Silver Lake teacher finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year

For Jamie Manhart, teaching is as much about inspiring students as it is challenging herself to be a lifelong learner.

 

The Kansas Department of Education honored the Silver Lake High School journalism instructor Sunday as a finalist for Teacher of the Year. She and elementary school finalist Bradley Weaver, of Atchison, will learn in November which Kansas educator will be the 2018 Teacher of the Year, but until then, Manhart said she was “deeply humbled.”

“I love learning and I love inspiring students to learn something new everyday,” she said. “To see them grow as people keeps me going.”

For nearly 20 years, Manhart has gone beyond core curriculum, teaching her students key critical thinking and communication skills. She lead efforts to provide real world training to students in career and technical classes, said principal Brad Womack, who nominated Manhart for her “innovation and drive.” Among those real world opportunities, Silver Lake accounting students run a school bank and the photography class operates a student-run photography business.

Each school year Manhart strives to keep students engaged, Womack said.

“She’s not the kind of person to get bored or complacent,” he said. “She’s always looking for ways to bring energy to the school.”

Finalists from across the state will be recognized Nov. 18 at a banquet in Wichita, said Sherry Bukovatz, department of education administrative specialist. More than 300 people attended Sunday’s banquet, which recognized teachers from eastern Kansas outside of the Kansas City metro area.

Weaver, who has taught elementary school music for about 17 years, said “seeing the potential in students and helping the dream” drives his passion for teaching.

“I had wonderful teachers who helped me along my journey,” he said. “I consider it a privilege to be a part of (the students’) journey.”

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