September 28, 2022

June Kivi, MSEd, BCBA, LABA, has been with The New England Center for Children (NECC) for nearly 30 years. She currently serves as the senior director of NECC’s Consulting and Public School Services (PSS) Department, where she has worked for over 15 years helping to ensure students with autism reach their full potential. Prior to her role in the PSS Department, Kivi worked as a case manager and the evening shift manager on School Street, worked in the Home-based Program and then the Early Learning Program as a head teacher, became one of the first ever lead teachers in a Partner Classroom, then served as a program specialist and in a consulting specialist position, where she helped grow Partner Classrooms in number and quality. Kivi was nominated by a colleague because she “is an incredible educator, behavior analyst, and person. One of the best things about her is how deeply she cares about each student, family and the staff who work with them. This combination of passion and skills has impacted so many students and staff, both at NECC and in public schools.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

I particularly like mentoring other staff to provide high-quality services to students across New England. It is extremely rewarding to see how having NECC staff in public school settings can change an entire school culture. We are able to reach so many students and families through the Partner Classroom model. It is great to see how staff thrive in the public school setting when they can access all of the support NECC has to offer. It allows them to make such a significant impact on students, families, and communities. Seeing that transformation across years always amazes me. I always tell people it is the hardest job you will ever love!

Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism? Why NECC?

When I was in college, I did an internship at an early intervention center and encountered several families who were having an extremely hard time accessing quality services for their children. I then researched organizations that could help these children diagnosed with autism and immediately knew that NECC was where I wanted to work.

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC?

I went through the Simmons University program and have my master’s degree in intensive special needs. I also participated in the advanced training program in applied behavior analysis (ABA) through Northeastern University and have my BCBA and LABA.

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

Sadly, I do not have any hidden talents. I do love cooking when I have the time. I also enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible with my husband and three daughters (16, 14, and 10) who all keep me very busy and are growing up way too fast!

Who is someone you look up to?

I have always looked up to my parents. They are extremely hard working, have taught me the importance of family, and above all else being kind to others. I have also had the fortunate opportunity to learn from so many people at NECC who have taught me so much throughout my journey. I feel like I learn something new every day, and for that I am very grateful.

What is your life philosophy or a motto you like to live by?

I always try to remind myself that the only real behavior that I can change is my own. If something isn’t going well, I need to reevaluate what I am doing and make some changes. I also always fall back on the mantra, “Model, Connect, Involve”; Model the behavior you want to see, Connect with others, and Involve others in the process.  We all have the same mission!