EAST HANOVER, N.J. - For the 2017-2018 school year, East Hanover hired about twenty new teachers for their schools. Ms. Danielle Butler is the new first grade teacher at Frank J. Smith Elementary School until November. This is a maternity leave position. She’s not exactly sure what’s going to happen once it’s over, but she is “hoping to stay in this district because I love it here!”

While working as a Head Counselor at Camp Cougar,a program that is run through the school district during the summer, she stayed up-to-date with any open positions in the district. Last year, she worked as a Kindergarten Instructional Aide at FJS. Afterwards, she continued to keep an eye out for other open posts, which led her to this teaching position.

She attended Marywood University in Scranton, PA where she double majored in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. The reason why she became a teacher is because “I’ve always loved working with children and their inquisitive minds. I was a very curious child and I’ve always wanted to help other kids explore their curiosity.”

Sign Up for E-News

She also wanted to learn more about Special Education because she grew up with two close family friends who had autism. “I was always so interested in the different ways they learned to communicate. As I got older, I developed more of an appreciation for the special education world.”

However, before going to Marywood University she went to FJS as a child. She was raised and still lives in East Hanover. Now, being a teacher at the same school she attended when she was little is “a very surreal feeling.”

She stated, “A lot has changed, yet so much is the same. I remember the school being much bigger. As a tiny five-year-old I had to look up at everything, now it’s all eye level! I feel a special connection to the students because I was in these exact seats many years ago. I love being able to teach in the town that I grew up in.”

Outside of school, she likes to watch movies like “Steel Magnolias”, root for the Giants, and spend time outside with her five-year-old Pitbull named Bonez. She also enjoys photography and said, “I’ve taken some of my favorite pictures while exploring outdoors.”