Teacher Spotlight: Mr. Dhuyvetter 

Mr. Jeffrey Dhuyvetter is a middle school teacher at Passaic Preparatory Academy. He  teaches Pre-Algebra, Algebra l and is temporarily teaching Algebra ll. He has 15 years of experience as a teacher in this district, including 14 at Prep and the old Lincoln Middle School and one year at PHS. He was a Penn State engineering major who eventually concluded that that wasn’t what he wanted to do with his life. As a math major, he switched to William Paterson University. He also attended Ramapo College to pursue his master’s degree in educational technology because he is fascinated by technology. 


The Boulevard Online: Why did you start the MakerSpace Club? What is it?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: I always like technology and building things. As a way to separate myself from the stress of everyday life I started investigating these little computers called RaspberryPi’s. Anyone that has ever had me knows how I feel about Pi, not the food, and I just thought that these little computers that you can use to program and build anything seemed really cool. So I started to tinker with some small projects and have built my own arcade system and a digital wall calendar that my family uses to keep track of what we are doing each day. I also started looking into 3D printers and learned how to create 3D models of things that I later printed on a 3D printer and were able to hold in my hands. So when the time came to talk about clubs I thought it would be really cool to show and teach students a hobby of mine that I find interesting. I think that we use so much technology in our everyday life that we never think about how it works or what has to go into it to get it to work. Some of my students have shown interest in the past so I wanted to see how many people, school wide, would be interested in creating some cool applications. 


TBO: Do teachers have favorite students? They say they don’t.

Mr. Dhuyvetter: All of my students are my favorite. I think of each of you in a special way. Whether we never got along or we always talked, I still am there to help everyone that needs it. As a middle school teacher I have learned that sometimes it is hard to appreciate what I am about so students don’t seem to like me until they get to the high school and realize that I was right in pushing them so hard. So we don’t have “favorites,” we have students that come back and talk with us just to spill the tea or say hi to us at the mall or we have students that hide from us. 


TBO: What is one of your hidden talents?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: So most of my “talents” aren’t really hidden. As well as minor programming skills (thank you internet), I used to play ice hockey and the tenor saxophone. I am an avid toy collector and specialize in Transformers. I also like to build and fix things. I also started coaching my son’s soccer team. 


TBO: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: Interacting with the students and showing my love of math. I actually love math and find it very poetic, so to be able to show people something I love is really special to me. Plus I teach a topic that most people don’t like so if I can convert one or two students to the “dork side” each year I have done my job. 


TBO: What is one embarrassing moment during your teaching years?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: I once taught a whole lesson to the wrong class. I had mixed up my notes and taught my Algebra class a lesson that was meant for my Geometry class. The students were awesome though because they didn’t say a word and just went with it. 


TBO: What is your best quality/strength?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: I try to be the best person that I can and be the most helpful to everyone around me. I also value honesty and kindness. I try to be the best example of a good human being for both my children and my students and to put everyone first.


TBO: What was your favorite moment during quarantine?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: I don’t have a specific moment that was my favorite during quarantine. I do however cherish every waking minute of that time home because I got to be with my wife and boys. I really liked and enjoyed my time working from home because I was always there for my family if they needed me. I got to eat breakfast and lunch with them and if I was missing them I would just go into the room where they were. I also got to bring my son to school most mornings and sometimes got to pick him up. I like being back but I do miss being home with my family.


TBO: Is there a quote or saying that you live by?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: I find that quotes are like people, they come into your life when you need them the most. There are several sayings that I try to follow but the two main ones that have stuck with me over the last few years are:

  1. “How can I help?” – Max Goodwin, “New Amsterdam”
  2. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African Proverb


TBO: If you could teleport inside any game, which would it be?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: I am going to totally geek out on this one. There was a game that was released in 2008 called Fable 2. The game’s purpose was to rise to power to become the king of the land. What I loved about the game was that every interaction with each NPC and mission decides your destiny. So if you chose to be mean and do bad things your character became evil but if you chose to do good things your character became good. It is my all-time favorite game to play so I would love to go and visit there.


TBO: If you had to be a villain from a movie, which movie would you pick?

Mr. Dhuyvetter: So everyone knows how I am a huge Captain America fan, so I am going to go with the Winter Soldier. Even though he was an assassin, I have always liked the comic version and the fact that Bucky becomes Captain America eventually. I like how eventually he gets peace and becomes a good guy.