ARVADA, Colo. — Arvada West High School choir teacher Chris Maunu has been recognized as a “Music Teacher of Excellence” by the Country Music Association (CMA) Foundation.
Maunu will attend Wednesday’s CMA Awards in Nashville, which will broadcast on ABC at 7 p.m. MT.
Maunu has worked at Arvada West for 15 years and said working with young people is the best part of his job.
“I think of the music classroom as more than just learning notes and rhythms. It’s really about using music to access beauty — more vulnerable parts of the human experience,” Maunu said.
The CMA Foundation is celebrating 10 years of recognizing teachers who have the greatest impact on their students and use music as a vehicle for change. There are 30 honorees for 2021 — the first class since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maunu said he hopes his recognition helps shine a spotlight on teachers everywhere.
“There are thousands of people who would be just as deserving as me, so I'm grateful that I can be kind of a representative of what teachers are doing everywhere,” he said.