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Beyond the Books: Cedar Falls music teacher in running for 2018 Grammy Award

Lincoln Elementary School music teacher Michelle Droe rehearsing with students as they gear up for a fall concert.

Teachers often go unrecognized for their efforts in the classroom and community.

Not so at Lincoln Elementary in Cedar Falls, where students past and present are singing the high praises of their music teacher, Michelle Droe.

Former student Eliana Davidson nominated Droe for the 2018 Music Educator Grammy.

"She's done so much for us," said Davidson, "so I think it's time for us to do something for her."

Of the thousands of applicants, Droe became one of only 197 quarterfinalists for the award.

Several current students vouched for their music teacher:

"[Droe] "is by far the best music teacher I've ever had." - Houston Acuff, sixth grade

"I don't know if this school would be complete without a Mrs. Droe." - Gabrielle Bamford, sixth grade

"Mrs. Droe is definitely one of the reasons music has had such a positive impact on my life." - Abby Dvorak, sixth grade

"Without her, it would be kind of weird. You wouldn't have music." - Sidney Prouty, first grade

"She basically lives in the school. She stays here every night, every weekend, she gets here really early, so if she wasn't here, I don't know what we would do." - Lilly Schildroth, fifth grade

"Back from second grade all the way to sixth grade this year, [Droe] is the number one teacher I really like." - Javan Wegener, sixth grade

After making the quarterfinal cut, Droe was tasked with submitting supplemental information, including multiple videos showcasing her teaching and obstacles she's faced and overcome as an educator.

Recently, Droe received some very promising news.

"I got the information that I was in the top 25, and I was just, It's really exciting," said Droe, beaming with pride. "I'm still getting my brain around it actually."

Now a semifinalist for a Grammy Award, Droe said the news doesn't feel real.

Her students, on the other hand, have no shortage of confidence in their favorite teacher.

"If anyone could get a Grammy award, it would be Mrs. Droe," said Schildroth. "She's just so amazing and awesome."

Grammy or not, Droe said her impact in the classroom is her greatest measure.

"Teaching kindness and acceptance to others," said Droe. "Those big things."

The pool of 25 semifinalists will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in 2017.

The winner will be announced shortly thereafter.

If Droe wins, she will board a plane for New York, where she will attend the 60th annual Grammy Awards on January 28.

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