And the Music Educator Award goes to … Keith Hancock of Tesoro High School

Choral music teacher Keith Hancock of Tesoro High School has emerged from 3,300 nominees to win the 2017 Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

Keith Hancock
Keith Hancock

Along with earning national recognition and a trip to the 59th annual Grammy Awards ceremony this Sunday, Hancock will receive a $10,000 honorarium, as will Tesoro High, which is in the Capistrano Unified School District.

[Updated on Monday, Feb. 13: Did you catch Mr. Hancock’s Grammy shoutout from Ryan Seacrest on Sunday? Check it out, courtesy of the Capistrano Unified School District’s Facebook page.]

The Music Educator Award was created to recognize educators at all levels who have made a lasting and significant contribution to the field of music education while demonstrating a commitment to maintaining music education in school.

Of the 3,300 nominations submitted last year, 290 were later announced as quarterfinalists, and the list was trimmed to 25 semifinalists in October. Hancock, who has taught at Tesoro for 15 years, continued to make the cut, and he was still in the running when the OCDE Newsroom posted a story about the 10 national finalists in December. 

Astonishingly enough, he wasn’t the only music teacher from Orange County to make the top 10. Henry Miller from Sierra Vista Middle School in the Irvine Unified School District also made it to the final round.

You can learn more about Hancock by checking out this profile and video feature from CBS News, which first reported the honor. The Orange County Register also ran this feature story on him in January.