SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- Nora Hernandez is a SoCal music teacher about to get national recognition from the CMA Foundation. We caught up with her at Fitz Intermediate School in Santa Ana, where she talked about her passion for teaching and bringing music to people at a young age.
"I would teach for free, I really would. It's such an honor to just be in front of students," Hernandez said as she smiled. "If I can just start them young and help them see themselves, that they're loved, that they're capable of doing great things, it's so worth it."
Hernandez is 100% in her element in front of her students. With a beaming smile and infectious energy, she brings music lessons to life with passion and purpose.
"They bring me joy and seeing their smiles and seeing them happy, then I'm happy," she said.
She will travel from Santa Ana to Nashville to be honored as a Music Teacher of Excellence. The CMA Foundation award recognizes educators like Hernandez for their dedication in bringing high quality music education to their students and community.
"Never in a million years did I ever think that I would get an award like this, let alone nationally. But I feel like that if the people that are seeing me now, like my students, if they see me, they can feel like they can also achieve something like this or even greater. I have that responsibility of being a good educator, or just being a good person to kind of pave the way and open doors for them, that maybe felt impossible. So for me, it is an honor to receive this award. I'm humbled and I'm just excited to represent my community," Hernandez said.
Hernandez will be one of 30 to receive the 2023 Music Teacher of Excellence award later in September in Nashville, Tennessee.
The 57th Annual Country Music Association Awards will be held on Nov. 8 in Nashville, and you can watch it right here on ABC7.