Basic Academy’s INspire Choir


At Basic Academy of International Studies, Mr. Ryan Duff teaches six choirs with more than 300 students participating, directs school musicals, chairs the CCSD Honor Choir, and maybe most notably…..leads a very special, talented group called INspire Choir.

A year ago, Mr. Duff created the INspire Choir for participants to sing, dance and play instruments; giving these students opportunities to perform that they otherwise might not have. INspire choir performs often at school events for staff and students, as well as families, including recently to highlight Halloween, and bring Christmas cheer to peers!

The love of music is strong with these students. The school-wide performances are pivotal to a feeling of pride, but often the simple act of going to a INspire Choir – a class packed with positivity and optimism is something to be thrilled about.

Hunter Brown, a Senior, said “When I’m coming down that hallway to go and basically sing…it’s just fun to me….I’ve always loved singing.”

Mr. Duff is being recognized for his remarkable work….and not just from students. He is one of 20 teachers to receive a 2017 Heart of Education Award from nonprofit The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. He was chosen from several hundred finalists.

In regards to the recognition, Mr. Duff said, “I’m incredibly humbled by the honor to be able to do this for my students….and to honor them as well.”

The Smith Center’s Heart of Education Awards honors outstanding teachers in Clark County School District. Every year, hundreds of finalists are honored at a red-carpet event at The Smith Center. 20 winners each receive a $5,000 cash prize, plus a $1,000 donation to their school.
If you know of a teacher that deserves a nomination – let the Smith Center know!

Nominations for The Smith Center’s third-annual Heart of Education Awards are still open  but the nomination deadline is today, January 18! Anyone can nominate a teacher at

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