Mandy Manning, a Washington State teacher who teaches refugee and immigrant students is the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.
An 18-year teaching veteran, Manning has taught at the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School for seven years, where she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students who are adjusting to life in their new community. “Every student in this country deserves access to a teacher who is committed to their success,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director of CCSSO, and Manning embodies that dedication and spirit.
Manning began her teaching career in the Peace Corps, and has taught in Japan and in schools across the U.S. In her current position, Manning’s students come to the U.S. from all over the world and she is usually their first line experience in the American educational system. Most of them are seeking safety, “but they don’t always feel safe here,” said Manning. The current political climate has only increased fear and anxiety, making it hard for newcomers to share and learn from others. Manning says her role in the classroom is to “help them understand current events, know their rights, and provide a safe and welcoming environment.”