Teaching Profession Video

This Teacher Won a Grammy and Saved a Life

By Lauren Santucci — October 19, 2023 3:30
Grammy 001 BS

Pamela Dawson, the choir teacher at DeSoto High School outside Dallas for the last 17 years, sees formal music education as secondary to the life lessons and healing that students get from her classes. The educator believes that her approach is what won her this year’s Grammy Music Educator Award.

In the spring of 2022, Dawson received an email informing her that she’d been nominated for the annual award. It wasn’t her first nomination—she was a top-ten finalist in 2020—and she wasn’t sure she wanted to go through with the Grammy nomination process again. But she did. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Hear what that experience was like, and how she’s using the award to continue to benefit her students.

Lauren Santucci
Video Producer
As a video producer, Lauren Santucci produces, films, and edits meaningful, human-interest digital video and works closely with Education Week editors and reporters. Prior to joining Education Week in 2022, she produced videos for Al Jazeera, FRONTLINE PBS, and The Texas Tribune. She has a master’s degree in visual journalism from Ohio University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.


Special Education Video A Student Wrote a Book About Her Learning Disability. Now, She Has Advice for Teachers
Zoe Kozina, 17, is the author of Your Beautiful Mind, a children’s book published this year.
Mathematics Video Teaching Economics (Taylor's Version)
Taylor Swift's massive impact on the economy inspired a high school teacher to create lessons in "Swiftonomics."
Lauren Santucci
Student Well-Being Video How This Public School Serves Students Recovering From Addiction
Here’s how this public high school provides support for students recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Kaylee Domzalski & Lauren Santucci
School & District Management Video Video: Emotional Intelligence, Explained
A look at what emotional intelligence is and why it matters for educational leaders.
Collage illustration of a leader thinking about something surrounded by images and iconography representing emotional intelligence
Vanessa Solis/Education Week + Getty Images