"I am so passionate about helping people learn, because regardless of what others may think, everybody can learn because learning is living."
Not only has Vonetta Cullars has spent the entirety of her career in education, she has possessed a love for learning for as long as she can remember. In fact, by middle school she had accumulated so many books on her different topics of interest that her overflowing bookshelf nearly rivaled that of her mother, who was also an avid reader.
During her undergraduate years, Vonetta volunteered as a girls' group leader in an after-school program at a local urban public school. She enjoyed it so much that she decided to pursue employment in a school setting an educational assistant.
A short time later, Vonetta was hired at a school for children with moderate and severe disabilities. She was placed in a Deaf/hearing-impaired classroom. Though she had no experience with special needs, she was interested in being thoroughly trained and working to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to meet her students' needs.
Vonetta rapidly learned American Sign Language as well as functional use of Makaton (sign language for special needs), Coded Sign, and International Sign. After a few years of working in this school, she knew that she had found her calling, and changed her major from Business to Education.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies and acquiring teaching credentials, she then completed a graduate program, earning her Master of Arts in Teaching. Working in high needs schools, her students often come from "disadvantaged" backgrounds, but she believes all have the capacity to learn.
Vonetta, who has been employed for several years as a public elementary school teacher, sees learning as a platform for social change. As the parent of a child on the autism spectrum that she loves fiercely, she plans to pursue future training in autism, expanding upon her years of experience working with Deaf students and students with socioeconomic challenges.