The Grammy Foundation and The Recording Academy have named Fine Arts Instructor Phillip Riggs one of 10 national finalists for its third annual Music Educator Award. Earlier this fall Riggs was notified that he’d been named one of 25 semifinalists from a pool of 4,500 educator nominees.
Riggs has taught at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics since 2008. A former student at one of Riggs’ earlier teaching appointments, now a music educator herself, nominated him for the award. As a finalist, Riggs and NCSSM each receive a $1,000 honorarium.“What a shining light Phillip is! I’m thrilled that his light shines even more brightly because of this well-deserved honor as a Grammy finalist,” says Elizabeth Moose, dean of humanities. “It’s not just excellent musicianship that Phillip fosters; he’s just as committed to building a positive spirit of collaboration and community—in his classroom, in our wider school community, and across the state and nation through his leadership in state and national music education organizations. He and his wife, Carol, have also extended the arms of friendship to our partners in China at the Hangzhou Foreign Languages School. “I’m inspired by his generous spirit of optimism. Characteristically modest, Phillip always thinks about others, is eager to give credit to others and to celebrate their achievements. And so I’m especially heartened that he’s being honored in this wonderful way as a Grammy finalist. We are so lucky to have Phillip with us at NCSSM and we are pulling for him as the Grammy finalists move into the final round of competition.”
The 2016 Music Educator Award winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award and attend the Grammys. They will receive a $10,000 honorarium along with a $10,000 grant for their school. The honorariums and grants are made possible by the GRAMMY Foundation’s Education Champions: Converse, Ford Motor Company Fund, Journeys, and Disney Performing Arts.