Richard Nickerson, director of choral activities at Windham High School, was named one of 10 finalists for the 2017 Music Educator Award, a national program that recognizes “educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.”

Created by the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation, the award will be given during Grammy week and the winner will attend the 59th Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 12. The finalists were announced Thursday on “CBS This Morning.”

Nickerson, who has taught at Windham High for 30 years, was among 25 music educators nationwide who advanced to the semifinal round in October. He also was nominated in 2013, the first year that the award was given, and advanced to the quarterfinals.

A Windham resident, Nickerson conducts three choirs, teaches music courses and serves as music coordinator for the district. He’s been named Maine Music Educator of the Year, Maine Distinguished Choral Director of the Year and was runner-up for Maine Teacher of the Year.

Choral Director Magazine named him one of 10 “Choral Directors of Note” in the United States.

Nickerson considered leaving Windham High to teach at the college level after he earned a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Missouri. But he decided to stay.

“Honestly, I feel this is where I am supposed to be,” he said. “Working with high school kids is my gift.”

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