Arcadia Teacher Heather Moore Receives 2019 Jane Ortner Award


Pamina Yung, Staff Writer

On Oct. 17, The GRAMMY Museum announced that Heather Moore, who teaches AP, college prep, and U.S. History for English learners at AHS, won the 2019 Jane Ortner Education Award, named after a public school teacher who cherished music as a powerful academic aspect. Ms. Moore is also the faculty adviser to the Student Council Apache Commission. 

Starting from 2011, the Jane Ortner Education Award recognizes K-12 educators across the country who teach ELA, social studies, science, math, or a foreign language and incorporate music into the classroom in ways such as using it as an educational tool. Winners can only be recipients once and collect a $3,000 honorarium and earn a $1,000 grant for their school. 

Applicants apply for the award by presenting an individual and original lesson plan that is judged on creativity, teachability, transferability, and levels of engagement. Ms. Moore’s lesson submission called “Getting Happy – Life in the Great Depression” is about analyzing the human condition during the Great Depression using songs to engage her students in learning. She will also be given two tickets to the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles which will be held next year in January at the Staples Center. 

Ms. Moore thinks that music is a great way to retain memory. According to her, when teaching, “music helps the era come alive and allows students to understand the emotional truths of the human experience that transcend time.” She believes that it is a reminder about how history is so much more than presidents, laws, and wars. “It’s all about aspects of life and how people experience victories, love, heartache, frustrations, triumphs, and more.” After years of teaching with music, Ms. Moore has seen students connect with people of the past through universal emotions and understandings.

Linked to the Jane Ortner Education Award is the Jane Ortner Artist Award which honors musical artists who epitomize the value of education through the arts. The previous winners of this award are Janelle Monáe, Jackson Browne, Lady Gaga, and John Legend.

The GRAMMY Museum has now opened applications for recipients of the 2020 Jane Ortner Education Award which has a deadline of Dec. 4 this year. Past recipients of the Jane Ortner Education Award include California educational instructors Erica Amann (El Dorado High School), Jonathan Bernal (Topaz Preparatory Academy), Sunshine Cavalluzzi (El Dorado High School), Bianca Wilson Cole (Washington Prep High School), Kylie Ko (Mark Keppel Elementary School), Nicole Naditz (Bella Vista High School), and Nathan Strayhorn (Fayetteville High School) of Arkansas.


Graphic Courtesy of GRAMMY.COM