An early aptitude test told Dr. Jennifer Buie Hune that she was an excellent problem solver, and a list of occupations accompanying that test cued the then-business student that she would be a great special education teacher.
Working with students who have been “beaten down” by teachers who cannot understand the uniqueness in the way they learn is what drew the assistant professor and program coordinator for special education to her career. In the resource classroom, Dr. Buie Hune worked on “teaching herself out of a job,” ensuring that students who spent their entire day in special education classes learned the social and academic skills to work productively in a mainstream class.
“It just fills your heart and fills your spirit to know that a person – who didn’t feel that they could function and were never taught that they could function – begin to function and to know that they can,” Dr. Buie Hune said.
She works to teach future educators about the challenges and opportunities that special-needs students provide. She reminds all her students that legislation requires general education content for all children – no matter their skill level. She also emphasizes that special education and mainstream teachers should work together to ensure successful educational outcomes for their students.
After earning a bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UALR, Dr. Buie Hune earned a doctorate in special education from the University of Kentucky. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and has served as chair of the Head Start Health Advisory Committee and the Head Start Collaborators Group.