Nearly Half of the 2023 GRAMMY Music Educator AwardTM Quarterfinalists Are NAfME Members

The Music Educator Award Is Presented by
The Recording Academy
TM and the GRAMMY Museum®

The Recording Academy™ and GRAMMY Museum® has announced 207 quarterfinalists for the 2023 GRAMMY Music Educator Award™, and of that number, 89 are currently members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)*. Nominations from 180 cities were submitted. In addition to the quarterfinalists, 125 legacy applicants from 2022 will also be eligible to win the award this year, and of that number, 60 are currently members of NAfME*. From elementary general music teachers to band directors, choral conductors, string teachers, and college professors, NAfME congratulates these exemplary, dedicated music educators.

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. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2023, which takes place ahead of the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards.

educator award

The tenth honoree will also be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 65th GRAMMY Awards® and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Additionally, 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants, all made possible by the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. The National Association for Music Education supports this program through outreach to music education supporters.

Semifinalists will be announced later this year.

Seven of the previous nine GRAMMY Music Educator honorees, Kent KnappenbergerJared CassedyPhillip RiggsKeith HancockMelissa SalgueroJeffery Redding, and Mickey Smith Jr. are NAfME members. The 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award recipient was Jeffrey Murdock, associate professor of music at the University of Arkansas. The 2022 GRAMMY Music Educator Award recipient was Stephen Cox, band director at Eastland High School in Eastland, Texas.

Learn more about the Music Educator AwardTM process, and nominate a music educator by March 15.

Below is a list of NAfME members who have been named quarterfinalists for the 2023 Music Educator Award. Click here for the full list of 207 quarterfinalists.

Brandon Kiesgen Perry High School Gilbert Arizona
Tracy Meldrum Verrado High School Buckeye Arizona
Aaron Vogel Mountain Ridge High School Glendale Arizona
Sarah Labovitz Arkansas State University Jonesboro Arkansas
John Burn Homestead High School Cupertino California
Lawrence Stoffel California State University, Northridge Los Angeles California
Alexis True Thomas Downey High School Modesto California
Jasmine Faulkner Polaris Expeditionary Learning School Fort Collins Colorado
Wayne Splettstoeszer Torrington High School Torrington Connecticut
Heather Akers Central Middle School Dover Delaware
John Gordon Odessa High School Townsend Delaware
Jeffrey Leager Central Middle School Dover Delaware
Ryan Moseley Appoquinimink High School Middletown Delaware
Joshua Krohn Brent Elementary School Washington District of Columbia
Heather Bice Ridgeview High School Orange Park Florida
Alexander Busby Oviedo High School Oviedo Florida
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Jessica Gronberg Hawkes Bluff Elementary Davie Florida
Shelby Montgomery George Jenkins High School Lakeland Florida
Marcos Rodriguez Avant Garde Academy of Broward Hollywood Florida
Kaitlynn Tobias Lake Asbury Elementary School Green Cove Springs Florida
Gregory Urban Dunedin Highland Middle School Dunedin Florida
Ashleigh Spatz Burgess Peterson Elementary Atlanta Georgia
David Starnes Kennesaw Mountain High School Kennesaw Georgia
Jonathan Steltzer Wayne County High School Jesup Georgia
Elizabeth Baker Ilima Intermediate School Ewa Beach Hawaii
Justin Antos Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Blue Island Illinois
Bethany Robinson Noblesville High School Noblesville Indiana
Heather Dipasquale Todd County Middle School Elkton Kentucky
Tina Gibson Jefferson County Traditional Middle School Louisville Kentucky
Kris Milby Greenup County High School Greenup Kentucky
David Moss West Hopkins School Nebo Kentucky
Emmanuel Hudson Booker T. Washington High School Shreveport Louisiana
Kylie Teston Leonardtown High School Leonardtown Maryland
Aaron Bush Foxborough High School Foxborough Massachusetts
Michael Coelho Ipswich High School Ipswich Massachusetts
Meredith Lord Burncoat High School Worcester Massachusetts
Kevin McDonald Wellesley High School Wellesley Massachusetts
Kelly Ford Siena Heights University Adrian Michigan
Cherie Bowe Pascagoula High School Pascagoula Mississippi
Tracy Resseguie Staley High School Kansas City Missouri
Jordan Peters Dr. E Alma Flagg School Newark New Jersey
Jim Sheffer Medford Memorial Middle School Medford New Jersey
Maria Del Valle Brin The Equity Project Charter School New York New York
Kristin Howell Syosset High School Syosset New York
Luis Ingels BASIS Independent Brooklyn Brooklyn New York
Hope Lewis Charles O. Dickerson High School Trumansburg New York
Brendon Lucas Nyack Middle School Nyack New York
Phillip McMullen Silver Creek Central Schools Silver Creek New York
Carrie Pawelski Jefferson Middle School Jamestown New York
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York
Brian McMath Northwest Guilford High School Greensboro North Carolina
Jonathan Todd Crestdale Middle School Matthews North Carolina
Tammy White Kiser Middle School Greensboro North Carolina
Jeremy Overbeck Century High School Bismarck North Dakota
David Amos Heritage Middle School Painesville Ohio
Amir Jones Thomas W. Harvey High School Painesville Ohio
Katie Silcott Olentangy Shanahan Middle School Lewis Center Ohio
Justin Britt Kingston Public Schools Kingston Oklahoma
Benjamin Noyes Hillsboro High School Hillsboro Oregon
Ryan Bulgarelli Loyalsock Township High School Williamsport Pennsylvania
Christina Crivelli South Fayette Intermediate School McDonald Pennsylvania
Alex Gittelman Haverford Middle School Havertown Pennsylvania
Deanna Grandstaff Cecil Intermediate School McDonald Pennsylvania
Allison Kline Northwestern Lehigh High School New Tripoli Pennsylvania
A.J. Merlino Albright College Reading Pennsylvania
Jenny Neff The University of the Arts Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Adam Nobile Big Spring High School Newville Pennsylvania
Ronnie Ziccardi Avonworth Elementary School Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville South Carolina
Marcus Morris Dorman High School Roebuck South Carolina
Daryl Jessen Dakota Valley School North Sioux City South Dakota
Elizabeth Carter Snowden School Memphis Tennessee
Francis Cathlina University of Memphis Memphis Tennessee
Benjamin Easley Nolensville High School Nolensville Tennessee
Marisa Frank Nashville Classical Charter School Nashville Tennessee
Jasmine Fripp KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School Nashville Tennessee
Natalie Pratt Brentwood High School Brentwood Tennessee
Bonnie Anderson Miller’s Point Elementary School Converse Texas
Thomas Mann W. Charles Akins Early College High School Austin Texas
Ær Queen Braddock Elementary School Annandale Virginia
Xochilt Melendez Munguia Gainesville Middle School Gainesville Virginia
Annie Ray Annandale High School Annandale Virginia
John Aguilar Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Seattle Washington
Melanie Gunn Whitman Middle School Seattle Washington
Jean-Marie Kent Roosevelt High School Seattle Washington
Ailisa Newhall Inglemoor High School Kenmore Washington
Eli Lambie Washington Lands Elementary School Moundsville West Virginia
Elizabeth Steege Case High School Racine Wisconsin

