Dwayne Nunez – emerging leader

by Craig Simpson – MenTeach – New England in Boston, MA
Dwayne was first trained to be a Playmaker in 2006, when he was a preschool teacher at Jamaica Plain Head Start. At the time, Dwayne was trained to use transformative play to build stronger relationships with his students and help heal and strengthen them as well. More specifically, he learned how to incorporate joy, social connection, internal control, and active engagement into his everyday work, routine, curriculum, environment, and interactions with colleagues and children alike to help build a fun, loving, creative classroom and school community.

Dwayne took this approach with him to Boston Public Schools after he finished his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2008.  His vision was to create joyful, loving, peaceful, and creative classrooms where children are truly nurtured to reach their full potential.  Not only does he incorporate this approach into gross motor play activities that he leads with children inside the classroom, in the gym, and outside in the playground – Dwayne also incorporates this approach into his curriculum delivery as well.

Dwayne has also volunteered his time at the Haynes after school, running therapeutic game sessions with children during surround care time.  He’s a tremendous asset to his team, school, and community, and is well-respected and liked by all.

Born and raised in Boston, Dwayne has also served as a tremendous role model to the students and families he works with.  Unfortunately today, it is rare to see a male of color working in an early childhood classroom, which Dwayne does with joy and excellence abound.  He preaches the importance of reading to his students.  In addition Dwayne has organized annual support group meetings with male caregivers and parents on the weekend, mentoring them on how to best nurture and care for their young children at home. Dwayne does his best to integrate and involve individuals that impact the lives of children on multiple levels, encouraging them to be a part of his students’ educational lives.  It’s truly an inspiration to see in action, as Dwayne executes his work with love and humility.

Dwayne Nunez – winner of Emerging Professional Award