Pearl Hall Elementary Teacher Jami Lupold Selected as Quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator Award

Pearl Hall Elementary Teacher Jami Lupold Selected as Quarterfinalist for Grammy Music Educator Award
Posted on 06/17/2014


When Pearl Hall Elementary School teacher Jami Lupold learned that she was among only 222 music teachers across the country selected to be a quarterfinalist for the second annual Music Educator Award, it was music to her ears.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized,” Lupold said. “I’ve known and met many nominees over the years so to be selected as one is pretty incredible.”

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize kindergarten through college, public and private school educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to music education. Additionally, the award recognizes educators who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools. According to the school’s principal, Marilyn Pavone, she has done just that.

“She has made such tremendous contributions over the years for students, educators, parents and communities,” Pavone said. “It is amazing how many lives she has touched.”

This is not the first time Lupold has been recognized for making a positive impact in students’ lives.

In 2013, she was selected as a recipient of the Pasadena ISD District Elementary Teacher of the Year award and later won the Region 4 Elementary Teacher of the Year award. She subsequently represented the district at the Texas Teachers of the Year ceremony in Austin as a finalist.

Lupold was surprised to hear that she was selected as a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Music Educators Award. She was nominated by one of her former student teachers Dr. Sara Stolt.

Stolt, a private clarinet instructor herself, said Lupold took her under her wing and inspired her to teach music. She has used her experience working with Lupold to carry the musical torch to others.

“Jami is a professional in the highest regard,” Stolt said. “She cares for her students and provides them with exceptional musical and educational outlets. Her creativity, hard work and what she does to provide these musical and educational sources is deeply inspiring and makes me want to become more creative in all that I do as a teacher and a musician.”

Stolt said Lupold is deserving of national recognition and nominating her was the former student teacher’s way of saying “thanks for being a great mentor.”

Presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, more than 7,000 nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

One recipient will be selected from 10 finalists and will be recognized for making an impact on students’ lives. If Lupold is selected as a winner, she will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, be among the stars at the Grammy Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium.

Top finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

The award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony and Nominees Reception honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement, Trustees and Technical Grammy Awards during Grammy Week 2015, Feb. 2-8.

Now we like the sound of that.


Lupold’s Instrumental in Bringing Music Education to Students

With nearly 30 years of teaching experience under her belt and 16 of those at Pearl Hall, Lupold has reshaped the campus culture through unique collaborations with NASA, the Houston Symphony, the Society for the Performing Arts, the Houston Grand Opera and most notably the Building Cultural Bridges program she helped launch in 2001-through which she has brought numerous musicians, astronauts and scientists from around the globe to visit and share their stories with students.

“I knew I wanted to teach since I was in the eighth grade,” Lupold said. “I’ve had incredible opportunities that allowed me to travel and meet unbelievably successful people through my music. And I wanted to make sure that I could provide as many opportunities for students as I’ve had.”

She attributes the success of the music program at Pearl Hall and being selected as a Music Educator nominee to the Building Cultural Bridges program and the collaborative efforts of fellow colleagues.

“The enormity of the success of this program doesn’t just come from one person it comes from a highly trained educational team with Pat Surface and Seth Fewell,” Lupold said. "Together the three of us have put together amazing opportunities that have been created and supported by our incredible community partners, The Houston Symphony and NASA and other performing arts and scientific organizations in Houston and throughout the world. Our biggest fans are our principals, the school superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis, administrative staff and Board of Trustees whose continuous support is greatly appreciated.”

The complete list of quarterfinalists can be found below (Jami Lupold's name is highlighted in yellow). The semifinalists will be announced in September. For more information, please visit


