2017 Woodridge Award for Great Teaching

Patricia Redd Johnson taught English, drama, history, and math, for twenty years in various New York City public schools, including IS 44 (where she taught Francisco Núñez), the Music and Art High School, and A. Philip Randolph High School at City College. She then became the first African American Director of Admissions at the Dalton School and, later, at The Hotchkiss School. Promoting school diversity has been central to her life’s work. Ms. Johnson was an Elizabeth Treadwell Fellow at the University of Oxford, England, and holds masters degrees in administration and policy from the City University of New York City and Harvard University, as well as a Masters in English Literature from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. Of her long career, Ms. Johnson says, “My goal was to help my students become lovers of learning, critical thinkers, and caring people unafraid to be themselves.”

Francisco J. Núñez is a composer, conductor, and the founder and artistic director of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. With YPC, Mr. Núñez demonstrates that children can rise to remarkable levels of artistry. He has invigorated the repertoire for young voices by commissioning over 100 compositions from established as well as emerging composers. Mr. Núñez has composed works in many musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments. He is the recipient of an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award and the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award. ABC-TV honored him as its Person of the Week and Fox News profiled him for “changing young lives with music.” NYU Steinhardt honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award; and in 2016 he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College.