WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – It was a homecoming Dr. Jeffery Redding was not expecting from his students at West Orange High School.
School faculty and staffed surprised longtime choral director Redding on Tuesday with a special ceremony welcoming him back a couple of days after he won the 2019 Grammy Educator Award.
"It means so much," Redding said. "It's one of the most important things if someone believes in you because it inspires you to do somethings."
Redding said he considers the award the biggest highlight of his career.
Redding was front and center among hundreds of music's biggest stars Sunday night during the 61st annual Grammy Awards.
"I'm still trying to sink it in, but I've been blessed. I haven't asked for any of this," Redding said.
Not only were his students waiting for his special arrival Tuesday morning, but longtime friends, including Andrea Green, who teaches music at Jones High School, were also on hand.
"When one wins, we all win," Green said. "And it just means a lot to be here because I remember the struggles. I remember us working hard to be great."
The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education.
Redding will receive a $10,000 personal honorarium, and the school will receive $10,000.