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A Colorado high school music teacher is one of ten national finalists for the GRAMMY Museum's "Music Educator of the Year Award."

According to 9News, Chris Mauna has been Head Choral Director at Colorado's Arvada West High School for the last 14 years. “It’s a pretty humbling thing and I’m really proud,” said Maunu. “Any accolades or recognition that comes my way is a reflection of the incredible students I have here.”

Maunu says due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 school year has been one of the more difficult years when it comes to staying connected with students.

They need to feel like they belong to something especially in this period of isolation (and) music provides that.”

According to grammyintehschools.com, "It's time to say thank you to ALL of those teachers who put in ALL of those hours to make sure that ALL of us love and play music today! And who better to do that than the people who bring you the GRAMMY Awards?"

Who's eligible to receive this award? Candidates include current, full-time educators in the United States who teach in either public or private schools all the way from Kindergarten to college.

Like anything else, this all starts with nominations. Who gets to nominate candidates for the honor? Those eligible to cast nominations are:

  • Students, Parents and Everybody Else
  • Music Teachers
  • School Administrators
  • Recording Academy Members

In Maunu's case, he says he was nominated by his students. Should he be the 2021 Music Educator of the Year Award winner, he will receive:

  • Trip to Los Angeles to attend the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards in January 2021
  • The Music Educator Award at a ceremony during GRAMMY Week
  • $10,000 personal honorarium

All ten finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium, while semifinalists receive a $500 honorarium.

Congratulations to Colorado's Chris Mauna. January's ceremony will be a particularly exciting GRAMMY presentation. Thank you to the students who initiated the process with their nominations.

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