Kent Knappenberger Of Westfield Academy And Central School In Westfield, N.Y. Announced As Recipient Of First-Ever Music Educator Award™ Presented By The Recording Academy® And The GRAMMY Foundation® Recipient and Nine Finalists to Receive Cash Honorariums, with Generous Support and Resources Provided by the GRAMMY Foundation®'s Education Champions Box Tops For Education®, Converse, Ford Motor Company Fund, Journeys, Microsoft Surface, And Universal Music Group

Inaugural Award will be Presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony &Nominees Reception during GRAMMY® Week 2014

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kent Knappenberger of Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, N.Y., has been announced as the recipient of the first annual Music Educator Award™ presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation®. A total of nine music teachers from nine cities across seven states are finalists for the award. In total, more than 30,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

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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. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this special award will have its inaugural presentation at The Recording Academy's Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY® Award during GRAMMY Week 2014.

"The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation created this award to highlight the extraordinary influence of music teachers on their students in and beyond the classroom," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy. "Many musicians would not be expressing their gift for creativity had it not been for the dedication and encouragement of a music teacher who inspired them to pursue a professional career."

Knappenberger has been a music teacher and choir director at Westfield Academy and Central School for 25 years. He holds a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia and a master's degree in music education, harp performance and literature from Eastman School of Music, and he is a member of the National Education Association. Knappenberger has taken his passion for teaching abroad by serving as a volunteer music teacher at the Ana Gonzaga Methodist Institute in Rio de Janeiro. He currently resides in Westfield, N.Y., with his wife and children.

"I am extremely humbled and honored to be the recipient of the first-ever Music Educator Award," said Knappenberger. "I believe that this award has already been and will continue to be a tremendous encouragement to all music educators. Besides the attention it has brought to many fine teachers, it brings attention to the importance of music education in general."

Each year, one recipient will be selected from 10 finalists, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives. Knappenberger will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will 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 Box Tops For Education®, Converse, Ford Motor Company Fund, Journeys, Microsoft Surface, and Universal Music Group.

A complete list of the winner and finalists is below. Applications for the second annual Music Educator Award are currently online; to nominate a teacher, visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. The deadline to nominate is March 31, 2014. The application process will be adjusted each year to allow the broad array of effective teaching styles and methods used in the discipline to be recognized and awarded.

Winner   





First Name     

Last Name       

School         

City    

State

Kent    

Knappenberger    

Westfield Academy and Central School 

Westfield   

N.Y.






Finalists  





First Name     

Last Name    

School    

City        

State

Lisa     

Bianconi        

Kurn Hattin Homes for Children     

Westminster       

Vt.

Charles     

Cushinery   

Ed W. Clark High School    

Las Vegas       

Nev.

Andrew       

DeNicola        

John P. Stevens High School     

Edison     

N.J.

Vivian   

Gonzalez   

South Miami K-8 Center  

Miami        

Fla.

Kathrine  

Kouns    

Horizon High School    

Scottsdale       

Ariz.

Glen    

McCarthy   

George Mason University    

Fairfax        

Va.

Steve 

Vutsinas       

Grassfield High School        

Chesapeake       

Va.

Jo        

Wallace-Abbie   

Plano West Senior High School     

Plano     

Texas

Mary Jo    

West     

George Mason High School     

Falls Church 

Va.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "The GRAMMYs" on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs' social communities on Foursquare, GetGlue, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube.

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students' musical experiences, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation are partnering to present their Music Educator Award. Open to current U.S. music teachers in kindergarten through college, the first Music Educator Award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception during GRAMMY Week 2014. To nominate a teacher for the second annual Music Educator Award, please visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.grammyfoundation.org. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.grammyfoundation.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like "GRAMMY in the Schools®" on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grammyintheschools and follow @GRAMMYFdn on Twitter and Instagram.   

America's schools have earned more than $600 million through the Box Tops for Education® program since the program started in 1996, including $80 million in the 2012–2013 school year alone. More than 90,000 schools use that cash to purchase items such as computers, library books, art supplies, and playground equipment. Schools can earn up to $20,000 by clipping Box Tops from 250 products and can earn eBoxTops® by shopping online through the Box Tops Marketplace®. To learn more and for a list of participating products, visit www.btfe.com. Facebook at www.facebook.com/BoxTopsforEducation, Twitter at www.twitter.com/BTFE and Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/Boxtops.  

Converse Inc., based in N. Andover, Massachusetts, is a wholly owned subsidiary of NIKE, Inc. Established in 1908, the Converse brand has built a reputation as "America's Original Sports Company"™ and has been associated with a rich heritage of legendary shoes such as the Chuck Taylor® All Star® shoe, the Jack Purcell® shoe and the One Star® shoe. Today, Converse offers a diverse portfolio including lifestyle men's, women's and children's footwear, apparel and accessories. Converse product is sold globally by retailers in over 160 countries and through 78 company-owned retail locations in the U.S. For more information, visit media.converse.com.

Ford Motor Company Fund & Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through national programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and dealers work on projects each year that better their communities in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.community.ford.com.

Journeys is a leader in the teen specialty retail scene, with more than 800 stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. Journeys uses fashion savvy and merchandising science to keep in step with the fast-paced footwear and accessories market for 13- to 22-year-old guys and girls. Journeys offers a wide variety of trendy, relevant brands that cater to teens that seek the hottest, new styles. However, the Journeys store is more than a retail environment — it's an extension of the teen lifestyle. From the plasma TVs playing exclusive content and the latest music videos, to the visual merchandising strategy and promotions, to the employees whose image and style reflect the customers' lifestyle and attitude. In addition, Journeys reaches its customers through www.journeys.com,  a mobile website, catalog, national advertising, strategic cross-promotions, social media and grass-roots events like the Noise Tour. Journeys — An Attitude You Can Wear! Journeys is a division of Genesco Inc.

Microsoft's Surface tablet is designed to be the one device for everything in your life. Every Surface offers ports, Office, and covers on which you can type. Whatever you want to imagine, create, and share—Surface makes it possible to do it all. And more. For more information about Surface, please visit www.surface.com.

Universal Music Group is the global music leader, with wholly owned operations in 60 territories. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's premier music publishing operations worldwide. Universal Music Group's labels include A&M/Octone, Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note Records, Capitol Christian Music Group, Capitol Records, Capitol Records Nashville, Caroline, Decca, Def Jam Recordings, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, EMI Records Nashville, Fonovisa, Geffen Records, Harvest, Interscope Records, Island Records, Machete Music, Manhattan, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Polydor Records, Republic Records, Universal Music Latino, Verve Music Group, Virgin Records, Virgin EMI Records, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalogue of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG's catalogue is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes Global Digital Business, its new media and technologies division and Bravado, its merchandising company. Universal Music Group is a fully owned subsidiary of Vivendi.

SOURCE The Recording Academy; The GRAMMY Foundation



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