A middle school band director with Orange County roots received the ultimate honor as being declared as the 2020 Music Educator at the GRAMMY’s on Sunday, Jan. 26.
In the early stages of his career, Mickey Smith Jr. worked as the West Orange Stark Middle School band director. He’s spent the last 15 years in that role at Maplewood Middle School in Sulphur and in his time across the state border, Smith has grown more than 500% to now encompass about half of the student population.
“His goal is to help provide a quality education to each child in his classroom and throughout his community by promoting positive learning experiences where children not only grow musically, but personally, too,” reads the award-winner’s bio. “Smith sees music and education as opportunities for all to discover the best in themselves. Through his nonprofit, MusicMakers2U, Smith provides instruments to children in the community. Throughout the school year, Smith conveys a message to students that each one of them has a ‘sound.’ Smith describes his personal ‘sound’ as his ability to entertain, educate and elevate everyone to excellence. This is made evident as he demonstrates the power of music by emotionally connecting with students, educators and audiences throughout his entire community and across the country.”
As winner of the GRAMMY’s 2020 Music Educator, Smith was awarded a $10,000 honorarium with a matching school grant, as well as a trip to the GRAMMY Awards ceremony.