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Spokane Educator Mandy Manning Wins National Teacher of the Year

Manning teaches English and math to refugee and immigrant students in the Newcomer Center at Ferris High School in Spokane.

OLYMPIA — April 20, 2018 — “Public schools aren’t failing. We are being successful, and we are changing lives.” This is what Spokane educator Mandy Manning said as she accepted her title as Washington state’s Teacher of the Year this past fall.

This morning, Manning was introduced to the nation as the 66th National Teacher of the Year. She is the second Washington state educator to receive this honor in the past six years.

In addition to teaching English and math to refugee and immigrant students, Manning also coaches fastpitch and girls basketball, advises the writing club, and co-advises the Gay-Straight Alliance.

“We are thrilled the rest of the country will have an opportunity to get to know Mandy,” said Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “She is an exemplary leader in our state because of her dedication to each of her students and her love of continuous learning. We have a legacy of excellent teaching in our state that Mandy strengthens with her passion for her students.”

Manning regularly hosts new teaching candidates, district leaders, school board directors, and legislators in her classroom to experience an inclusive environment and her student-first attitude. As a National Board Certified Teacher, Mandy is an ambassador and facilitator who encourages and guides fellow educators to connect with students and to continually improve their practice.

Manning was selected for National Teacher of the Year after presenting to education leaders from the National Education Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and more. In her address, she shared her journey from the Peace Corps to teaching, and stories about her students and their successes.

“Student-centered teaching is essential to my successes in the classroom,” said Manning. “Globally, we need to encourage others to explore, be fearless and embrace new experiences with compassion. I want to inspire educators and students as I have been inspired, to see potential in every voice and opportunity in every classroom.”

Leaders throughout Washington praise Manning and her ability to reach all students.

“Mandy is an incredible example of an educator making profound differences in the lives of our state’s students,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Her work with newly-arrived immigrant students and in support of LGBTQ teens is an inspiring reminder that in many ways a teacher's most important job is to help students feel safe and supported so they are open to learning. Congratulations, Mandy. Ferris High School’s students are lucky to have you.”

Manning joins Jeff Charbonneau (2013) and Andrea Peterson (2007) as the third National Teacher of the Year from Washington state in the past decade.

Charbonneau, a teacher and Assistant Principal in the Zillah School District, said Manning was a natural choice.

“Mandy is the definition of the teacher-advocate for both her students and her community,” Charbonneau said. “Beyond that, she’s the third Washington state National Teacher of the Year in the past 10 years. That reemphasizes the quality of teachers in Washington state, and it’s a great example of how our systems work together. We have a wonderful partnership between the state education agency, our teachers union, and our school districts. Because of that, we produce great teachers.”

Washington educators are supported by the Washington Education Association (WEA) and the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) in professional development to bolster student achievement and teaching excellence.

As National Teacher of the Year, Manning will spend the next year traveling the United States and internationally as an ambassador for the teaching profession.

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About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 |

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 4/20/2018

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