Casey Unger Named a Quarter-finalist for the 2021 Music Educator Awards

Casey Unger Named a Quarter-finalist for the 2021 Music Educator Awards
Posted on 06/01/2020
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This month, Casey Unger was named a quarterfinalist for the 2021 Music Educator Awards. Unger is a Prelude Strings and Orchestra teacher at Irving Elementary School, West Allis Central High School, and West Milwaukee Intermediate School. She has  taught in our district since 2013.
“Growing up in West Allis and attending school in the WAWM, I recognized and admired what a strong music program the district had. I experienced firsthand how the teachers built strong relationships with their students, families, and the community and I work to emulate that within my teaching. It is a great honor to be nominated and recognized as a quarterfinalist from a large pool of nominations across the nation and it wouldn’t be possible without the support from my colleagues, family, students, and the community,” said Unger.
The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, 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 the schools. A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2021.
“Ms. Unger grew up in our district, attending Hoover, FLW, and Hale, playing violin and being active in all aspects of our music education program. Her goal was to be a music teacher and have what her teachers had: a combination of an elementary and a secondary assignment so she could watch her students grow and develop strong relationships with her students’ families and the community. She has done just that in several of our schools teaching general music, prelude strings, and orchestra,” says Mary Pat Michels, WAWM District Music Lead. 
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, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.
“Casey has been my strings partner at both Irving and Wilson elementary schools for seven years. We often collaborate on our joint concerts. We’ve also done some combined pieces with voice and strings over the years. It is my pleasure to have nominated such a great colleague and friend for this award,” said music teacher, Scott Greger.
Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The eighth annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

A total of 216 music teachers from 199 cities have been announced as quarter finalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by the Recording Academy® and GRAMMY Museum®. In total, nearly 2,000 initial nominations were submitted. In addition to our quarterfinalists, 91 legacy applicants from 2020 will also be eligible to win the award this year.