From a July 9, 2021, Northwest Educational Service District 189 press release.
Ms. Manus was selected from a competitive group of fifteen teacher nominees from across the NWESD Region.
Currently serving as an English Language Arts Teacher at Evergreen Middle School in Everett, Ms. Manus is described as an effective instructor and innovative leader who is student-focused and exemplifies all criteria for the Teacher of the Year award.
In her application, Ms. Manus noted, “Teaching is an opportunity to show my students I respect them as whole people. I trust them enough to invite complex issues into the classroom. It is their job to do the thinking; it is my job to invite the question, to let them exercise their autonomy.
She went on to say, "This shows what I believe about teaching: it is an active effort toward social justice. It is political--not partisan--because it is democratic. It should explore the context and encourage deliberation. It should hinge on Student Voice and give every learner the chance to choose their words.”
Everett Public School Superintendent Dr. Ian Saltzman said, “I am so proud of Sarah’s incredible achievement. She represents the very best in the teaching profession. Her innovative approaches focused on growth mindset, equity, and collaboration are making a difference every day to our students, families, and staff.”
“Sarah leads not only by example but also through her advocacy and leadership. An instructional leader beyond her years of experience, Sarah quickly found her leadership role within our school. She artfully guides her peers toward intentional backward design with individual student needs in mind,” commented Evergreen Middle School Principal Michelle Waddel.
NWESD’s Assistant Superintendent of Operations, David Forsythe, helped guide the selection process of the recipient of NWESD’s Regional Teacher of the Year.
“While we can only have one Regional Teacher of the Year, Sarah represents the hard work of all of our teachers and certificated staff and their challenges during this last year in education,” said Forsythe.
The Regional Teacher of the Year program recognizes educators for their excellence in teaching while giving them a platform to advocate for educational issues of particular interest to them.
Through the NWESD the Regional award winners have an opportunity to offer trainings or workshops at the NWESD and may be invited as trainers or speakers in regional school districts.
As a regional Teacher of the Year recipient, Ms. Manus will compete against the eight regional finalists from Educational Service Districts across Washington State for the title of 2022 State Teacher of the Year.
The Washington Teacher of the Year program is organized by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).