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'I immediately burst into tears:' Kaukauna teacher named semi-finalist for Grammy Music Educator award

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KAUKAUNA, Wis. (CBS 58) – A Wisconsin music teacher and choir director is being recognized for her dedication to her students.

For the last 21 years, Joy Paffenroth has helped hundreds of thousands of students at Kaukauna High School.

Poffenroth was selected as a semi-finalist, out of more than 3,300 nominations nationwide, for the Grammy’s Music Educator award.

“That was exciting,” she said.

On top of that, Poffenroth was the only teacher in Wisconsin to make it to the semi-finals.

“I cried,” she said. “I immediately bust into tears.”

Although she didn’t win this year’s award, she said seeing her student succeed is more than enough.

“That’s my job,” she said. “That’s my calling and that’s what I want to do.”

For Paffenroth, music isn’t just about reading the notes on the page.

“I think it’s the ultimate feeling of humanity,” she said. “Of feeling what it is to be alive, be connected to others.”

You can watch the 62nd annual Grammy Awards on CBS 58 on Sunday at 7 p.m.

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