Marc Acito on the Stimulus Package


When I was at Franklin Elementary School in Westfield New Jersey, I was fortunate to be in a 4th and 5th grade “cluster class” which was some sort of experiment in my town that lasted for two years.

I was in the first year of experimentation as a fourth grader.

A fellow classmate of mine, a fifth grader named Marc Acito, was a tremendously funny and artistically gifted person.

He apparently still is.

He was as charismatic as a 10 year old could be, and the perfect foil to Mizzzz Cueman, our incredibly funny and witty teacher that lead us through our educational exploration.

I think that Ms. Cueman would be very proud of Marc, who used to call her Miss America!

Mary Cueman died very young of cancer.

Marc is a writer now, living in Portland, Oregon and has managed to become a political pundit of sorts, commenting on NPR about economic matters that he claims to know nothing about.

Oh! Contraire!

I think he’s saying what we’re all thinking.

In the words of Ms. Cueman…..”Cuuuuute”

4 Responses to “Marc Acito on the Stimulus Package”

  1. Dee Says:

    I am a friend of Mary Cuemans sister – Stacy. Just wanted to let you know that both Stacy and Mary son Peter were very happy when they read this. It’s great to know that Cookie (mary) touched so many people.
    Thanks for the smile!

  2. bronislaw Says:

    She was perhaps the most beloved teacher that I know. My older sister Susan had her at Elm Street School and has as many fond memories as I do. I have created a Yahoo Group dedicated to the class but I have not really recruited many of my fellow classmates yet….I need more time!

    Thanks for reaching out. It’s nice to know that people read this stuff.

  3. Bob Lipman Says:

    I cannot resist joining the Blog.

    I have a connection to all who are mentioned here.

    Marc was my sixth grade student at Franklin School. John and I are members of the same “Y” health club and when he told me of Marc’s successes, I was not at all surprised.

    Marc was a witty, enthusiastic kid. He had a lead in a drama that my class performed for the entire school. Laverne, a fictitious girl who abused and disregarded punctuation marks in her reading, writing and language classes was put “On Trial” and Marc was one of the attorneys.

    I met Mary Cueman when he came to Elm Street School in 1973 to begin her teaching career. She was a popular, bubbly, enthusiastic and pretty woman. Mary and I were responsible for acting as co-emcees at the faculty end-of-year party. We presented comical gifts to the entire faculty with accompanying quips or polite “digs” that got lots of laughs. We gave one person a pair of roller skates because he was constantly in need of moving about the building so much. (Elm Street School was a converted high school, which became an all fifth/sixth grade building with three floors and a basement gymnasium. Five years later it was converted into the town’s Board of Education Building).

    Mary, or as some people called her, “Cookie” and I acted in a “Charlie Brown” production that some of us volunteered to do as a charitable school function. I remember when she met her husband, Bob, and moved to the junior high school to teach. I recall getting word of her continued popularity. Her fellow teacher and friend, Camille Dougherty, told me of Mary’s illness and I remember the day I attended her funeral services in town. I met her family and once again learned of the high regard people had for her. I have a photo of Mary and I presenting gifts and I always remember her cute, rather abbreviated laugh that made her cheeks turn upward a bit.

    By the way, John, the namesake of this Blog, was my student at Franklin School the year after I had taught Marc.

    My name is Bob Lipman. I was a schoolteacher in Westfield for 34 of my 36 years in the profession.

    I treasure all of the wonderful memories that I have.

  4. Andrea Curlook Says:

    I always think Of Miss Cueman when people speak of their most influential teacher.I was at Elm Street school in class 4-4 in 1976.Mary Cueman was that teacher.
    I remember her morning artwork on the black board with every pasing day.I remember her guitar playing and the story of her attending a Cat Stevens concert with her sister one night.She had wit andjoy and great hair.
    As a Canadian transplant I had some foreign and cultural differences from my school mates,she helped me use them to my advantageI and popularity.I adored that woman and wanted to grow up to be her.I remeber when she married Mr.Christofis(spelling)?
    Though I play some casual harmonica,I never tried the guitar.I still use my Canadian nationality to my advantage as I travel the world.My primary pursuit has been as an international horse trainer while pursuing writing projects alongside.I worked alongside Hunter Thompson for years and recall a discussion we shared about memorable teachers.I only had one: Mary Cueman.

    My plan was to contact her.I’m crushed to know she left us too early.
    With fond regard for her.Andrea Curlook

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