RNJ News Department

Veteran MOHS art teacher named Morris County Teacher of the Year

Diane Phares, an art teacher at Mount Olive High School in Flanders, was recently named Morris County Teacher of the Year by the New Jersey Department of Education.

“Diane is a master educator who leads her students on a journey of self-discovery infused with creativity, imagination, and wonderment,” said Kevin Stansberry, MOHS principal. “She fosters the love of art and cultivates the artistic expressiveness of her students, allowing them to reveal their heart, soul, and individuality in their work.”

Mrs. Phares is in her 13th year at MOHS. She teaches advanced and AP art classes, and serves as co-advisor to the school’s chapter of the National Art

Honor Society.

“As a teacher, you just don’t expect to receive recognition because you see so many devoted educators giving of themselves every day without any special appreciation, so receiving this honor is very special,” she said. “I am grateful to be surrounded by talented colleagues who freely share their expertise, hold each other up, and delight in being educators.

“Teaching art is my passion and my students inspire me every day in so many different ways. Helping each one of them find their individual voice through the visual arts is incredibly gratifying.”

County Teachers of the Year are first selected at the school level and district level. They then compete for county recognition and are selected by panels representing a cross-section of administrators, teachers, and parents.