Dwyer to Take Helm of Social Studies Department
As I walk into the classroom, I see a young, energetic man sitting at a desk. With a humble smile on his face, and charismatic eyes, I could tell that he would be exactly the way some of my classmates described him. We introduce ourselves, and I begin my interview to learn more about the well-spoken and respected, Mr. Joseph Dwyer.
Mr. Dwyer started his career as a history teacher in September 2007 at Nutley High School. He taught social studies at the high school level for more than 11 years. However, earlier this year, in February 2018, Dwyer became the Coordinator of Integrated Instructional Technology. After maintaining this position for almost six months, a new opportunity presented itself. Mr. Robert O’Dell retired as the Coordinator of Social Studies for grades K-12, allowing Mr. Dwyer to apply for the position. The Board of Education approved Mr. Dwyer in this new role on May 21 and he will take it on as of July 1, 2018
As a Nutley resident for 23 years, he and his family have been very involved in the district. His wife, Lora, is a fifth grade teacher at Yantacaw School, his sister, Jenna, is a science teacher at the middle school, his mom, Geralynn, is the secretary at Washington School, his grandparents are bus drivers for the district, and his father, Joe, occasionally is a substitute teacher in the district. "I think that the one quality we share is the commitment to hard work and doing things the right way," said Mr. Dwyer. "I think that's what each of us brings, [and] that's a really positive characteristic that I'm proud of."
Mr. Dwyer spoke passionately about his time as a history teacher. “I enjoyed coming here everyday," he said. "I hope I had the impact on the students the way that teachers had on me.”
This year, when he left the classroom to become the Coordinator of Integrated Instructional Technology, his students expressed their gratitude through many gifts. His AP US History classes organized a small party for him, where they also gave him Yeezy’s, a signed book and letter from his favorite author, Eric Foner, and donuts with frosting that had his face printed on them. “I never did this to get anything like that in return," he said. "I just did it because I thought it was good for students. Everytime I teach a lesson or plan a lesson, I would think: is this going to be good for them?,” says Mr. Dwyer.
On his upcoming position, Mr. Dwyer states, “Being coordinator of social studies is what i had always hoped to do.” He continues, “Thankfully the district and Dr. Glazer gave me the opportunity. It all worked out.”