Diverse Learner Teacher, Grades 2-5 Monolingual
This is Veronica Acuña's 14th year working in education in Chicago. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Special Education and Master’s Degree in Educational Studies with an ESL and Bilingual-Spanish endorsement at the University of Illinois-Chicago. While she was born in Skokie, IL, she is a dual citizen of both the USA and Chile. She achieved National Board Certification in 2008 as an Exceptional Needs Specialist, and achieved NBC renewal in 2018. When not at school, she loves participating in activities that help her to continue to learn and grow. These activities include; endurance events, small group Bible studies at Soul City Church, taking language, dance, yoga, and art or cooking classes, and traveling and exploring new cities and restaurants. She also loves movies and Netflix :) Her family is, and will always be, her foundation and the center and core of her priorities.
Where would you most like to travel to and why?
Bhutan! It is located in one of my favorite parts of the world. Their tourism is highly regulated, in order to preserve their unique society and environment, which makes it even more intriguing!
What is a mantra you strive to live by?
"What a privilege!"
I feel my very best when...
I am practicing healthy habits on a regular basis. I know that when I sleep enough, eat well, and make sure that I am exercising regularly, I am able to feel and be my best self.
Do you have any secret skills or hidden talents that most people don't know about?
I used to be able to solve the Rubik's Cube! Now I need help from the directions :( .
Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Two that stand out are Mr. Stahlberg and Ms. Puccini. Mr. Stahlberg was my elementary band teacher. He helped my family secure financial aid when my sister and I wanted to play the clarinet but could not afford it. Ms. Puccini was the founder of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) club at my high school, where I then became the president of the club. This club organized volunteers to partner with students with mild/moderate intellectual disabilities in the high school. She was the reason I pursued a career in Special Education.
My favorite thing about working at Namaste Charter School is...
I originally chose to work at Namaste because of their Health and Wellness Program. As a certified Yoga Teacher, Zumba Instructor, Ironman Athlete, and Multiple Marathon Finisher and product sponsored Athlete, Health and Wellness is an essential part of my life. I was excited to see a school that encouraged Health and Wellness for their students, staff and family members. As an educator, I appreciate that Namaste sees all of their members: students, staff, families, as whole individuals and pushes us all to be our very best. Currently, I love the students and families that I work with everyday.