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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2016-17 NJ Teacher of the Year
Argine Safari’s classroom at Pascack Valley High School is a hive of activity. Students enter during their lunch period to practice “My Shot” from “Hamilton” with a group or to play Adele songs on the piano independently. The walls are decorated with photos of previous classes and choral groups, family photos, and fluorescent collages commemorating performances. The stadium seating permits maximum visibility for the woman at the center of the action, even as a stuffed gorilla hunched over the drum set in the back of the room does its best to distract. For the past 11 years, this has been the epicenter of Safari’s professional life, but her story begins far away, in Yerevan, Armenia.

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