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National Spotlight Shines On Bergen Teacher Of Year

Argine Safari teaches music at Pascack Valley High School.
Argine Safari teaches music at Pascack Valley High School. Photo Credit: Classroom Close-Up
Argine Safari is the 2016-2017 New Jersey Teacher of the Year.
Argine Safari is the 2016-2017 New Jersey Teacher of the Year. Photo Credit: Contributed

HILLSDALE, N.J. – A music teacher at Pascack Valley High School in Hillsdale is receiving national attention.

Argine Safari, of Fort Lee, will be honored at the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala in Washington, D.C. in February. She is also one of 38 public educators from throughout the country to receive the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence.

“These outstanding educators are innovators, challengers, and global thinkers,” Harriet Sanford, NEA Foundation president and CEO, said of Safari and the other awardees.

Safari – who was also named the 2016-2017 New Jersey Teacher of the Year and the 2016-2017 Bergen County Teacher of the Year -- was nominated for the honor by the New Jersey Education Association.

At Pascack Valley, Safari has developed a nationally-recognized vocal program and established new vocal groups and courses including an all-male a cappella group, and initiated a district-wide keyboard course, as well as an advanced placement music theory course.

“I believe that my students are powerful and can change the world. We, the educators, are developing true leaders of the future who inspire and help others,” said Ms. Safari.

Safari is also a pianist and vocalist, having performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Zankel Hall.

During the gala on Feb. 9, the NEA will reveal the nation’s top educator. The event will be streamed online at www.neafoundation.org .

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