Northwood High choir director a quarterfinalist for national Music Educator Award

Northwood High Choir Director Zach Halop is one of 217 music teachers from across the country recently named quarterfinalists for the distinguished Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

In all, more than 30,000 nominations were submitted for the national award, which was established to spotlight teachers and college instructors who have made significant contributions to music education and helped preserve its place in schools.

“I am tremendously thankful to the students and parents who nominated me,” Halop told the NewsFlash via email on Friday. “I am certain that our community and the environment at NHS plays a huge part in our success.”

“The support I receive from our families, and especially our administration and other teachers, allows me to be as creative as possible,” he added. “Northwood kids respond like no other, and it is simply a joy and privilege to be part of it all. It feels great to have national recognition, but honestly, as my first period class just walked through the door, everything just kind of falls by the wayside and I can’t wait to see where the journey goes today.”

According to the official news release, the Music Educator Award will ultimately be presented to one of 10 finalists. That individual will be flown to L.A. (or maybe driven?) to pick up a $10,000 honorarium — and attend the 2014 Grammy Awards ceremony.

Meanwhile, the other nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists are set to receive matching grants. All grants and honorariums are made possible by Converse, the Ford Motor Company Fund, General Mills Box Tops For Education and Journeys.

Update on June 6: The Orange County Register has posted this Q&A with Halop on its website. (Subscription required.)