Receiving the Presidential Award is the pinnacle of my success as a teacher. As an early elementary teacher, I try to foster a love for mathematics by making the learning interactive, relevant, and fun. This award validates my pedagogical choices and inspires me to continue my path of professional learning to become an even better teacher of mathematics. I am beyond honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious award.

Michael Dunlea Tabernacle, NJ | K-6, Mathematics, 2018

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Michael Dunlea has taught for the last two years at Tabernacle Elementary School. Previously, he taught second grade for 14 years in Stafford Township, NJ. He currently teaches all subjects to his third-grade students. Michael has always loved mathematics and in 2015 was appointed by the New Jersey Department of Education to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards committee for kindergarten-second grade mathematics. The state standards were adopted in 2016 and now impact all students in the state. Michael is writing his district’s mathematics curriculum as a member of the curriculum cohort. Embedding authentic, hands-on learning activities is his goal to help change the mindset of students. Michael wants his students to see mathematics as relevant, fun, and exciting, while decreasing student and parent anxiety that often accompanies it. Michael utilized the New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey alternate route to become a teacher. He holds a B.A. in history from Thomas Edison State College, a master's in educational technology from New Jersey City University, and is working towards a second master's in educational leadership from Mount Holyoke College. Michael is National Board Certified as an Early Childhood Generalist. His professional learning has led him to engage his young learners with experiential learning.