Hoboken Charter School art teacher and director of service learning Scott Duff has been nominated for the 2017-2018 national LifeChanger of the Year award.

Sponsored by the National Life Group Foundation, LifeChanger of the Year recognizes and rewards the very best K-12 educators and school district employees across the United States who are making a difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.

Duff was nominated by a colleague, Patricia Hall, as well as Marni Fylling, Valerie Sessa, and Chase Leyner, three parents of students. He has won numerous awards for his teaching ability, including the New Jersey Governor’s State Teacher’s Award.

Duff is accomplished in his own right as a practicing artist, poet, actor, and performance artist. He has not only had his own gallery exhibits, but he has also curated shows, including a show featuring his students’ work in a gallery.

“More than once, as we have carried artwork home, people have stopped us on the street to find out where we got it and if they could buy it,” Sessa said. “When he hangs the children’s art in the school, it looks like a professional gallery show. My children have learned not just how to create art, but how to appreciate and critique art, which has been fun for the entire family as we visit galleries and museums.”

In addition to teaching art, Duff serves as the Director of Service Learning at HCS. He has traveled to Mexico, Peru, and various places in Africa to help with clean water initiatives and build health centers, among other service projects. These trips serves as an impetus for his own art, the art of the students, and other classroom initiatives.

In the 2007-2008 school year, Duff joined forces with H2O for Life, an organization that provides water and sanitation for partner schools in the developing world. For the past decade, he has worked with H2O for Life to educate his students about the global water crisis and the local and global impact of water. Through his initiative, Hoboken Charter School has provided funding that has changed the lives for thousands of kids in developing countries, and has impacted the lives of Hoboken students and their community.

“I believe that Mr. Duff embodies all the values of a LifeChanger of the Year,” said Sessa. “He is a professional in his own right who has chosen a path of not just a fully participating citizen, but as a leader within his school/community and across the nation and world, making differences in children’s lives through the joining of volunteering, service learning, and art.”

To view Mr. Duff’s LifeChanger of the Year nominee profile, or to nominate someone from your school community, visit www.LifeChangeroftheYear.com.