University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

USF Music Education Alumna Melissa Salguero is a Finalist for the $1 Million Global Teaching Prize

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Melissa Salguero at the 2018 GRAMMY Awards

Melissa Salguero at the 2018 GRAMMY awards, where she accepted the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.

USF music education alumna and music teacher Melissa Salguero is a top 10 finalist for the Global Teaching Prize for her work teaching music to students at the P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake school in the South Bronx, New York City.

The Global Teaching Prize, hosted by the Varkey Foundation, is an annual $1 million award presented to a teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession.

Upon joining the school in 2010, Salguero established a school band program to bring music to students, many of whom face issues such as homelessness, poverty, and violence. She applied to grants to raise money for musical instruments, which are provided to the students free of charge.

Salguero wakes up early to meet with students before school and has noticed an increase in her students’ school attendance since starting the program.

After their instruments were stolen and vandalized in 2014, Salguero’s students wrote lyrics for a song, “We Will Rise,” which was recorded and distributed as part of their crowdfunding campaign to raise money for new instruments.

Their campaign attracted the attention of Ellen Degeneres, who invited Salguero to the show and in conjunction with printing company Shutterfly donated instruments and $50,000 to the P.S. 48 music program.

In 2018, Salguero was named the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year for her work with P.S. 48.

Salguero will attend a Global Teaching Prize concert on March 23 and the Global Teaching Prize award ceremony on March 24 in Dubai.

Press links

March 12, 2019
Fox 43: This educator is the first music teacher ever to be nominated for the Global Teacher Prize

March 10, 2019
New York State United Teachers: Grammy winning New York public school teacher is ready for the global stage

March 08, 2019
PIX 11: Bronx music teacher heads to Dubai as a finalist for Global Teacher Prize

March 7
WCBS: Bronx names day after award-nominated teacher

March 1, 2019
Bronx Times: Melissa Salguero named finalist for $1M Global Teacher Prize

February 25, 2019
CBS New York: Bronx Music Instructor Finalist In Global Teaching Competition, $1M Prize

February 20, 2019
Education Week Teacher: This U.S. Music Teacher Is a Finalist for a $1 Million Global Teaching Prize

Monday, December 31, 2019
CT Post: Global Teaching Prize finalist calls Bridgeport home