JARED CASSEDY OF WINDHAM HIGH SCHOOL IN WINDHAM, N.H., ANNOUNCED AS RECIPIENT OF MUSIC EDUCATOR AWARD™ PRESENTED BY THE RECORDING ACADEMY® AND THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION®

Recipient and Nine 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, Journeys, and Microsoft

 Second Annual Award will be Presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception

Feb. 7, 2015, during GRAMMY® Week.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Feb. 2, 2015) — Jared Cassedy of Windham High School in Windham, N.H., has been announced as the recipient of the second annual Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. A total of 10 music teachers from 10 cities across nine states were selected as finalists for the award. In total, more than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

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 the schools. This special award will be presented at The Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award) on Saturday, Feb. 7 during GRAMMY Week.

"The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation partnered to create this award to honor the powerful and lasting influence music educators have on their students," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy. "Generations of musicians — including many GRAMMY nominees and GRAMMY winners — got their start on the path to a creative life from a teacher who instilled in them a belief in their own talents, and a passion for building a professional career in music."

"Words cannot describe how amazing this honor is," said Cassedy. "This award is not only recognition of the truly talented students and supportive community I get to work with every day, but it's also a representation of the fundamental significance of music and the arts in our schools. As a tribute to the thousands of outstanding music educators everywhere, I cannot thank The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation enough for helping us to advocate for and to celebrate the importance of music education across the nation."

Cassedy began his career as the band director and teacher of music appreciation at Windham Middle School. He has been Windham High School's director of bands since 2009. Cassedy has also been appointed Director of the New Hampshire Youth Wind Ensemble and the director of K-12 fine arts for the Windham School District. He received his bachelor's degree in music education from the University of New Hampshire. Cassedy is currently focusing on attaining his administrative certification in curriculum and institution with a focus on educational leadership at Southern New Hampshire University.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives. Cassedy will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will 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, Journeys, and Microsoft.

A complete list of the winner and finalists is below. Applications for the third annual Music Educator Award are currently online; to nominate a teacher, visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. The nomination deadline for the 2016 Music Educator Award is March 15, 2015. The application process will be adjusted each year to allow the broad array of effective teaching styles and methods used in the discipline to be recognized and awarded.

Recipient    First NameLast NameSchoolCityStateJaredCassedyWindham High School                WindhamNH     Finalists    First NameLast NameSchoolCityStateStevenAccianiDiamond Bar High SchoolDiamond BarCAWilliam BennettCane Bay High SchoolSummervilleSCCharlesCushineryEd W. Clark High SchoolLas VegasNVKrista FanningCaddo Middle MagnetShreveportLARichard MaxwellArcadia High SchoolPhoenixAZDebra ReillySpringhouse/Orefield Middle SchoolsAllentownPAHuberSmithMaplewood Middle SchoolSulphurLANancieTobisonBarrington High SchoolBarringtonILDannyYanceyMartin Gifted & Talented Magnet SchoolRaleighNC

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 in 2014. Open to current U.S. music teachers in kindergarten through college, the second annual Music Educator Award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception during GRAMMY Week 2015. For more information about the Music Educator Award, please visitGRAMMYMusicTeacher.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 N. Andover, Mass., 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 87 company-owned retail locations in the U.S.  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.

Drive 4 UR School was developed as a fun, efficient way to help high schools raise money to support their sports and extracurricular activities while engaging with Ford vehicles. Ford dealerships partner with a local high school to conduct a test-drive fundraising event. For every valid test-drive completed, Ford Motor Company donates $20 to the participating high school, up to $6,000. Since 2007, Ford has donated nearly $25 million to high schools nationwide.

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 grassroots events like the Noise Tour. Journeys — An Attitude You Can Wear! Journeys is a division of Genesco Inc.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Hannah Berryman/GRAMMY Foundation/MusiCares/310.392.3777/hannah.berryman@grammy.com

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

Program Contact:

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

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