First-year teacher finishes time at PV


Matt Austin

First-year Pascack Valley science teacher Daniel Grothues began working at PV in January of 2019 when science teacher Michela Piccoline left for maternity leave. He has always wanted to work in the science field like his father and mother.

Tara Healy, Staff Editor

First-year Pascack Valley science teacher Daniel Grothues always knew he wanted to work within the sciences like his father and his mother who is a nurse at the Valley Hospital. He also knew he had a passion for helping people and working with them.  

Grothues start working at PV in January of 2019 when science teacher Michela Piccoline left for maternity leave. He replaced her for the rest of the school year. 

“Long story short, I always had a scientific upbring and [at Stockton University] I decided to pursue that,” Grotheus said. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into physical therapy or the medical field.”

During his junior year, Grothues had an “aha moment” when he realized he wanted to teach. 

“I was aware of the courses I needed to take if I wanted to pursue education, so I started to take those my sophomore year,” Grothues said. “Then, when I went all in, I had a good base and I was able to get everything done.”

Before coming to PV, Grothues student taught at Egg Harbor Township High School for a full semester and finished in December 2018. He then graduated from college shortly thereafter.  

“I moved back home and I was scouring the Internet because I wanted to get a job,” said Grothues, a Paramus native who attended Paramus High School. “Then, I was lucky enough to find an opening [at PV].” 

After three interviews and a demo lesson, he received the job. Since he is a younger teacher, he feels like he is able to connect with his students.

“I think I was able to connect to the students pretty well and pretty quickly,” Grothues said. “Once I had that connection established, everything else was pretty good and I have a good rapport with the kids. I got here solely on working hard and applying myself, and if I could portray that to the kids, that is my goal because a lot of kids don’t apply themselves.” 

Grothues worked closely with science teacher Russ Grier this year. 

“Very few first year teachers really come in being as prepared and on top of things as he was, so I think he’s going to make a great teacher,” Grier said. “He’s a great teacher, great person, and all around just a good guy.”

Grothues is not going to be teaching at PV next year because Piccoline is coming back and there are no other science teacher openings. Grothues will be taking a position as a science teacher at Old Tappan High School. 

“It’s been a fantastic opportunity,” Grothues said. “I’ve learned a lot. It has helped me grow as a teacher and I want to continue to grow and get better and better.”