My name is Vicki Cuneo, and I started teaching in the Special Education department at Northern in 2002. I started the first self-contained MD (Multiply Disabled) classroom in the district, and taught in that setting for the first four years. Following that, I became in In-Class Support teacher in the middle school, and I taught American History 8 to the students requiring smaller classrooms (Replacement). In addition to teaching, I am also the faculty advisor for Student Congress, which is open to both seventh and eighth grade students.
I began teaching in 1995; ten years after I graduated from Rosemont College with a degree in English Literature and a minor in History. As my mother and sisters were teachers, I purposely avoided Education classes and planned a career in Journalism instead. A Navy brat myself, I married a ROTC graduate from Villanova and spent four years at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California, before returning to the Philadelphia area to manage an Encore bookstore in Havertown. Following that, I spent three years in customer service at an HMO in King of Prussia, until it was absorbed by Independence Blue Cross. This event coincided with our move to Burlington and the birth of my daughter.
I became interested in the field of Special Education when my son was classified with learning disabilities as a first grader. I began taking courses at Rowan. I obtained my Teacher of the Handicapped certification in 1995. I began teaching that year in a K-1 MD classroom at Eastampton Elementary School; I taught there for three and a half years until my husband took advantage of a job opportunity that took us to Columbia, Missouri. I became part of a sixth grade team there until I returned with my children to Burlington County in the summer of 2002.
My kids graduated from Moorestown schools and have both graduated from college. My son – whose diagnosis sparked my interest in Special Education – now has a Master’s degree and has been teaching English in China for four years. He is living proof that having an IEP is not a deterrent to success. Every day, I draw on the experiences I had with him when I work with middle school students in my classroom.