FALLS CHURCH, Va. (CBSDC) — A northern Virginia music teacher has been named a finalist for the first-ever Music Educator Award, a national honor presented by The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation.
Mary Jo West, who directs the Symphonic Band and teaches IB music at George Mason High School, was selected as one of 10 finalists from 10 cities across eight states after she was nominated by a fellow teacher.
West underwent a lengthy submission process before being selected as a finalist for the $10,000 award. The winner’s school also receives $10,000.
If West wins she will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception during Grammy week 2014. She will walk the red carpet and attend the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony.
The award was announced at last year’s GRAMMY Awards by Nell Portnow, president of the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation, honorary board chair Ryan Seacrest, and six-time GRAMMY winner Justin Timberlake.
The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant contribution to the field of music education and who are committed to keeping music education in the schools.
WNEW’s Amy Hybels visited West’s classroom in Falls Church on Friday to find out what students have to say about West’s teaching style and what they’re learning.
Click ‘Play’ to listen to Hybels’ report on West: