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Washington State Teacher Named 2018 National Teacher of the Year

Washington, D.C. – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) today announced that Mandy Manning, a high school teacher in Spokane, WA, is the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.

Manning teaches English to newly arrived immigrants and refugees at Joel E. Ferris High School, where she uses experiential projects like map-making to help her students process trauma, celebrate their home countries and culture, and learn about their new community. Manning, who has taught for 18 years, believes creating connections with students is essential to providing an excellent education and encourages her students to overcome their fears and seek out new experiences.

“I am honored and excited to be the 2018 National Teacher of the Year,” Manning said. “This year I hope to engage the nation in a conversation about how we can encourage students to experience things outside of their understanding. When we move out of our comfort zones, visit new places, listen to others’ thoughts, and share our own opinions, we become compassionate and open. This is the first step in creating a more hopeful, safer, and kinder society where everyone can be productive, global citizens.”

The National Teacher of the Year program, run by CCSSO, identifies exceptional teachers in the country, recognizes their effective work in the classroom, engages them in a year of professional learning, amplifies their voices, and empowers them to participate in policy discussions at the state and national levels. 

As the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Manning will spend a year traveling nationally and internationally to represent educators and advocate on behalf of teachers. Manning looks forward to sharing her belief that educators must build real human relationships inside and outside school walls to better meet the needs of students and create compassion and empathy for young people.

“Every student in this country deserves access to a teacher who is committed to their success. Through the National Teacher of the Year program, CCSSO is honored to support the nation’s great teachers,” said Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director of CCSSO. “I congratulate Mandy Manning on this outstanding recognition, and look forward to the important conversations that she will lead around the country with students, parents and communities.”

Every year, exemplary teachers from each state, the U.S. extra-state territories, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity are selected as State Teachers of the Year. From that group, the National Teacher of the Year is chosen by a selection committee composed of 14 renowned education organizations, which collectively represent more than 7 million educators.

The selection committee said in a statement that “Mandy is a strong educator who believes in a great public education for every student and has a unique perspective on meeting the needs of some of our nation's most vulnerable children. She is dedicated to empowering teacher leaders and putting people first. Her fierce belief in her students, unwavering commitment to their learning, and demonstrated efforts to ensure that they can be successful both in school and in life make her an exceptional educator and why we selected her to be the 2018 National Teacher of the Year.”

“Mandy dedicates herself to each and every one of her students,” said Chris Reykdal, Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “She’s a proven leader in our state and is the second National Teacher of the Year from Washington in the past six years. Our state is known for fostering and supporting exemplary teachers, which Mandy is a shining example of every day. We are honored to have Mandy representing us to the nation.” 

The finalists for 2018 National Teacher of the Year are Kara Ball (Department of Defense Education Activity), Amy T. Andersen (New Jersey), and Jonathan Juravich (Ohio). You can read more about the finalists here

Learn more about Mandy Manning, including her biography and photos, at http://www.ccsso.org/national-teacher-of-the-year.

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