Twenty-six-year-old Nutley High School history teacher, Joseph Dwyer III, was named teacher of the year in March by the Veteran of Foreign Wars, VFW, in which both Belleville and Nutley teachers were considered for the honor.
"They were looking for someone who practiced civics and patriotism," Dwyer said. "Since I taught US history I was approached by my supervisor Bob O'Dell about it who was involved with the VFW."
It wasn't just because Dwyer was a history teacher, wresting coach and a class advisor for the last few years or that he helped the senior class graduate. When he received the award at the Nutley VFW, 271 Washington Ave., on March 19 they announced all the creative programs he was involved in that made him the winner.
In his three years teaching in Nutley High School he did a lot of work with elementary students to educated them about the country.
In a previous summer, he gathered up students to make a historical movie in a fun way to teach the kids about American history.
"It turned into more a 'Night at the Museum' type of movie but they had a lot of fun with it," Dwyer said.
On a few Saturdays, last year, Dwyer organized a mock trial for elementary students to get an introduction the the judicial process and laws of the US.
Dwyer teaches sophomore and junior students history as part of a two-year curriculum designed to teach as much US history as possible he said. He is a graduate of Rutgers Newark and is currently attending Montclair State University for his graduate degree in history.