Even though many of his students had never played an instrument before taking his class, the jazz band took fifth place at the Berklee College of Music's High School Jazz Fest last year. Vega is the sole member of Rauner's music department.
"People" readers nominated their favorite teachers and editors selected five teachers nationwide to receive the magazine's first-time honor. Vega will be featured in the October 22 issue of "People", on newsstands October 12, and honored at a luncheon in New York on Wednesday . The magazine will donate $4000 to Rauner and give $1000 to Vega.