Grammy Awards Name 25 Semifinalists for Top Music Educator

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki — October 07, 2015 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Twenty-five music teachers from across the country have been recognized as semifinalists for the third annual Grammy Music Educator Award.

The award honors full-time music teachers in public or private schools who have made a significant contribution to music education. It’s presented by the Grammy Foundation and The Recording Academy.

Some 4,500 teachers were nominated for this year’s award. Ten finalists will be selected from the 25 semifinalists in December. The winner of the award attends the Grammy awards and receives a $10,000 stipend.

Last year’s winner, Jared Cassedy, is a teacher at Windham High School in New Hampshire. Cassedy has led a growing, inclusive, and award-winning band program in Windham, where his students apparently refer to him as the “Energizer Bunny,” according to a piece from CBS.

The idea is to highlight and honor music teachers like Cassedy—and to remind viewers that most of the musicians onstage at the Grammy award ceremony at some point encountered a teacher who inspired or motivated them.

The organizations are already accepting nominations for the 2017 award.

Here’s a full list of the semifinalists, who hail from 25 cities in 15 states:

Bonnie Anderson
Coronado Village Elementary School, Universal City, Texas

Ben Case
Northwood High School, Irvine, Calif.

Caleb Chapman
Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts, American Fork, Utah

Joyce Click
North Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind.

James Russell Cooper
Henry County High School, New Castle, Ky.

Mike Dana
Fresno City College, Fresno, Calif.

Krista Fanning
Caddo Middle Magnet, Shreveport, La.

Anne Fennell
Mission Vista High School, Oceanside, Calif.

Doreen Fryling
South Side High School, Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Frank Gawle
Wilton High School, Wilton, Conn.

Alan Guckian
Eastside Memorial High School, Austin, Texas

Keith Hancock
Tesoro High School, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Peter Holsberg
The Berkeley Carroll School, New York, N.Y.

Kathryn Ingerson
Thousand Islands High/Middle School, Clayton, N.Y.

Darren McCoy
Oak Harbor High School, Oak Harbor, Wash.

Richard McCready
River Hill High School, Clarksville, Md.

DiAnne Mott
Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central District, St. Johnsville, N.Y.

Timothy Powell
Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, Tenn.

Penelope Quesada
Lincoln Elementary School, Louisville, Kentucky

Ulli Reiner
Poway Unified School District, San Diego, Calif.

Phillip Riggs
North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina

Bill Swick
Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Las Vegas, Nev.

Brayer Teague
Downers Grove North High School, Downers Grove, Ill.

Linda Versprille
Cane Bay High School, Summerville, S.C.

Lois Wiggins
Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, Lexington, Ky.

Photo: 2015 Music Educator Award™ recipient Jared Cassedy of Windham High School in Windham, N.H., with his award presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation® at the 57th GRAMMY Awards® in Los Angeles on Feb. 8. -- Dan MacMedan/The Recording Academy®/

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum He Taught About White Privilege and Got Fired. Now He's Fighting to Get His Job Back
Matthew Hawn is an early casualty in this year's fight over how teachers can discuss with students America's struggle with racism.
13 min read
Social studies teacher Matthew Hawn is accused of insubordination and repeated unprofessional conduct for sharing Kyla Jenèe Lacey's, 'White Privilege', poem with his Contemporary Issues class. Hawn sits on his couch inside his home on August 17, 2021.
Matthew Hawn is accused of insubordination and repeated unprofessional conduct for lessons and materials he used to teach about racism and white privilege in his Contemporary Issues class at Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn.<br/>
Caitlin Penna for Education Week
Curriculum What's the Best Way to Address Unfinished Learning? It's Not Remediation, Study Says
A new study suggests acceleration may be a promising strategy for addressing unfinished learning in math after a pandemic year.
5 min read
Female high school student running on the stairs leads to an opportunity to success
CreativaImages/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Curriculum School Halts Use of Fictional Book in Which Officer Kills a Black Child
Fifth graders in at least one Broward County school were assigned to read a book that critics say casts police officers as racist liars.
Rafael Olmeda, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
5 min read
Broward County School Board member Lori Alhadeff listens during a meeting of the Broward County School Board, Tuesday, March 5, 2019, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Broward County School Board member Lori Alhadeff listens during a meeting of the Broward County School Board in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Alhadeff told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that she does not feel like the book "Ghost Boys" is appropriate for 5th graders.
Lynne Sladky/AP
Curriculum Opinion Introducing Primary Sources to Students
Five educators share strategies for introducing primary sources to students, including English-language learners.
12 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."