Annie Ray, a music teacher and orchestra director at Fairfax County’s Annandale High School, is the winner of the 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.
The annual award recognizes current educators “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.”
Ray’s win was announced on CBS Mornings on Thursday, and she will now travel to Los Angeles to receive the recognition at the award ceremony.
“It’s been a whirlwind experience!” Ray said. “I’m so thankful to all the people who have poured love into me to allow me to make music. I am honored to have been selected from a remarkable group of educators.”
“Most of all I want to thank my students to whom this award actually belongs,” she said. “The love of making music has been our unity and community. Thank you all for allowing me to guide you in this, I am humbled to accept this award for you all.”
As a music teacher at Annandale High School, Ray worked to establish both the Crescendo Orchestra for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities and the FCPS Parent Orchestra, which allows parents to learn instruments along with their children, according to a news release from Fairfax County Public Schools.
“Annie is an exemplary Fairfax County Public School teacher; dedicated, compassionate, talented, and innovative,” said Fairfax County Superintendent Michelle Reid. “We are grateful to Annie for everything she does to inspire her students every day. This award could not have gone to a more deserving teacher.”
Ray was one of 10 finalists for the award — out of 2,000 initial applicants — and will receive a $10,000 honorarium and a matching grant for the school’s music program.
Feature image of Annie Ray courtesy Fairfax County Public Schools
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