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  • Writer's pictureErin Madigan White

Weston Wednesday: Meet Nishuane Kindergarten Teacher Troy Mullins



This is the second in our “Weston Wednesday” series, spotlighting the winners of the 2024 Judy Weston Awards for Inspired Teaching. Follow along each week to learn more about the impact these educators are making in the Montclair Public Schools. 


The word that came up repeatedly in nomination letters for Troy Mullins was “belonging.” 


Mr. Mullins creates a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for Nishuane Kindergarten students, one that tells them they are in the right place, that they are a valued member of the class, and that their differences make them unique. 


One parent said, “[Mr. Mullins] tells [kids] from day one that their class is a family.”  And this, they said, is a true gift of his teaching. 


Another gift may be his fun and creative way with words. When offering praise or encouragement, he might say “awesome sauce” or “show me what you know.”  


Yet another talent? He balances work and play in the classroom. He teaches students what they need to know, but leaves room for brain breaks and activities to get out the sillies. 


One parent said: “[Mr. Mullins] claps his hands in a specific way that gets the kids attention, and they all respect it.” 


At parent-teacher conferences, Mr. Mullins demonstrates a detailed understanding of how his students learn, what makes them tick, and how to help them improve.


Mr. Mullins creates a safe space for children to express themselves, gives them leadership opportunities, fosters positive peer interactions, and makes them feel cared for. Ultimately, he excites them to learn. 


Nominators said that Mr. Mullins sets the stage for students in their first year of elementary school for all that a classroom can be, and that he sets the standard for excellence in public education. 


One parent wrote: “I could write a book about my love for Mr. Mullins… I only wish the entire district knew what an amazing teacher and role model he is to these children. He is the definition of excellence.” 


Well, Mr. Mullins, now we do.





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