PAINESVILLE, Ohio — Music is what helped them find their way through life and is allowing them to help their students do the same.
And now, David Amos and Amir Jones have a chance to win the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum's Music Educator Award. The award recognizes teachers who are making “a significant and lasting contribution in music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.”
The two Painesville school teachers are now quarterfinalists out of 207 others. In addition, they are two of eight Ohio teachers that have made it to this point in the process after being nominated by their own students.
Jones, who is the Band Director at Harvey High School, was nominated by his senior field commander, Jesus Flores.
“I’m still pretty shocked,” Jones said. “[Jesus] is one of those kids that has everything together all the time. So, it was nice to hear that I was a part of that, too.”
Flores told News 5 that the decision to nominate Jones was a no-brainer while on vacation in Mexico.
“He deserves it. I knew that compared to other teachers, he's the best," Flores said. "He really is the best when it comes to this. There's no other teacher like him.”
When asked about his familiarity with the Grammy award, Jones said, “you don’t often hear about the people who help those musicians become those musicians like their teacher. So… it's just so awesome that there's an award that recognizes what goes into that. Then the fact that I was nominated for it was that much better.”
Amos, who is Heritage Middle School Director of Bands and Assistant Harvey High School Band Director, was nominated by one of his middle school students, Anthony. Amos says the recognition is surreal. He says once he got the email notification and filled out the necessary forms, he called Jones.
“Just sharing that moment with him on the phone was really special and knowing that, hey, we're doing good work. We're appreciated. We're validated and it's not just us. It's the students, it's the other staff members here. It's the community that shows out," Amos said.
Jones and Amos have made it their mission to inspire and uplift students through music every day. So, regardless of who takes home the Grammy, these two are already winners.
“I truly feel comfortable with them and I feel like I can just talk to them. Sometimes I don't even see them as my teachers. I just see them as people who are around all the time and I really feel close to them,” Flores said. “I'm so excited to see what the outcome is. I'll be happy either way, just that they've gotten this recognition and you know, for them to just a big thank you for everything they've done.”
The final voting round for entries will take place from Dec. 14, 2022 to Jan. 4, 2023. The 65th annual Grammy awards will be televised on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023.