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Earle native named 2025 GRAMMY educator quarter-finalist


Vernon Harris one of only two nominees from State of Arkansas

By Ralph Hardin

Crittenden County native 1997 Earle High School graduate Vernon Harris is among those named as quarter-finalists by the Recording Academy for the 2025 Grammy Music Educator Award.

On Wednesday, the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum announced a total of 215 music teachers as quarterfinalists for the 2025 Music Educator Award. This prestigious award is given to current educators — from kindergarten through college in both public and private schools — who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who advocate for the ongoing inclusion of music education in schools.

This year’s quarter-finalists hail from 202 cities and were chosen from more than 2,400 initial nominations. Additionally, 159 legacy applicants from 2024 are also eligible for this year’s award.

Semi-finalists for the 2025 Music Educator Award will be announced later this year. The ultimate recipient will be celebrated during GRAMMY Week 2025.

Harris is an experienced music teacher in the public school system. He currently lives and works in Little Rock teaching music and is the choral director for the Little Rock School District at Pulaski Heights Middle School.

“This recognition celebrates his dedication to music education and shines a lpotlight on Little Rock School District Arts,” said LRSD superintendent Dr. Jermall Wright.

Harris was one of only two Arkansas educators to be named a quarter-finalist, joining Kevin Croxton of Oliver Springs Elementary School in Van Buren.

A collaborative effort between the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the Music Educator Award invites nominations from students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators.

Teachers may also nominate themselves, and those nominated are invited to complete a more detailed application.

Each year, one recipient is selected from among 10 finalists and recognized for their profound impact on students' lives. The 11th annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 67th GRAMMYAwards and participate in various GRAMMY Week events. The nine other finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. Additionally, fifteen semi-finalists will be awarded a $500 honorarium

See GRAMMY, page A6

Photos courtesy of the Recording Academy GRAMMY

From page A1

with matching school grants.

The Music Educator Award program, including the honorariums and matching school grants, is supported by the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation this year. Additional backing comes from the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association, which support the program through outreach to their members.

Learn more about the Music Educator Award and see the full list of the 2025 Music Educator Award quarter-finalists and legacy applicants by visiting the GRAMMYAwards and Museum website (

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