could nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers were also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers were notified and invited to fill out an application.

One recipient will be selected from 10 finalists each year, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists also will receive matching grants. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Foundation's Education Champions: Converse, Disney Performing Arts, Ford Motor Company Fund, and  Journeys. Nominations for the 2016 Music Educator Award are now open at www.grammymusicteacher.com.

WHEN:           A complete list of quarterfinalists is below. The semifinalists will be announced in September. For more information, please visit www.grammymusicteacher.com.  

Name School Name City State
Keely Abeln Francis Howell Middle School Saint Charles Mo.
Diane Abrahamian Penfield High School Rochester N.Y.
Steven Acciani Diamond Bar High School Diamond Bar Calif.
Phil Aguglia Kenmore East High School Tonawanda N.Y.
Leslie Alan South Miami Middle Community School Miami Fla.
J. Anthony Allen McNally Smith College of Music St. Paul Minn.
Anthony Allmond Kaiser High School Fontana Calif.
Anthony Alvaro West Genesee High School Camillus N.Y.
Corey Ames Loyola Academy Wilmette Ill.
Mark Anderson Oswalt K8 Academy Walnut Calif.
Neil Anderson Murrieta Valley High School Murrieta Calif.
David Bachart New Hope-Solebury High School New Hope Pa.
Nancy Maria Balach University of Mississippi Oxford Miss.
Mary Barto The New School New York N.Y.
Graham "Scott"  Barton Moreau Catholic High School Hayward Calif.
Jeff Behrens Richland Center High School Richland Center Wis.
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville S.C.
Fritz Benz North Smithfield High School North Smithfield R.I.
Jake Bergevin Edmonds-Woodway High School Edmonds Wash.
Anthony Bernhauser Pearre Creek Elementary School Franklin Tenn.
Rob Blaney Woodbridge High School Irvine Calif.
Cindy Bradley-Cipriano Colonial Road School Franklin Lakes N.J.
Gregg Breinberg P.S. 22 Staten Island N.Y.
Timothy Brown Franklin High School Reisterstown Md.
Stephanie Brueggeman Progress South Elementary School St. Peters Mo.
Aaron Buck DeWitt Middle School Ithaca N.Y.
Jean Burkhart Seymour High School Seymour Tenn.
Joe Cantaffa Howell High School Farmingdale N.J.
Otis Carter III Moss Point High School Moss Point Miss.
Jared Cassedy Windham High School Windham N.H.
Brandon Catt Glenbard East High School Lombard Ill.
Caleb Chapman Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts American Fork Utah
Bernie Chavez Deming High School Deming N.M.
Ching-Ming Cheng California State University San Marcos San Marcos Calif.
Michael Chester Stewarts Creek High School Smyrna Tenn.
Josh Chodoroff Waubonsie Valley High School Aurora Ill.
Joseph Chouinard East Detroit High School Eastpointe Mich.
Dr. Buddy Clements Walnut High School Walnut Calif.
Joyce Click North Central High School Indianapolis Ind.
Travis Coakley Biloxi High School Biloxi Miss.
Christy Colburn Itawamba Community College Fulton Miss.
Name School Name City State
Mark Colozzi Cranston High School East Cranston R.I.
Steve Connell Moc-Floyd Valley Senior High School Orange City Iowa
Travis Cook  Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts Detroit Mich.
Cheryl  Corkran Greenacres Middle School Bossier City La.
Glenn Cowen Upper Moreland High School Willow Grove Pa.
Ryan Crabtree Fruita Monument High School Fruita Colo.
Charles Cushinery Ed W. Clark High School Las Vegas Nev.
Michael Danielson First Avenue Middle School Arcadia Calif.
Adrian Davis Roosevelt High School Minneapolis Minn.
Andy Davis Reavis High School Burbank Ill.
David Davis Harmony Middle School Overland Park Kan.
Mark De Hertogh R.L. Paschal High School Fort Worth Texas
David Dehner Monte Vista Christian School Watsonville Calif.
Jamal Dickerson  Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy Camden N.J.
Jeff Doebler Valparaiso University Valparaiso Ind.
Mark Duker Waubonsie Valley High School Aurora Ill.
Terry Eberhardt Marriotts Ridge High School Marriottsville Md.
Steven Edwards Falmouth High School Falmouth Mass.
Nicholas Efstathiou Bay High School Panama City Fla.
Alexandra Errico Springdale Elementary School Stamford Conn.
Eufemio Escalante Vina Danks Middle School Ontario Calif.
Krista Fanning Caddo Middle Magnet Shreveport La.
Michael Fansler Western Illinois University Macomb Ill.
Mark Femino Millis Middle/High School Millis Mass.
