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MacArthur band director receives Channel 2’s community service award

For the last 23 years, Jose Diaz has shared his love and knowledge of music with the students of MacArthur Senior High School.  His devotion to his students, and the MacArthur community, was richly rewarded when he was named the recipient of the Jefferson Award, presented by Channel 2.
Channel 2 news anchor Bill Balleza presented Diaz with the award in May when he visited the Aldine ISD school to interview Diaz for a segment that ran on June 5 on the NBC affiliate.
The award is presented to individuals in the Houston area for their achievements and the contributions they make in the community.
Diaz, who was nominated for the award by MacArthur parent Susan Robles, said winning the award was humbling.

“This award lets me know that the time I spend volunteering and working to help others is appreciated by people in our community. That means a lot to me,” he said.
Diaz’s boss, MacArthur High principal Nancy Blackwell, said Channel 2 could not have picked a more deserving person than Diaz to receive the honor.
“Mr. Diaz has impacted the campus of MacArthur and the members of the community in countless ways,” she said. “He has what I call, ‘stickability.’ He sticks with the school and the kids and motivates them in every way possible. It is fitting that the parents chose to nominate him for this award.”
In addition to teaching music and directing MacArthur High’s band and award-winning Jazz Ensemble, Diaz also runs the Diaz Music Institute, which was founded in 1999. The highlight of the yearlong Institute is the Summer Music Workshop, which is held in June.
Diaz said the Institute inspires young musicians to hone their skills and make them realize the talent they possess.
“The most celebrated aspect of the Institute is the Summer Music Workshop. This conservatory style program has a very aggressive curriculum to develop students to a high performance level,” he said.
Music has played an important role in Diaz’s life ever since he was a young man growing up in Chicago. It was music that helped to shape his life and allow him to focus on the future.
“Music has helped me develop the self-esteem and courage I needed to survive in our world,” he said. “Developing my music skills has helped me to become more disciplined, motivated and competitive. Performing with a group has taught me the social skills I need to get along with others and to work for a common goal.”
And for the last 23 years, the students of MacArthur High School have had the good fortune to benefit from Diaz’s vast knowledge and caring style as a teacher and mentor.
“I think it’s important for everyone to know that what we do does not go unnoticed,” Diaz said. “It is also imperative for our students to know that charity work is essential and it is part of what we do as citizens in this country.”