thanks for your reply. Once I added the account I was wanting to push the email to into the course in the teacher role, I had the option, when logged into the account, to Subscribe to the forum. That was the piece I was missing. Thanks for the pointer. Steps completed for this task.
1 - added forum - with optional subscriptions (since did not want students getting notified when other students replied to thread)
2 - added the account to the course in the teacher role (account to notify via email)
3 - ensured account messaging setting would allow a push email notifications (default was to allow)
4 - logged into the account and Subscribed to the forum
Now, when a student replies to the forum, the account will get automatic notification.