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My family and I live in Stafford Township by Long Beach Island. My wife and I have three children, two daughters and son in the middle, ages 21, 20, and 14.  I grew up in Atlantic Highlands and have lived all over New Jersey.


This will be my 16th year teaching. I have taught preschool, first grade and second grade.  I have a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from NJCU and am currently pursuing my 2nd Masters Degree in Teacher Leadership from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Over the years I have received a few awards and honors including in 2012 NJ State Teacher of the Year Finalist, 2016 & 2018 Presidential Award of Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and 2017 Henry Ford Innovative Teacher Award. This year I was selected as a 2018 Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. 


My core belief is that students need to be supported in a welcoming environment in order to find the courage to take the risks needed to learn.  I teach children lessons, not lessons to children.  Our class rules are to Believe, Try and Enjoy.  Students in our class have a wonderful time discovering new thresholds of their learning.  Failure is a celebrated step toward success. I share with students that I did not get National Board Certified the first time but instead missed by 2 points and had to resubmi. The year begins with building trust upon which grows the confidence.


Parents and guardians are welcomed partners in the learning process. I believe that only when we work together can a student see the greatest progress and growth.  


Email me at

Follow me on Twitter at @MichaelJDunlea

My Blog- Second Thoughts