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Glendale High’s Rangel enjoys banner week

Glendale High’s Rangel enjoys banner week
Glendale High School music teacher Amy Rangel with her students Lawrence Degoma, 16, Jay Chung, 17, Richard Mirzoian, 17, Daron Bedrossian, 17, and Jasmine Goc, 17, in the music department. Rangel was selected as one of 25 national semifinalists for a 2019 Music Educator Award. (Tim Berger / Glendale News-Press)

In only a week’s time, Glendale High School music instructor Amy Rangel proved she’s no one-hit wonder.

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The Burbank resident was selected as one of 25 national semifinalists for a 2019 Music Educator Award granted by the Recording Academy, presenters of the Grammy Awards, and the Grammy Museum on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

Fast forward one week and Rangel is at the Grammy Museum on Wednesday to accept another high honor.

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She and her music program were selected to receive a 2018 Grammy Signature Enterprise Award, which is a three-year grant that totals $22,500.

The accolades and the possibilities created because of the grant money have been a bit overwhelming, contended Rangel.

“All this has been unexpected for me, honestly,” Rangel said. “I’ve been nominated for the [teacher of the year award], but never got past the quarterfinals.”

Rangel added, “It’s been amazing and I really did it for the grant money and to be able to promote the program. I want people to send their kids to Glendale High School because we have great things going on here.”

Rangel handles around 250 students in a music program that requires many hats as she runs the marching band, which includes color guard and drumline, a concert band, string orchestra, full orchestra and two jazz bands.

Rangel was one of 25 teachers from 24 cities and 16 states out of a pool of 2,800 hopefuls as the competition was open to instructors from kindergarten to college.

She was also one of four educators from California, but the lone nominee from Los Angeles County.

Rangel will find out if she’s been selected in December as one of 10 finalists in the running for the grand prize.

With the title of music educator of the year comes attendance and acknowledgement during the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles in February, where the winner will receive a $10,000 grant along with an additional $10,000 for the school.

In being a semifinalist, Rangel has already secured a $500 grant. Should she be selected a semifinalist, she would receive a $1,000 grant, as would Glendale.

“I was excited for Ms. Rangel because she’s a cool teacher,” said Diego Garcia, a sophomore saxophone player in Rangel’s class. “It’s good for her to get recognition, and it’s really cool for our music department to get recognition because we’re underfunded.”

Rangel, a district 19-year veteran, applied for the Grammy Signature School contest and hoped for the best.

“They only pick four schools for the Grammys and I had to do some writing and submit audio tapes,” Rangel said. “They want to know that your program sounds decent.”

She added, “The school district does what they can for us financially, but we have to fundraise tens of thousands of dollars to make sure every kid has a working instrument.”

Rangel has been part of a flurry of Glendale teachers and staff who have flourished of late.

Rangel and her band played at the Glendale Educational Foundation breakfast on Oct. 4 during which Glendale High special needs instructor Betsy Astor was lauded as a Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year.

A few months earlier, Glendale High custodial supervisor Krista Smiley was named a California School Employees Assn. Member of the Year.

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