Grammy Awards Name 25 Semifinalists for Top Music Educator

By Jaclyn Zubrzycki — October 07, 2015 2 min read
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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.