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Easley's Hilliard Semifinalist for GRAMMY Foundation Award

Easley Elementary music teacher Judy Hilliard was named one of 25 semifinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. Hilliard was a quarter-finalist for the same award in 2015.

“The GRAMMY Foundation has figured out what the Easley community has known for years: that Mrs. Hilliard embodies everything you could possibly want in a music educator! She is a knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated music teacher and one of her greatest strengths is sharing that passion with our whole community through amazing student performances throughout the year,” said Easley Principal Jennifer Hauser.  “It’s easy for me to walk down the hall and get drawn into her classroom because learning about music with Mrs. Hilliard is so much fun!”

Always having a love of music and singing, Hilliard wanted to be a music teacher since she was a student at Durham High School (now Durham School of the Arts). She has been a music teacher for Durham Public Schools her entire career, spending two years at Morehead Montessori and Lakewood Elementary before heading to Easley in 1999. She teaches music to students from kindergarten through fifth-grade as well as a combined fourth and fifth-grade chorus, and she has taught a strings class.

After double majoring in comprehensive music and music education with vocal emphasis at Campbell University, Hilliard went on to earn a Master of Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“I am truly honored and blessed to be recognized as one of the 25 semifinalists throughout the United States in the GRAMMY Foundation’s Music Educator Award. This achievement provides me with an even larger platform to share with others the importance of the arts and music in education,” said Hilliard. “Collaboratively as music educators, it is our hope to make a difference in the lives of our students through music, whatever avenue that may take in their educational career and beyond.”

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. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, the recipient will be honored during Grammy Week 2017.