Hoboken teacher Mark Mautone received NJ Teacher of the Year Honors, which landed him a trip to the White House for some facetime with President Obama yesterday.
In speaking with the President, Mautone told him, “I teach children with autism,” to which Obama responded, “That’s a really tough job.”
A resident of Verona, Mautone has taught children with special needs at Wallace Elementary School for four years. He’s the lead teacher on a staff of five who teach 35 children with autism in preschool through third grade, up from 13 kids when he first came to the district in 2011, excited about the opportunity to help build the program.
Mautone, 41, was one of 55 educators invited to Washington this week to meet with Obama and the Education Department. They visited the president in the Oval Office and posed for pictures with him. They toured the Smithsonian Museums and had dinner with White House officials.
“It was surreal,” Mautone said. “It’s nice when you get the appreciation on such a high level. It kind of rejuvenates you to come back to your classroom and know that he has your back.”
(Video via NBCNewYork.com)