ST. GEORGE — Keith Goodrich, a Dixie State University alumnus and music teacher at South Jordan’s Elk Ridge Middle School, has been selected as a quarterfinalist for the Music Educator Award given by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.
The award was established to recognize teachers who keep music alive in schools and make a significant contribution to music education. Nominated by an Elk Ridge Middle School counselor, Goodrich is one of 290 quarter-finalists from a pool of more than 3,300 teachers nominated across the U.S. and the only nominee from Utah.
Before starting his teaching career, Goodrich earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Dixie State. Now that he is a teacher, his middle school choir is the largest in Utah with more than 400 students, and he also teaches dance and two orchestra classes. Additionally, he has found success as a choreographer, professional actor and acrobat. He said that his time at Dixie allowed him to pursue a variety of interests and develop the skills he now uses to make a living.
“If I would have gone to another university, I would have had to choose one interest,” Goodrich said. “I had a lot of professors that really encouraged me to pursue these things.”
While at Dixie State, he participated in student government, performed with the dance team and played in the orchestra, all while taking no less than 19 credits per semester. Goodrich said his professors helped make all of it possible by working with his busy schedule.
“There are a lot of people who have helped me get where I am, and many of them are at Dixie,” he said.
Several teachers and staff members impacted him, including music professor Dr. Ken Peterson and Dean of Students Del Beatty, Goodrich said. Additionally, in Goodrich’s own classroom, he utilizes teaching methods he learned from DSU’s Merrilee Webb, director of Raging Red.
“I had the pleasure of working with Keith for approximately six years from the time he was in high school until he graduated from Dixie,” Peterson said. “He has always been highly motivated and great fun to work with. His success comes as no surprise, given his magnetic personality and boundless energy, and we are very proud of the great work he is doing.”
Semifinalists for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award will be announced this weekend, and 10 finalists, who will receive $1,000 each as well as matching grants for their schools, will be named later. The overall winner will receive a $10,000 honorarium, be recognized during GRAMMY week in Los Angeles and will attend the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony.
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