Grammy Music Educator Award Quarterfinalists

Name School Name City State
Keely Abeln Francis Howell Middle School Saint Charles Mo.
Diane Abrahamian Penfield High School Rochester N.Y.
Steven Acciani Diamond Bar High School Diamond Bar Calif.
Phil Aguglia Kenmore East High School Tonawanda N.Y.
Leslie Alan South Miami Middle Community School Miami Fla.
J. Anthony Allen McNally Smith College of Music St. Paul Minn.
Anthony Allmond Kaiser High School Fontana Calif.
Anthony Alvaro West Genesee High School Camillus N.Y.
Corey Ames Loyola Academy Wilmette Ill.
Mark Anderson Oswalt K8 Academy La Puente Calif.
Neil Anderson Murrieta Valley High School Murrieta Calif.
David Bachart New Hope-Solebury High School New Hope Pa.
Nancy Maria Balach University of Mississippi Oxford Miss.
Mary Barto The New School New York N.Y.
Graham "Scott"  Barton Moreau Catholic High School Hayward Calif.
Jeff Behrens Richland Center High School Richland Center Wis.
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville S.C.
Fritz Benz North Smithfield High School North Smithfield R.I.
Jake Bergevin Edmonds-Woodway High School Edmonds Wash.
Anthony Bernhauser Pearre Creek Elementary School Franklin Tenn.
Rob Blaney Woodbridge High School Irvine Calif.
Cindy Bradley-Cipriano Colonial Road School Franklin Lakes N.J.
Gregg Breinberg P.S. 22 Staten Island N.Y.
Timothy Brown Franklin High School Reisterstown Md.
Stephanie Brueggeman Progress South Elementary School St. Peters Mo.
Aaron Buck DeWitt Middle School Ithaca N.Y.
Jean Burkhart Seymour High School Seymour Tenn.
Joe Cantaffa Howell High School Farmingdale N.J.
Otis Carter III Moss Point High School Moss Point Miss.
Jared Cassedy Windham High School Windham N.H.
Brandon Catt Glenbard East High School Lombard Ill.
Caleb Chapman Pioneer High School for the Performing Arts American Fork Utah
Bernie Chavez Deming High School Deming N.M.
Ching-Ming Cheng California State University San Marcos San Marcos Calif.
Michael Chester Stewarts Creek High School Smyrna Tenn.
Josh Chodoroff Waubonsie Valley High School Aurora Ill.
Joseph Chouinard East Detroit High School Eastpointe Mich.
Dr. Buddy Clements Walnut High School Walnut Calif.
Joyce Click North Central High School Indianapolis Ind.
Travis Coakley Biloxi High School Biloxi Miss.
Christy Colburn Itawamba Community College Fulton Miss.
Name School Name City State
Mark Colozzi Cranston High School East Cranston R.I.
Steve Connell Moc-Floyd Valley Senior High School Orange City Iowa
Travis Cook  Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts Detroit Mich.
Cheryl  Corkran Greenacres Middle School Bossier City La.
Glenn Cowen Upper Moreland High School Willow Grove Pa.
Ryan Crabtree Fruita Monument High School Fruita Colo.
Charles Cushinery Ed W. Clark High School Las Vegas Nev.
Michael Danielson First Avenue Middle School Arcadia Calif.
Adrian Davis Roosevelt High School Minneapolis Minn.
Andy Davis Reavis High School Burbank Ill.
David Davis Harmony Middle School Overland Park Kan.
Mark De Hertogh R.L. Paschal High School Fort Worth Texas
David Dehner Monte Vista Christian School Watsonville Calif.
Jamal Dickerson  Creative Arts Morgan Village Academy Camden N.J.
Jeff Doebler Valparaiso University Valparaiso Ind.
Mark Duker Waubonsie Valley High School Aurora Ill.
Terry Eberhardt Marriotts Ridge High School Marriottsville Md.
Steven Edwards Falmouth High School Falmouth Mass.
Nicholas Efstathiou Bay High School Panama City Fla.
Alexandra Errico Springdale Elementary School Stamford Conn.
Eufemio Escalante Vina Danks Middle School Ontario Calif.
Krista Fanning Caddo Middle Magnet Shreveport La.
Michael Fansler Western Illinois University Macomb Ill.
Mark Femino Millis Middle/High School Millis Mass.
Anne Fennell Mission Vista High School Oceanside Calif.
John Flora Franklin L. Williams Middle School #7 Jersey City N.J.
Elizabeth Fortune Washington Middle School Seattle Wash.
Desiree Fowler  Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts Los Angeles Calif.
Brian Gagnon Fairview Elementary School Auburn Maine
Michael Garvey Lamphere High School Madison Heights Mich.
Sean Gavarny Hoboken Charter School Hoboken N.J.
Debbie Glick Alexandria Middle School Pittstown N.J.
Vivian Gonzalez South Miami K-8 Center Miami Fla.
Anthony Good Nicholas Oresko School Bayonne N.J.
Johnnie Green Lehman High School Kyle Texas
Randy Greenwell Lawrence Central High School Indianapolis Ind.
Janet Grice Fordham High School for the Arts Bronx N.Y.
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds O'Fallon Township High School O'Fallon Ill.
Eric Hahn Bangor Area High School Bangor Pa.
Amy Hannequin Derby High School Derby Conn.
Aaron Hardwick Frank W. Cox High School Virginia Beach Va.
Name School Name City State
Rodney Harshbarger Old Kings Elementary School Flagler Beach Fla.
Brad Hart Johansen High School Modesto Calif.
Richard Hauf Havre de Grace High School Havre de Grace Md.
Micah Haven Meeker Middle School Tacoma Wash.
Sheila Heffernon Northfield Mount Hermon School Gill Mass.
Lenora Helm Hammonds North Carolina Central University Durham N.C.
Michael Henderson Chase High School Forest City N.C.
Michael Anthony Hernandez Plano Senior High School Plano Texas
Aaron Hill Sr. Smithfield High School Smithfield Va.
Michael Hood Wissahickon High School Ambler Pa.
Robin Hopper Homestead Elementary School Eagle River Alaska
Ronald Horner Frostburg State University Frostburg Md.
Matthew Howe Indio High School Indio Calif.
Frank Hudson Bledsoe County High School Pikeville Tenn.
Ian Hughes Verner Elementary Oakmont Pa.
Ralph Jackson Bridle Path Elementary School Lansdale Pa.
Robb Janov Jefferson Middle School Albuquerque N.M.
Sarah Jester Northeast High School Pasadena Md.
Calvert Johnson Agnes Scott College Decatur Ga.
Curtis Johnson West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon W. Va.
D.L. Johnson North Monterey County High School Castroville Calif.
Kyle Johnson JJ Pearce High School Richardson Texas
Jamie Johnston Camelback High School Phoenix Ariz.
Sean Kennedy Sandy Run Middle School Dresher Pa.
Demeka Kimpson Sedgefield Middle School Charlotte N.C.
Shannon Kitelinger San Diego State University San Diego Calif.
Anne Klus St. Paul Academy and Summit School St. Paul Minn.
Joan Knoernschild Greenfield Middle School El Cajon Calif.
Barry E. Kopetz Capital University Columbus Ohio
Nancie Kozel-Tobison Barrington High School Barrington Ill.
Gordon Krauspe Wheaton Wa