Harlem Music Teacher Receives Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award

Left to right: District 5 Superintendent Gale Reeves; Big Apple Award/Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award winner Dana Monteiro; New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña; Frederick Douglass Academy Principal Joseph Gates; Lincoln Center Education Chair Ann Unterberg

On June 8, Lincoln Center Education, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, was pleased to present the 2016 Lincoln Center Arts Teacher award to Dana Monteiro, a high school music teacher at the Frederick Douglass Academy in Harlem. The Award is part of DOE’s annual Big Apple Awards, a teacher recognition program open to all full-time teachers in public schools across New York City. It is presented to an arts teacher for making a difference in the lives of his or her students and for going above and beyond in their role as an arts educator. Mr. Monteiro is the fourth recipient of this outstanding recognition, and will receive a $3,500 classroom grant to enhance and further his work with students, as well as access to Lincoln Center opportunities.

Mr. Monteiro has 15 years of teaching experience, and throughout his career has maintained a clear focus and dedication to his students via his passion for music. He is a student of Brazilian samba, a musical form that encourages communication, engagement, and improvisation, and has brought these ideals to his classroom. In teaching percussion and samba rhythms to his classes, he has fostered group activity, discussion, and creativity to scores of students, developing a sense of community among them while also teaching them about the culture of the art form. He is recognized for a non-traditional and forward-thinking approach, and his belief in the importance of arts education in urban schools. His students have performed at TED Talks, the Clinton Global Initiative with the Roots, Brasilfest at South Street Seaport, Carnival with Alô Brasil at the World Café in Philadelphia, Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Broward County Performing Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has also started Harlem Samba, a Brazilian percussion ensemble modeled after the samba school baterias of the Rio de Janeiro carnival. The group’s members are students, alumni, and friends of the Frederick Douglass Academy, a high-performing public high school in Harlem, New York City.

“We are delighted to continue Lincoln Center’s celebration of excellence in classroom teaching with this year’s Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award. Partnering with the New York City Department of Education on this recognition has been a highlight of ours since we started in 2013,” said Russell Granet, Executive Vice President, Lincoln Center Education, Community Engagement, and International. “Samba music introduces students to important concepts like structure, bonding, and improvisation—all of which are lifelong skills that learners of any age should master. We applaud Mr. Monteiro’s innovative teaching methods, built from his own studies in Brazil, and how they continue to create a school culture that exemplifies how the world is better with music, creativity, and imagination.”

“Arts instruction is a critical component of a student’s education and dedicated teachers like Mr. Monteiro have such a unique ability to inspire creativity, build confidence, and provide students with an outlet to express themselves,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Each year the Big Apple Awards recognize the profound impact that passionate educators can have on our students and their families, and Iwant to congratulate Mr. Monteiro and all of this year’s recipients for their tireless work to bring high-quality education to our students. These teachers have not only distinguished themselves as exceptional educators, but they’ve also come to represent the countless teachers across our city who, each day, go above and beyond for their students.”

Mr. Monteiro is the fourth winner of the Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award, following Melissa Salguero in 2013, Laurence Minetti in 2014, and Nicole Kasbar in 2015. The Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award is given by Lincoln Center Education and the New York City Department of Education as part of the Big Apple Awards to honor a dance, music, theater, or visual arts teacher for making a difference in the lives of his or her students and for going above and beyond in his or her role as an arts educator. Now in its fourth year, the Big Apple Awards is a citywide program that recognizes and celebrates the educators of New York City who inspire students, model great teaching, and enrich their school communities.

Recipients receive classroom grants to deepen their work with their students, and are also recognized by the Mayor, Chancellor, and members from the education community at the culminating Big Apple Awards ceremony in June.

Learn more about the Big Apple Teacher Awards and all of this year’s honored educators from the New York City Department of Education.

Via Lincoln Center

Photo: (Left to right) District 5 Superintendent Gale Reeves; Big Apple Award/Lincoln Center Arts Teacher Award winner Dana Monteiro; New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña; Frederick Douglass Academy Principal Joseph Gates; Lincoln Center Education Committee Chair Ann Unterberg.

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