Pickerington Times-Sun

Sewell quarterfinalist for Grammy Foundation award


Pickerington High School Central Band Director Mike Sewell recently was among seven Ohio teachers named as quarterfinalists for the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation Music Educator Award.

Sewell was the only central Ohio teacher identified as a quarterfinalist for the award, which will be given for the first time during the 2014 Grammy Awards ceremony.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize educators from kindergarten to college who have made significant contributions to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools.

In total, more than 30,000 initial nominations from all 50 states were submitted for the award. There were 217 educators selected quarterfinalists from 45 states.

Semifinalists will be announced in August, and a total of 10 finalists will be selected from that group.

The winner will receive a $10,000 honorarium and be flown to Los Angeles to receive the award during the 2014 Grammy Awards ceremony.

The nine other finalists each will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and their respective schools will receive a matching grant for music education programming.

Sewell has been the director of bands at Pickerington High School since 1981.

He now serves as the director of the PHS Central marching band, chamber winds, pep bands, jazz bands, and musical orchestra.

He graduated from Whitehall-Yearling High School in 1975, and received his bachelor's degree in music education (with honors) in 1979 from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio.

After serving as head band director in the Crooksville Exempted School District for two years, Sewell accepted the position of director of bands at Pickerington.

He received his master's degree from Florida State University in 1985, where he assisted the award-winning Marching Chiefs.

He was inducted into the Whitehall-Yearling High School Hall of Fame in 1993 for his accomplishments in music and the community, and in May 2000 he was named Pickerington High School's Teacher of the Year and the Pickerington Local School District Teacher of the Year.

In his spare time, Sewell coaches seventh-grade basketball, and has assisted with varsity and seventh-grade baseball.

He is a member of OMEA, Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma Honoraries and Torch and Key.

Sewell and his wife, Karen, have four children: Daniel, Alyson, Andrew, and Lea Hope.