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

 Third Annual Award will be Presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, during GRAMMY® Week


A total of 25 music teachers from 25 cities across 15 states have been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy®and the GRAMMY Foundation®. In total, more than 4,500 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states. Nominations for the 2017 Music Educator Award are now open at www.grammymusicteacher.com.


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. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception (also honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award) during GRAMMY Week 2016.

The inaugural Music Educator Award was announced at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® in 2013 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. Kent Knappenberger of Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, N.Y., was the recipient of the first award and was recognized during the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast in a segment featuring Portnow, Seacrest and nine-time GRAMMY winner John Legend. 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 will be recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The winner will be flown to the host city of the GRAMMY Awards to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists 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.

Jared Cassedy of Windham High School in Windham, N.H., was the recipient of the 2015 Music Educator Award. Cassedy was recognized during the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast in a special segment.


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

Name School NameCity State
BonnieAndersonCoronado Village Elementary SchoolUniversal CityTexas
BenCaseNorthwood High SchoolIrvineCalif.
CalebChapmanPioneer High School for the Performing ArtsAmerican ForkUtah
JoyceClickNorth Central High SchoolIndianapolisInd.
James RussellCooperHenry County High SchoolNew CastleKy.
MikeDanaFresno City CollegeFresnoCalif.
KristaFanningCaddo Middle MagnetShreveportLa.
AnneFennellMission Vista High SchoolOceansideCalif.
DoreenFrylingSouth Side High SchoolRockville CentreN.Y.
FrankGawleWilton High SchoolWiltonConn.
AlanGuckianEastside Memorial High SchoolAustinTexas
KeithHancockTesoro High SchoolRancho Santa MargaritaCalif.
PeterHolsbergThe Berkeley Carroll SchoolBrooklynN.Y.
KathrynIngersonThousand Islands High/Middle SchoolClaytonN.Y.
DarrenMcCoyOak Harbor High SchoolOak HarborWash.
RichardMcCreadyRiver Hill High SchoolClarksvilleMd.
DiAnneMottOppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central DistrictSt. JohnsvilleN.Y.
TimothyPowellMartin Methodist CollegePulaskiTenn.
PenelopeQuesadaLincoln Elementary SchoolLouisvilleKy.
UlliReinerBernardo Heights Middle School/Twin Peaks Middle SchoolPoway Calif.
PhillipRiggsNorth Carolina School of Science and MathematicsDurhamN.C.
BillSwickLas Vegas Academy of the ArtsLas VegasNev.
BrayerTeagueDowners Grove North High SchoolDowners GroveIll.
LindaVersprilleCane Bay High SchoolSummervilleS.C.
LoisWigginsEdythe J. Hayes Middle SchoolLexingtonKy.

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 Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube.

Converse Inc., based in Boston, 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 men's, women's and children's footwear, apparel and accessories. Converse product is sold globally by retailers in over 160 countries and through 92 company-owned retail locations in the U.S. For more information, please visit Converse online at 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 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, 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.

# # #

Media Contacts:

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

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

Program Contact:

Dawn Coraci/GRAMMY Foundation/310.449.6528/dawn.coraci@grammy.com

Melissa Pazornik/GRAMMY Foundation/310.581.8605/melissa.pazornik@grammy.com

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