Mandy Manning, an English and math teacher and a member of the NEA, serving on the executive committee of the Spokane Education Association, was named the 2018 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief School State Officers (CCSSO) in the USA.

She has been teaching at the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School for seven years where students come from a variety of regions and countries: Syria, Chuuk, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Myanmar, Sudan, Mexico, and Tanzania. Her approach to teaching newcomers goes far beyond students’ academic success. Considering the hostile political climate and the fear and anxiety that newly arrived students may experience as a result, she stresses the importance of “helping them understand current events, know their rights, and providing a safe and welcoming environment”. According to the executive director of CCSSO, Mandy Manning embodies the “dedication and spirit (…) that every student in this country deserves”.

Building upon teaching experiences in different countries around the world, Mandy Manning privileges a global perspective in her teaching and a student-centered approach. During this year, she wants to “engage the nation in a conversation about how we can encourage students to experience things outside of their understanding” and “inspire educators and students to see potential in every voice and opportunity in every classroom.”

Mandy Manning is also deeply involved in her local and state union. National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García called her “a shining example of how teachers transform the lives of their students every day, engaging them and creating enthusiasm for learning…. Mandy sees no barriers—only bridges.”