Luke Skerpon teaches music at Bellefonte Area High School. He's now one of 222 quarterfinalists for the Grammy Foundation Music Educator Award.
You could say music class at Bellefonte High is popular.
"The choir is larger than I've ever seen it," senior Caitlin Rokavec said. "They come here, they learn and they stay."
Rokavec said it's thanks to Mr. Skerpon.
"He has a way with transforming people into singers and to have a passion for this," she said.
Skerpon's passion is music and he's striking the right chord with his students.
"If there's anything we need done, he makes sure he finds time in his schedule to help us," senior Sarah Horner said.
"He has a lot of energy, which is really good and brings a lot of good results in the choir," senior Jessica Brown said.
Skerpon has been teaching choir at Bellefonte High since 2012. He also helps with the marching band and school musicals.
"I don't go to work, I go do something I enjoy all day," Skerpon said. "Music is its own language itself. It's just a way for everyone to express themselves and do something they enjoy."
He's making an impact inside and outside of the classroom.
"You're working with students who are passionate about something you're passionate about," Skerpon said. "That just energizes you. It's a way I can share something I love with students and teaching. I don't even know how to put it into words sometimes."
Brown thanks Skerpon for inspiring her college education.
"He really inspired me to be more like him, so I've been working to prepare to be a music educator and I look to him to be a mentor," she said.
Just one reason she thinks Skerpon is a deserving candidate.
More than 7,000 music teachers were nominated. The field is now down to 222.
It's an honor Skerpon thanks his students for.
"A performance class like this, it's all about the students. The work that they do is what the public sees and the work they do is what enriches the program and enriches you as an educator," he said. "I might be the one nominated, but really, my students are nominated too because of the work they do to fulfill that."
Skerpon said now they're submitting videos of choir practice for the judges to review.
Finalists for the award will be announced this fall.
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