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15 Illinois teachers recognized as quarterfinalists for Music Educator Award

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Honoree Kent Knappenberger, recipient of the Music Educator Award, poses in the press room during the 56th GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on January 26, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

15 Illinois teachers have found themselves amongst a total of 222 music teachers from 208 cities across 41 states as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. In total, more than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

Quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award from Illinois are:

Corey Ames, Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Illinois
Brandon Catt, Glenbard East High School, Lombard, Illinois
Josh Chodoroff, Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora, Illinois
Andy Davis, Reavis High School, Burbank, Illinois
Mark Duker, Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora, Illinois
Michael Fansler, Western Illinois University, Macomb, Illinois
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds, O'Fallon Township High School, O'Fallon, Illinois
Nancie Kozel-Tobison, Barrington High School, Barrington, Illinois
Gordon Krauspe, Wheaton Warrenville South High School, Wheaton, Illinois
Stevi Marks, Glenbrook South High School, Glenview, Illinois
Charles Morgan, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois
Matthew Neylon, Rockford Christian Schools, Rockford, Illinois
Glen Schneider, Metea Valley High School, Aurora, Illinois
Roxanne Stevenson, Chicago State University, Chicago, Illinois
Diana Wiley-Harrigan, Sauk Elementary School, Richton Park, Illinois

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K – 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 special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award) during GRAMMY Week 2015.

As announced on the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards® 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, the award was open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone could nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers were also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers were notified and invited to fill out an application.

One recipient will be selected from 10 finalists each year, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will each 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, and Journeys.

Nominations for the 2016 Music Educator Award are now open at www.grammymusicteacher.com. [from Music Educator Award Quarterfinalists press release]