Tara DuHaime received Wanaque School's award for her work teaching second-graders. DuHaime taught in Wanaque for two-and-a-half years and previously owned a childcare center. She also taught in Hawthorne and has 17 years of experience.
"I was caught completely off-guard," DuHaime said of the award. "I was in shock for most of the day. I wasn't expecting it at all."
A committee of Wanaque staffers selected DuHaime after she was nominated by her peers. The winner comes from a grading scale where the committee evaluates each nominee's strengths, Principal Charles Frick said.
DuHaime will now have the chance to be named the county or even the state's educator of the year if she chooses to pursue it. She said she was still trying to process her initial selection.
"Mrs. DuHaime is an excpetional teacher," Frick told Daily Voice. "She's active in the community as well as in the school so I'm really glad she's a member of my staff."
DuHaime grew up in Pompton Lakes and currently resides in Jefferson Township. Being recognized is only icing on the cake of her career.
"When you get to live your passion every day," she said, "you just love your job."
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