Anne Fennell Mission Vista High School Oceanside Calif.
John Flora Franklin L. Williams Middle School #7 Jersey City N.J.
Elizabeth Fortune Washington Middle School Seattle Wash.
Desiree Fowler  Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts Los Angeles Calif.
Brian Gagnon Fairview Elementary School Auburn Maine
Michael Garvey Lamphere High School Madison Heights Mich.
Sean Gavarny Hoboken Charter School Hoboken N.J.
Debbie Glick Alexandria Middle School Pittstown N.J.
Vivian Gonzalez South Miami K-8 Center Miami Fla.
Anthony Good Nicholas Oresko School Bayonne N.J.
Johnnie Green Lehman High School Kyle Texas
Randy Greenwell Lawrence Central High School Indianapolis Ind.
Janet Grice Fordham High School for the Arts Bronx N.Y.
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds O'Fallon Township High School O'Fallon Ill.
Eric Hahn Bangor Area High School Bangor Pa.
Amy Hannequin Derby High School Derby Conn.
Aaron Hardwick Frank W. Cox High School Virginia Beach Va.
Name School Name City State
Rodney Harshbarger Old Kings Elementary School Flagler Beach Fla.
Brad Hart Johansen High School Modesto Calif.
Richard Hauf Havre de Grace High School Havre de Grace Md.
Micah Haven Meeker Middle School Tacoma Wash.
Sheila Heffernon Northfield Mount Hermon School Gill Mass.
Lenora Helm Hammonds North Carolina Central University Durham N.C.
Michael Henderson Chase High School Forest City N.C.
Michael Anthony Hernandez Plano Senior High School Plano Texas
Aaron Hill Sr. Smithfield High School Smithfield Va.
Michael Hood Wissahickon High School Ambler Pa.
Robin Hopper Homestead Elementary School Eagle River Alaska
Ronald Horner Frostburg State University Frostburg Md.
Matthew Howe Indio High School Indio Calif.
Frank Hudson Bledsoe County High School Pikeville Tenn.
Ian Hughes Verner Elementary Oakmont Pa.
Ralph Jackson Bridle Path Elementary School Lansdale Pa.
Robb Janov Jefferson Middle School Albuquerque N.M.
Sarah Jester Northeast High School Pasadena Md.
Calvert Johnson Agnes Scott College Decatur Ga.
Curtis Johnson West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon W. Va.
D.L. Johnson North Monterey County High School Castroville Calif.
Kyle Johnson JJ Pearce High School Richardson Texas
Jamie Johnston Camelback High School Phoenix Ariz.
Sean Kennedy Sandy Run Middle School Dresher Pa.
Demeka Kimpson Sedgefield Middle School Charlotte N.C.
Shannon Kitelinger San Diego State University San Diego Calif.
Anne Klus St. Paul Academy and Summit School St. Paul Minn.
Joan Knoernschild Greenfield Middle School El Cajon Calif.
Barry E. Kopetz Capital University Columbus Ohio
Nancie Kozel-Tobison Barrington High School Barrington Ill.
Gordon Krauspe Wheaton Warrenville South High School Wheaton Ill.
Jacalyn Kreitzer Cal Poly State University San Luis Obispo Calif.
Don Krudop  Visual & Performing Arts Academy at Salem High School Virginia Beach Va.
John Landers Patch High School APO N.Y.
Mark Laughlin Georgia Southwestern State University Americus Ga.
David Leach Pioneer High School Ann Arbor Mich.
Ollie  Liddell Memphis Central High School Memphis Tenn.
Susanna Loewy Kutztown University Kutztown Pa.
Jason Luciana Wilmington High School Wilmington Mass.
Jami Lupold Pearl Hall Elementary South Houston Texas
Erik Lynch Verona High School Verona N.J.
Name School Name City State
Mark  Lynn University of Louisville Louisville Ky.
Fernando Malvar-Ruiz American Boychoir School Princeton N.J.
Dean Marino West Port High School Ocala Fla.
Stevi Marks Glenbrook South High School Glenview Ill.
Christine Martin-Beutner Sam Houston Elementary School Denton Texas
Richard Maxwell Arcadia High School Phoenix Ariz.
James McCrann Garden City High School Garden City N.Y.
Lisa McCutchan Sandra Day O'Connor High School Helotes Texas
Shawna Mendez The Manning School Golden Colo.
Carlos Mendez Jr. Fayetteville-Manlius High School Manlius N.Y.
Andrea Meyers Douglas County High School Castle Rock Colo.
Jonathan Meyers P.S. 182Q  Samantha Smith Jamaica N.Y.
Duane Minnick Briar Woods High School Ashburn Va.
Patrick Mitchell Cameron Park Elementary Hillsborough N.C.
Charles Morgan Joliet Junior College Joliet Ill.
Melissa  Morris CSI High School for International Studies Staten Island N.Y.
Mark Mraz John Metcalf Junior High School Burnsville Minn.
Melton Mustafa Parkway Middle School of the Arts Lauderhill Fla.
Kim Neu  Julia R. Masterman Laboratory & Demonstration School Philadelphia Pa.
Torrey Newhart Academy of Arts and Academics Springfield Ore.
