Two HISD Teachers in Running for Inaugural Music Educator Award

Mark Wurtzel of Pershing Middle School (Houston Independent School District)

Mark Wurtzel

A mind for music has led two HISD teachers into contention for a prestigious new national award for educators.

Lamar High School’s Scott Houston and Pershing Middle School’s Mark Wurtzel are two of the 217 music teachers from across the country to be named quarterfinalists for the inaugural Music Educator Award.

Presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, the Music Educator Award is designed to recognize 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 schools.

Scott Houston of Lamar High School (Houston Independent School District)

Scott Houston

“Scott is the quintessential musician,” said Lamar High School Principal James McSwain. “He brings a great deal of technical expertise to the classroom.”

“Mark is very passionate about music production,” said Pershing Middle School Principal Kim Heckman, “He really tries to expose students to different types of music, such as the Blue Man Group, to make it a good experience for the kids.”

The winner of the award will be chosen from among a field of 10 finalists, and flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 prize. The nine finalists will receive a $1,000 prize, and the schools of all 10 finalists also will receive matching grants.

To see a complete list of quarterfinalists, please visit the GRAMMY website.