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CCSD choir director nominated for Grammy award |

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CCSD choir director nominated for Grammy award

HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — A Clark County School District teacher is receiving a big honor. The choir director at Green Valley High School is a semifinalist for the 2021 Grammy Music Educator Award.

There were nearly 2,000 nominations submitted from all 50 states. The Recording Academy and Grammy Museum dwindled the list to 25 semi-finalists.

One of those music teachers is from Las Vegas and the only educator from Nevada up for this national award. 

Kim Ritzer is definitely hitting a high note in her career.

"I'm just honored to have gotten this far," said Ritzer. "I was nominated for the music educator Grammy that is put out by the Grammy Association."

It is a welcome surprise for the choir director at Green Valley High School.

The national award recognizes teachers making a significant and lasting contribution to music education, while demonstrating a commitment to keeping music education in schools.

"I do what I do because I love it,” Ritzer said. “I've always wanted to teach choir, that's all I ever wanted to do." 

She has been teaching music for 31 years in the Clark County School District. The pandemic made it her first experience though only teaching online.

"We're still singing and making music," Ritzer said.

She is adjusting to distance education, while continuing to build the choir program known to perform around the country.

"We sang at Carnegie Hall," Ritzer said.

They also sang back-up for the Rolling Stones in 2013 during a concert in Las Vegas.

But her lessons and passion for music education go beyond the classroom.

"She's showed thousands of students how to find their voice and use it to make the world a better place," said Kent Roberts of Green Valley High School.

"Hardwork, kindness, bravery and enthusiasm are just a few of the qualities Mrs. Ritzer exudes on a daily basis and helps to instill in all of us," added former student Jason Reed.

Her principal and students submitted testimonials. All praise her ability to inspire the next generation of singers.

"I built a program there that I'm very, very proud of," Ritzer said.

Ten finalists will be named next month, and a winner will be highlighted during the 2021 Grammy week events, along with receiving a $10,000 prize and matching grant for their school’s program.