25 SEMIFINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 MUSIC EDUCATOR AWARD™ PRESENTED BY THE RECORDING ACADEMY® AND THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION®

Recipient, Finalists, and Semifinalists 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

WHO:             

A total of 25 music teachers from 25 cities across 16 states have been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. Initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states. Nominations and applications for the 2018 Music Educator Award are now open via www.grammymusicteacher.com.

WHAT:          

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through 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 schools. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, the recipient will be honored during GRAMMY® Week 2017.

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.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The fourth annual honoree will be flown to the host city of the GRAMMY Awards® to be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2017. The recipient will also attend the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony and a range of GRAMMY Foundation events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Additionally, 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants for the first time in the award's history. 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. 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.

WHEN:          

A complete list of semifinalists is below. The finalists will be announced in December. For more information, please visit www.grammymusicteacher.com

Name   School Name City  State
Erica  Breitbarth Reagan IB High School   Milwaukee   Wis.
Charles  Cushinery Ed W. Clark High School   Las Vegas   Nev.
Darnella Davidson San Pedro Senior High School   San Pedro   Calif.  
David  Dehner Monte Vista Christian School   Watsonville   Calif.  
Jose  Diaz MacArthur High School   Houston   Texas  
Krista  Fanning Caddo Middle Magnet   Shreveport   La.  
Chris  Gleason Patrick Marsh Middle School   Sun Prairie   Wis.  
Roosevelt  Griffin Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School Harvey   Ill.  
Keith  Hancock Tesoro High School   Rancho Santa Margarita   Calif.  
Elizabeth Hankins Lakewood High School   Lakewood Ohio
Keith  Hart Sr. KIPP Believe College Prep   New Orleans   La.  
Michael  Henderson Chase High School   Forest City   N.C.   
Judy Hilliard Easley Year-Round Magnet Elementary School Durham   N.C.   
Kathryn Malin Iwanusa PS 11 Brooklyn N.Y. 
Brandi  Jason Liberty High School   Eldersburg   Md.  
Nick  Lenio Basalt Middle School Basalt   Colo.  
Pamela McClain Parkersburg High School   Parkersburg   W. Va.  
Henry  Miller Sierra Vista Middle School   Irvine   Calif.
Richard  Nickerson Windham High School  Windham   Maine  
Ulli  Reiner Bernardo Heights Middle School Poway   Calif.  
Melissa  Salguero PS 48 Joseph R. Drake Bronx   N.Y.
Nathan  Sletten Earlham Community Schools   Earlham   Iowa  
Jason Smith Newton High School   Covington Ga.  
Nicole  Thompson Taylor Road Middle School   Johns Creek   Ga. 
Linda  Versprille Cane Bay High School   Summerville   S.C. 

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals 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 AwardTM in 2014. Open to current U.S. music teachers in kindergarten through college, the fourth annual Music Educator Award will be given out during GRAMMY Week 2017 and nominations are being accepted for the 2018 cycle. 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 Boston 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 and is sold globally by retailers in over 160 countries. For more information, visit Media.Converse.com and follow @converse.

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 Calif. and the Walt Disney World Resort in Fla. Disney delivers workshops and performance opportunities that enrich, inspire and often lead to life-changing personal achievement. 

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning and other inspiring programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people's lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit 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 to retail stores, Journeys reaches its customers through journeys.com, catalogs, social media, and grass-roots events like the Warped Tour, Alternative Press Music Awards, and national club-level music tours in the spring and fall seasons. Journeys—An Attitude You Can Wear! Journeys is a division of Genesco Inc.

 

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Media Contact:

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

Program Contact:

Derek Spencer/GRAMMY Foundation/310.581.1260/derek.spencer@grammy.com

 

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