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Current Position: Reading Specialist
"I think my favorite part about GMercyU was the friendships I built over my time there and the knowledge I walked away with. I entered college timid and unsure of myself and I graduated feeling confident in my abilities moving forward."
Stacey Salvato was a graduate of Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, New Jersey. She first heard about GMercyU at D||| Night at her high school. At the time, Stacey was unsure of where she would attend because each college she was accepted to wanted her to attend summer classes.
At D||| Night, she met Brian who was representing GMercyU. When Brian learned that Stacey was a member of her track & field team, he was excited because, at the time, the GMercyU team had no female throwers on the team.
"I came to look at the campus, fell in love, and was excited to not only further my education, but also have the chance to still compete on the track & field team," Stacey said.
Stacey became a member of the Track & Field Team during her four years on campus. She had the opportunity to compete in the decathlon as one of her events. She also worked for the Stepping Stone Program as part of her work study hours.
As a young student, Stacey had difficulty reading. She struggled to decode words and to truly comprehend what she was reading. It would take her longer to read passages and take notes in comparison to her peers. Stacey struggled when taking tests, but would perform phenomenally on papers because she would feel less anxious.
"I had a teach in third grade and professors in college that truly made me feel like I was more capable than I gave myself credit for. I ultimately wanted to become a teacher so I could impact students in the same way I was impacted," Stacey said.
When she came to GMercyU, Stacey met with the acting Dean, Lorraine Cavaliere, and the two instantly clicked when they met. The two formed a strong relationship as student and dean. Dean Cavaliere took notice to the poor correlation between Stacey's test grades and her paper grades. She requested a meeting with Stacey and her parents. In this meeting, Dean Cavaliere suggested that there may be something impeding Stacey's learning and suggested she get evaluated.
"Once diagnosed with dyslexia, I was able to receive extra time to complete tests and extra time to hand in assignments. It took a huge weight off of my shoulders from the stress and anxiety that came with completing those tasks," Stacey said.
Stacey had a fantastic experience in the Education program at GMercyU.
One faculty member that stood out to Stacey, although not part of the Education program, was Dr. Wade Luquet. Stacey took sociology with Dr. Luquet.
"I truly enjoyed the materials he taught and the way he helped to encourage me in my academics. He showed me how sociology ultimately connected with my passion of being a teacher and I feel that having that minor has helped me in my career today," Stacey said.
Stacey ended up graduating with a minor in Sociology because she enjoyed the classes so much that she wanted to continue taking them.
Stacey completed her student teaching at Barley Sheaf Elementary School in Flemington, New Jersey. It was a full circle time for Stacey because she attended Barley Sheaf when she was a girl.
"It was a great experience and further showed me that teaching was the path I was meant to take," Stacey said.
Since graduating from GMercyU, Stacey has obtained her English as a Second Language Graduate Degree and a Masters in Reading. For the past fourteen years, Stacey has been a reading specialist.
"My favorite part about being a teacher is that I am able to work with students in a reading support setting, which I was in myself as a student. I can make connections with them and they know that I understand their frustrations because I have also been in their spot. It is amazing to see struggling readers grow with their abilities and to know that I have played a small role in that. These reasons are why I also stay in the teaching field despite the last few years," Stacey said.