Argine Safari, a music teacher at Pascack Valley High School, has been awarded two of the most prestigious awards in American education, a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching grant and a Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes fellowship.

Safari is one of 35 recipients of the 2018-19 Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching. She will travel to Finland in January 2019 to develop a global collaborative project with the University of the Arts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy, several Finnish schools, and the Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

On June 17, Safari arrived in Fort Scott, Kan. for a week of collaboration with Lowell Milken Center staff as part of her Milken fellowship.

According to the Milken Center, “Her passion, expertise and innovative ideas have raised the awareness of the arts within her district and nationally. Thirteen years ago, she came to Pascack Valley High School where she developed a nationally recognized vocal program, establishing new vocal groups as well as interdisciplinary district courses, and founding and advising the Tri-M Music Honor Society chapters in both district schools. Under Mrs. Safari’s direction, Pascack Valley choirs earned top awards and accolades, traveling nationally from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, CA and internationally to Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland.

“More importantly, Argine’s students learn the value of true citizenship through their volunteer community work and by raising thousands of dollars for numerous charities.”

Prior to working in Pascack Valley, Argine was the conductor at the Grammy award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus. In 2013, Argine co-founded a non-profit youth theater arts company, Stage Scene and Song Performing Arts (3sPA), and has since been serving as its Artistic director. 3sPA transforms, enlightens and empowers its participants, fostering mutual respect for peers, a tremendous sense of community and camaraderie, and an appreciation for contribution.

Safari is a Grammy-nominated educators who is the 2018 New Jersey Art Educator of the Year, the 2017 New Jersey State Teacher of the Year, the 2017 Evangelina  Menendez Trailblazer, the 2018 NEA Foundation Teaching Excellence Award recipient, and the 2010 Princeton University Distinguished Scholar. Safari is pursuing her PhD in Learning, Instruction and Innovation from Walden University.

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