Below is a list of NAfME members who are among the Legacy Applicants for the 2023 Music Educator Award. Click here for the full list of 125 legacy applicants.

David Allinder Shades Valley High School Birmingham Alabama
Brandon Benson J. U. Blacksher School Uriah Alabama
Jordan Ford Norwood Elementary School Birmingham Alabama
Matt Martindale Shelby County High School Columbiana Alabama
Alicia Mulloy Liberty Middle School Madison Alabama
Ryan Gonzales James Monroe High School Los Angeles California
Shanti Gruber Glenwood Springs High School & Middle School Glenwood Springs Colorado
Robin King Fountain International Magnet School Pueblo Colorado
Michael Linert Westminster High School Westminster Colorado
Patrick Smith Cooperative Arts & Humanities Magnet High School New Haven Connecticut
Teresa Cameron Eastside Elementary School Lake City Florida
Vivian Gonzalez Miami Arts Studio 6-12 @ Zelda Glazer Miami Florida
Keith Griffis Walter L. Sickles High School Tampa Florida
Monica Leimer DeLand High School DeLand Florida
Wes Lowe The King’s Academy West Palm Beach Florida
Charles Moorer McArthur High School Hollywood Florida
Sarah Ruff Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts Miami Florida
Dale Duncan Henderson Middle School Atlanta Georgia
Michael Huebner Kennesaw Mountain High School Kennesaw Georgia
Sarah Todd Mary Lyon Elementary School Chicago Illinois
Michelle Bade West View Elementary Muncie Indiana
Justin Binek Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City Kansas
Robert Bertke St. Francis School Louisville Kentucky
Heather Dipasquale Todd County Middle School Elkton Kentucky
Emily Maurer Slidell Junior High School Slidell Louisiana
Richard McCready River Hill High School Columbia Maryland
Marcos Carreras Springfield Conservatory of The Arts Springfield Massachusetts
Robert Green Lakeland High School White Lake Michigan
Andrew Smigielski Forrest County Agricultural High School Brooklyn Mississippi
Keely (O’Hara) Abeln Parkway South Middle School Ballwin Missouri
Dustin Shrum Central Visual and Performing Arts High School St. Louis Missouri
Cindy Stone Belgrade Middle School & High School Belgrade Montana
Eric McAllister Las Vegas Academy of the Arts Las Vegas Nevada
Robert DeSantis Millville High School Millville New Jersey
Natalie Kerr Bloomfield High School Bloomfield New Jersey
Andrew Bennett Fredonia High School Fredonia New York
Gregory Bennett Middletown High School Middletown New York
Michael Blostein Averill Park High School Averill Park New York
Nicole Davidson Susan E. Wiley Elementary School Copiague New York
Lauren Morabito Hendrick Hudson High School Montrose New York
Jason Noble Scarsdale High School Scarsdale New York
Bill Tiberio Fairport High School Fairport New York
Matthew Brusseau Davie County High School Mocksville North Carolina
Margaret Maurice Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Charlotte North Carolina
Heaven Watson-Weary Hunter Huss High School Gastonia North Carolina
Tammy White Kiser Middle School Greensboro North Carolina
Christopher Clark Case Western Reserve University Cleveland Ohio
Tristianne Asbury Noble High School Noble Oklahoma
Angela McKenna Classen SAS @ NE High School Oklahoma City Oklahoma
Kevin Longwill Abington School District Abington Pennsylvania
Pamela Lowell Cranston High School East Cranston Rhode Island
Robert Pettigrew Westside High School Anderson South Carolina
Darrell Boston Loretto High School Loretto Tennessee
Brandon Larsen Herriman High School Herriman Utah
Wanda Mitchell Hampton High School Hampton Virginia
Laura O’Konski Liberty High School Bealeton Virginia
John Aguilar Robert Eagle Staff Middle School Seattle Washington
Andrew Bowerly Tenino High School & Middle School Tenino Washington
Jonathan Boysen Eastside Catholic School Sammamish Washington
William R. Jenks South Charleston Middle School South Charleston West Virginia

* This number reflects those whose memberships were current at the time of this announcement and is subject to change.

June 17, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (

April 2024 Teaching Music

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June 17, 2022


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June 17, 2022. © National Association for Music Education (

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