Teacher Spotlight: McGlensey Antonucci


photo used with permission of McGlensey Antonucci

Veterinary science teacher McGlensey Antounucci and her students celebrate after cleaning up at the end of class. Photo used with permission of McGlensey Antonucci.

Gurpreet Gujral, Staff Writer

McGlensey Antonucci is the veterinary science teacher at Chantilly Academy. She was once a student at Chantilly and worked at a zoo and then became a Rehab Assistant at Veterinary Surgical Center. She completed the LVT program at NOVA and then became a veterinary technician before coming to teach at Chantilly High School.

Why did you choose the field you are currently teaching in?

I’m going to be honest, I never thought I would have a career in teaching. The opportunity came to me when my long-term friend and now co-teacher, Mrs. Spinetto, informed me that my predecessor, Ms. Kolakoski, and our former teacher (yes, Mrs. Spinetto and I are former students) was retiring. The idea of teaching the very class that aided in my passion and guidance to pursue a career working with animals sounded intriguing. 

What is your favorite part about teaching your specific class? 

There are two things that make me feel most accomplished: the first is helping students discover if they truly have a desire to pursue a career working with animals and the second is watching my students grow into mature young adults. I strive to prepare my students for adulthood. In addition to potentially finding their passion, I want students to be prepared, after graduation, to properly function and conduct themselves in a workplace environment. 

Why did you choose to be a teacher?

The shortest answer is that I wanted to continue what my predecessor had been doing for 30 years. I wanted to provide opportunities for students to learn about animal-related topics and prepare them for workplace environments (acting professional, teamwork, time/task management, etc.).

What did you do prior to teaching at Chantilly High School?

I am a licensed veterinary technician. I came from a specialty cat practice and continue to work at a local veterinary emergency hospital as a relief technician. Prior to acquiring my technician license, I was a zookeeper.

What is the most difficult part of teaching your subject?

Keeping the animals and students safe is one of the highest priorities. It is important that I prepare each student about properly handling and care of the animals. If I do not properly teach and ensure students are ready to handle the animals then someone (human or animal) can get hurt. 

Why would you recommend students take your subject? 

This class is for any student who wants to learn about animals and is prepared for hard work. Our class is considered a “working classroom.” Every student is expected to properly care for the animals and work with classmates on grooming days. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a mature, polite and caring manner to the animals, classmates, clients and staff. As stated earlier, students will practice time/task management, work ethic and teamwork in both lecture and during lab/grooming sessions.