Sweet Spot With Mike Sugerman: Bronx Educator First-Ever Music Teacher To Be Global Teacher Prize Finalist

By WCBS Newsradio 880

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Who’s the best teacher in the world? It could be a Bronx educator who is up for a $1 million prize this weekend. That’s today’s Sweet Spot with Mike Sugerman.

Melissa Salguero is a top 10 finalist for this year’s Global Teacher Prize.

Her unorthodox and passionate way of teaching music first caught the eye of the Grammy’s, who awarded her Music Teacher of the Year in 2018.

Then Ellen DeGeneres presented her with a $50,000 check.


The P.S. 48 teacher is the only American in the running. She's also the first-ever music teacher to be named a finalist.

“It gets me emotional because I love this community so much. I would do anything for these kids," Salguero said.

“When we say, ‘I can’t do this anymore,' she tells us, 'Never give up,'" says second-grader Dismairy.

It was a long road for Miss Salguero -- from troubled student to best teacher in the world.

“As a student who was dyslexic, she knows what students need and she wants to make sure every student in Hunts Point gets music education,” says P.S. 48 principal Joesph Dicrescento.

Salguero said music saved her life and school finally made sense to her.

“I learned what it was to persevere through the struggle," Salguero said.

She knows what many kids are going through and obviously gets through to her students.

If she wins the grand prize this weekend, Salguero said she plans to get more instruments for the school. And the kids want a pizza party.