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STEAM Teacher of the Year - Ms. Shahidah Dunbar




Ms. Shahidah Dunbar, STEAM Teacher of the Year!

Shahidah Dunbar

STEAM Teacher of the Year


Congratulations to Ms. Shahidah Dunbar who was named STEAM Academy’s Teacher of the Year!  The New Jersey Teacher of the Year Program highlights educational innovation and student achievement that lead to student success.  “Ms. Dunbar’s passion for scholar excellence combined with her love for the city of Newark makes her a valuable member of our school community and we are all proud of her outstanding accomplishment,” said A. Robert Gregory, MPTCS’ Superintendent and CEO.


A special education resource room teacher for 2nd through 4th grade scholars, Ms. Dunbar has been inspiring Marion P. Thomas Charter School (MPTCS) scholars to excel for  more than a decade. “She is a phenomenal teacher, who has made great strides with our scholars,” explained Ms. Finn-Bruce, STEAM Academy’s principal. “She engages parents; advocates for her students; conducts workshops enabling other teachers to benefit from her experience and she serves as a mentor to new staff,” Ms. Finn-Bruce added.


A graduate of Rutgers University, Ms. Dunbar joined the MPTCS Village In 2005 as a teacher’s assistant.  She soon became a long-term substitute for a teacher who was out on maternity leave. Her experience in the classroom convinced her to make a commitment to the students of MPTCS.  She returned to school, enrolling at Kean University, where she earned a certification in Special Education. She is a consummate student, always investigating and researching best practices that will lead to positive outcomes for her students.


In addition to her willingness to continuously improve her skills, Ms. Dunbar has a smile that brightens any classroom.  It is her infectious positive energy, creativity and connection to her students and their families that led to the principal nominating her for this prestigious honor.  “I am truly honored and humbled with this recognition,” exclaimed Ms. Dunbar. “And, while I am the one receiving this honor, there are so many dedicated teachers, staff and administrators who deserve recognition for the countless hours and boundless energy they invest in our scholars,” explained Ms. Dunbar.  


We applaud Ms. Dunbar for her contributions to the MPTCS village and for all that she does to impact the next generation.