New York State School for the Deaf teacher Vicky Stockton is a finalist for the Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum.
Ten music teachers from 10 cities across eight states have been announced as finalists. Initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.
Stockton is in her 40th year teaching at the school, having joined when the music program was in its infancy. In addition to the music program she also teaches Latin and American Sign Language classes.
The award was established to recognize current educators at the kindergarten level through college, in 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 schools.
The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves.
Stockton was nominated and was a quarterfinalist in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Those who are nominated are not told who nominates them, she noted when she was announced as a semifinalist.
Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their “remarkable impact on students’ lives.” The fifth annual honoree will be flown to New York to attend the 60th annual Grammy Awards and a range of Grammy Week events. In addition, the recipient will receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of the 10 finalists will receive matching grants.
When asked what she’d do with prize money when she was announced as a semifinalist, Stockton said: “First thing, I’ll get our piano fixed.” The instrument is used by all children on a daily basis, she noted. She’d also like to make repairs to the hand bells, which were granted to the school when the music program started. Many of those same bells are still in use today.