Jefferson Band Director Quarterfinalist in Grammy Music Educator Award

Carrie Pawelski, Jefferson Middle School band director, is pictured.

Dr. Carrie Pawelski, Jefferson Middle School band director, was named a quarterfinalist in the Grammy Music Educator Award program, a joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum.

Sixteen New York music educators are among 219 across the country named for this prestigious award. The winning recipient will be recognized during Grammy Week 2023.

“Dr. Pawelski is a tremendous asset and integral part of our Jefferson Middle School Family,” said Leslie Melquist, Jefferson Middle School principal. ” She consistently goes above and beyond for our kids. Carrie adheres to the theory that it takes a village to raise a child, and this can be seen in how she advocates and supports the students at Jefferson.”

Pawelski has been the band director at Jefferson for six years, is on staff as a brass technician with the JHS Red Raider Marching Band and she holds an adjunct position in the School of Music at SUNY Fredonia, where she directs the All College Band.

Former student, JHS senior Kylie Luce, nominated Dr. Pawelski.

“I saw the opportunity to nominate a teacher on the JPS Facebook page and I knew immediately that I would nominate Dr. Pawelski,” said Kylie, who will be attending JCC for nursing. “Dr. Pawelski has been such a big part of my life. I transferred from Persell to Jefferson in seventh grade and she made such a big impact as I played the trumpet in her band. She is so upbeat and motivating – she lights up a room when she comes in. She is passionate about music and passes that passion and motivation onto her students. She is encouraging, a friend to talk to, and just a great person overall. I was so proud to nominate her and that she received a quarterfinalist award.”

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (teaching kindergarten through college, in public and private schools) 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 the schools. Each year, one recipient is selected from ten (10) finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winning honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 65th annual Grammy Awards and a range of Grammy Week events.

“I am so honored to have qualified as a quarterfinalist and it is very special that Kylie nominated me,” said Dr. Pawelski. “It is especially gratifying to see my fellow music teachers from Chautauqua County, Phillip McMullen from Silver Creek and Andy Bennett from Fredonia, also receive this award. And let’s not forget that Kent Knappenberger, choral director at Westfield, was the first teacher to win this award back in 2014! To have a former winner and three teachers from a small county in New York qualify for the Grammy Music Educator Award shows what a special community of music education we have here in Chautauqua County. Working with my outstanding colleagues in Jamestown and throughout the county is an honor and a privilege that I truly appreciate.”


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