Matthew Neylon Rockford Christian Schools Rockford Ill.
Pablo Ocanas Pine Shadows Elementary Houston Texas
Michael Ortiz Bellalago Academy Kissimmee Fla.
Frank Owens Centennial Lane Elementary School Ellicott City Md.
Thomas Paster Northern Highlands Regional High School Allendale N.J.
Sarah Payne Bryan Station Middle School Lexington Ky.
Andrew Perkins Fenton High School Fenton Mich.
Cynthia  Plank Beaumont Middle School Portland Ore.
Linette Popoff-Parks Madonna University Livonia Mich.
Richard Popolizio Park Ridge Middle/High School Park Ridge N.J.
Jay Posteraro Mesa Verde Middle School San Diego Calif.
Deborah Prather Brownsburg High School Brownsburg Ind.
Edward Protzman Blue Valley Southwest Overland Park Kan.
Rosa Rabinovich Norman S. Edelcup Sunny Isles Beach K-8 Sunny Isles Fla.
Michael Raiber Oklahoma City University Oklahoma City Okla.
Mary Raymond Immaculate High School Danbury Conn.
Debra Reilly Springhouse Middle School Allentown Pa.
Shawn Reynolds Howland Middle School Warren Ohio
Jim Rice Inglemoor High School Kenmore Wash.
Erich Rivero Glades Middle School Miami Fla.
John Roberts Montana State University Billings Billings Mont.
Name School Name City State
Brian Roelandt Fitzgerald High School Warren Mich.
Robin Rogers Charleston School of the Arts Charleston S.C.
Kathy Rohrs Chaminade College Preparatory Middle School Chatsworth Calif.
Don  Rose Curtis Senior High School University Place Wash.
Mara Rose Fleming Island High School Orange Park Fla.
Susan Rydzeski East Islip High School Islip Terrace N.Y.
Melissa Salguero P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake Hunts Point N.Y.
Peter Sampson Whiteland Community High School Whiteland Ind.
Jesse Sanchez Westmont High School Campbell Calif.
Scott Schleuter Perrysburg High School Perrysburg Ohio
Glen Schneider Metea Valley High School Aurora Ill.
Adam Schultheis Fremont Middle School Las Vegas Nev.
Calvin  Sexton Beltline Elementary School Lancaster Texas
Curtis Shaw Homestead High School Fort Wayne Ind.
Keven Shepherd Miller Grove High School Lithonia Ga.
Chaz Shipman Freeport Area Senior High School Sarver Pa.
Karl Siewertsen John H. West School Bethpage N.Y.
Paula  Simmons Elwood Community High School Elwood Ind.
Luke Skerpon Bellefonte Area High School Bellefonte Pa.
Huber Smith Maplewood Middle School Sulphur La.
Michael  Smith Nyack High School Nyack N.Y.
Nick Smith Hillcrest High School Tuscaloosa Ala.
Patrick Smith Pueblo West High School Pueblo  Colo.
Ronald Smith Northfield Mount Hermon Gill Mass.
Andrea Crisara Snouffer West Ridge Middle School Austin Texas
Wilbert Solomon McLean Middle School Fort Worth Texas
Charles Somech Murrayville Elementary Wilmington N.C.
Eric Songer Chaska Middle School West Chaska Minn.
Michael Steele Lake Orion High School Lake Orion Mich.
Roxanne Stevenson Chicago State University Chicago Ill.
James Story Volunteer State Community College Gallatin Tenn.
Brad Stoughton Fall Creek High School Fall Creek Wis.
Daniel  Strange University of Miami  Coral Gables Fla.
Jeffrey Street Jesse C. Carson High School China Grove N.C.
Michael Struzik Brighton High School Rochester N.Y.
Loy Studer S. H. Rider High School Wichita Falls Texas
Siema Swartzel Arnold Memorial Elementary School Cleveland Tenn.
Jennifer Theisen Howell L. Watkins Middle School Palm Beach Gardens Fla.
Matthew Thomas River Trail Middle School Johns Creek Ga.
Vann Thornton Savannah Arts Academy Savannah Ga.
Amber Turcott Tarpon Springs Middle School Tarpon Springs Fla.
Vincent Turturiello Scotch Plains Fanwood High School Scotch Plains N.J.
Name School Name City State
Josh Tyree Liberty Middle School Cumming Ga.
Matt Vanacoro Fox Lane Middle School Mt. Kisco N.Y.
Amy Vanek Clarksburg High School Clarksburg Md.
Micah Volz Saint Clair High School St. Clair Mich.
Ashley "AJ"  Walker Linden Hall School Lititz Pa.
Kristen Walter Dana Elementary School Hendersonville N.C.
Jay Wardeska Brunswick High School Brunswick Ohio
Fred Wenger East Middle School Great Falls Mont.
Ken Wiele Indian Trail High School and Academy Kenosha Wis.
Dustin Wiley Firelands High School Oberlin Ohio
Diana Wiley-Harrigan Sauk Elementary School Richton Park Ill.
Katie Wilson Cathedral Catholic High School San Diego Calif.
Kelly Winovich Northgate Middle and Senior High School Pittsburgh Pa.
Mark Wurtzel Pershing Middle School Houston Texas
James Wynne Jefferson Township High School Oak Ridge N.J.
Danny Yancey Martin Gifted and Talented Magnet Middle School Raleigh


Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "The GRAMMYs" on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Foursquare, GetGlue, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube.

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1988 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students' musical experiences, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation partnered to present their first Music Educator Award. Open to current U.S. music teachers in K through college, the Music Educator Award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards ceremony during GRAMMY Week 2015. For more information about the Music Educator Award, please visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.grammyfoundation.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like "GRAMMY in the Schools®" on Facebook, follow the GRAMMY Foundation on Twitter (@GRAMMYFdn) and join us on Instagram (@GRAMMYFdn),

Converse Inc., based in North Andover, Massachusetts, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NIKE, Inc. Established in 1908, the Converse brand has built a reputation as "America's Original Sports Company"™ and has been associated with a rich heritage of legendary shoes such as the Chuck Taylor® All Star® shoe, the Jack Purcell® shoe and the One Star® shoe. Today, Converse offers a diverse portfolio including lifestyle men's, women's and children's footwear, apparel and accessories. Converse product is sold globally by retailers in over 160 countries and through 83 company-owned retail locations in the United States. For more information, visit media.converse.com.

Disney Performing Arts unlocks student potential and helps young people make their own dreams come true - whether it's performing in front of an international audience of thousands at Disney theme parks and resorts or honing their craft in enriching workshops and clinics taught by entertainment professionals.  Every year, thousands of vocal, instrumental, and other ensembles travel from around the world to participate in Disney Performing Arts programs at the Disneyland Resort in Southern California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney delivers workshops and performance opportunities that enrich, inspire and often lead to life-changing personal achievement. 

Ford Motor Company Fund & Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on projects each year that better their communities in more than 30 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.

Journeys is a leader in the teen specialty retail scene, with more than 800 stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Journeys uses fashion savvy and merchandising science to keep in step with the fast-paced footwear and accessories market for 13- to 22-year-old guys and girls. Journeys offers a wide variety of trendy, relevant brands that cater to teens that seek the hottest, new styles. However, the Journeys store is more than a retail environment — it's an extension of the teen lifestyle. From the plasma TVs playing exclusive content and the latest music videos, to the visual merchandising strategy and promotions, to the employees whose image and style reflect the customers' lifestyle and attitude. In addition, Journeys reaches its customers through www.journeys.com, a mobile website, catalog, national advertising, strategic cross-promotions, social media and grass-roots events like the Noise Tour. Journeys — An Attitude You Can Wear! Journeys is a division of Genesco Inc.


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Media Contacts:

Hannah Berryman/GRAMMY Foundation/MusiCares/310.581.8724/hannah.berryman@grammy.com

Christina Cassidy/GRAMMY Foundation/310.581.8670/christina.cassidy@grammy.com


For Ford Motor Company Fund:

Lauren Tobin/Ford Motor Company Fund/818.988.8864/lauren@pantherpr.biz


Program Contact:

Kellyn Robison/GRAMMY Foundation/310.581.8605/kellyn.robison@grammy.com


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