Resolution J3508-2013

Honoring Kent Knappenberger upon the occasion of receiving the inaugural GRAMMY Music Educator Award



  • Feb 27, 2014: ADOPTED
  • Feb 10, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION honoring Kent Knappenberger upon the occasion of
his designation as recipient of  the  inaugural  GRAMMY  Music  Educator

WHEREAS,  It  is the sense of this Legislative Body to honor those indi-
viduals whose character and achievements best exemplify the  ideals  and
values cherished by the great State of New York; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to honor Kent
Knappenberger upon the occasion of his designation as recipient  of  the
inaugural GRAMMY Music Educator Award; and
  WHEREAS,  This  auspicious  occasion was celebrated at the 56th Annual
GRAMMY Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles, California, on January 26,  2014;
the  award  was  presented  to Kent Knappenberger as part of the Special
Merit Awards Ceremony and Nomination Reception held  before  the  GRAMMY
awards on January 25, 2014; and
  WHEREAS,  Kent  Knappenberger,  his wife Nannette and daughters, Lucy,
Esther, and Amanda, walked the red carpet at Los Angeles' Wilshire Ebell
Theatre along with music legends including Ringo Starr, Kris Kristoffer-
son, and the Isley Brothers; he  delivered  a  heart-warming  acceptance
speech  about  the importance of music and fine arts education for chil-
dren sharing that "music helps us construct who  we  are;  it  makes  us
become more fully human"; and
  WHEREAS, The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current
educators  -  teaching  kindergarten through college, in both 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; the award
was open to any current music teacher in the United States; the teachers
could be nominated by anyone, both  inside  and  outside  the  education
system;  more  than  30,000  teacher nominations from all 50 states were
accepted; and
  WHEREAS, Kent Knappenberger  or  Mr.  "K",  as  he  is  known  to  his
students,  is currently a music teacher for sixth through twelfth grade,
and choir director at Westfield Academy and Central School where he  has
taught  for  25  years;  he  is  also the director of the singing groups
Apemen, Firecrackers, and Westwinds, and directs the Drama Club, McClurg
Street String Band, various school musicals, and a steel pan group; and
  WHEREAS, Kent Knappenberger holds a bachelor's degree from  the  State
University of New York at Fredonia and a master's degree in music educa-
tion,  harp performance, and literature from Eastman School of Music; he
is also a member of the National Education Association; and
  WHEREAS, There is no one more humble and deserving of such  a  signif-
icant  accomplishment,  and  it is an honor the GRAMMY foundation recog-
nized an outstanding teacher from a small school in  Upstate  New  York;
Westfield  Academy  and  Central School has an enrollment of roughly 300
students; and
  WHEREAS, Along with the GRAMMY award, this devoted  educator  received
an  honorarium,  which  he  plans  to  use for instruments, sheet music,
equipment, and even some musical experiences  for  the  school  district
that otherwise would be unattainable; and
  WHEREAS,  Kent  Knappenberger  and  his  wife,  Nannette are the proud
parents of nine children, eight of whom were adopted from Brazil,  where
Kent  served  as  a volunteer music teacher at the Ana Gonzaga Methodist
Institute in Rio de Janiero; and
  WHEREAS, Kent Knappenberger epitomizes the passion for music and  love
of  teaching  that characterizes thousands of music educators who make a

difference in the lives of the children and youth of our  country  every
day; his genuine love for what he does, and the mutual respect and admi-
ration between him and his students, are evident in his teaching; and
  WHEREAS,  There are many remarkable stories in the world of education,
but few are as impressive as that of Kent Knappenberger, who  serves  as
an inspiration to us all; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
congratulate Kent Knappenberger upon the occasion of his designation  as
recipient  of  the  first-ever  GRAMMY  Music  Educator Award; and be it
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Kent Knappenberger.


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