RFH Teacher of the Year for 2012 – 2013

March 22nd, 2013

Teacher of the Year

RFH Music Director Bill Grillo celebrates his honor as “Teacher of the Year” for 2012-13.


Group Shot

Celebrating Music Director Bill Grillo as RFH “Teacher of the Year” for 2013-14 are Kate Okeson, Head of the RFH Student Education Association, 2012-13 “Teacher of the Year” Sarah Fitzgerald, Vice Principal Chris Lanzalotto, Principal Tracy Handerhan, and Michel Salazar-Linden, Supervisor of Visual and Performing Arts.


Rumson — He is “The Man Behind the Music” at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, and now Bill Grillo is in the spotlight as “RFH Teacher of the Year” for 2013-14.

Since joining RFH as Music Director in 2009, Mr. Grillo has made it his mission to encourage and showcase the talents of student musicians in his roles as both teacher and director. In addition to overseeing the rehearsals and performances of the RFH Marching Band, Jazz Band and Combo, and Pit Orchestra, he teaches the popular courses Songwriting and Recording, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, and Percussion Ensemble.

“I am sure that teachers who have been honored with this award are grateful to know their hard work has not gone unnoticed,” said Mr. Grillo. “But for me, the most important aspect is knowing that my work makes a difference to the students I am surrounded by every day. 

Mr. Grillo enjoys the atmosphere at RFH, which he describes as professional but not rigid.  “My colleagues keep me on my toes by maintaining extremely high standards,” he said. ” I am also fortunate enough to work for an administration that allows me the freedom to oversee the music program in a really progressive manner.”

He addressed the need for a high energy level and a strong work ethic when working with a large crew of talented student musicians.  “My father repaired cars from dawn until dusk every day in order to send his two kids to college, and that is my influence for being a hard worker day in and day out,” he said. “I always do my best to ensure that RFH students receive the highest quality music education possible.”

Mr. Grillo attended the University of Arts in Philadelphia, earning both his Bachelor’s Degree in Musical  Performance and his Master’s Degree in Music Education from the school.

In January 2012, an article Mr. Grillo had written based on his experiences teaching the Songwriting and Recording class was published in TEMPO, the professional journal of the New Jersey Music Educators Association. The article provided lesson ideas for establishing a solid relationship between music and modern recording technology while keeping the emphasis on the actual musical performance.


Mary Ann Kampfe, RFHRHS Public Relations

mkampfe@rfhrhs.org or 908-347-8885        

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