#MNPSVoices: Adlee (Faith) Manion, English Teacher

Adlee (Faith) Manion, an English teacher at Nashville School of the Arts, has been awarded the prestigious “Teacher of the Year” designation for the 2018-2019 school year – an honor voted on by the faculty, staff and administrators at her school.

Adlee Manion

“I am humbled because there are so many teachers who are deserving of this same honor,” Manion said. “I am very appreciative.”

Education has proven more than a passion for Manion. She views teaching as transformative to students and gives it credit for her own success.

“My success is certainly a testament to the educators in my life who taught me that a K-12 career is not only about the academic skills but the social-emotional and life skills needed to press onward in my life and achieve my goals and dreams,” she said. 

A graduate of Campbellsville University (KY), Manion earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. She recently completed her Education Specialist degree in Instructional Coaching at Lipscomb University. Her dedication for teaching included time in the Teach for American program in which she taught at Booker T. Washington High School in Kentucky and completed a summer institute before finding her way to NSA.

The respect extended by her colleagues is evident in her selection as NSA’s Teacher of the Year award. Likewise, they point to how her students’ respect her even acknowledging her teaching style as challenging but fair. Everyone is treated equal and no one gets a pass – not even her students with disabilities.

“Ms. Manion is successful because she is consistently prepared when she comes to work and consistently prepared to serve her kids,” said Maggie Zeillmann a French/History instructor at NSA.

 “I am really proud of the strides she has made as a teacher and I think that she is really impressive,” said Chuck Cardona, a 26-year veteran Spanish teacher. “She has a great attitude and when you are around her you don’t see or feel her disability.”

Manion’s advocacy for students with disabilities is natural because while being blind since the age 11, she has never let that stop her from achieving anything.

“I challenge everyone the same. It (blindness) never has nor will it ever define my identity or my success,” Manion said. “Too often students with disabilities are stereotyped as not being able to reach the same standards as children without disabilities,” Manion continued, adding that when provided the proper supports and accommodations it helps level the playing field for students with disabilities.

“They can reach the standards and often exceed their peers,” she said.

When Manion is not teaching, she enjoys mentoring other teachers at NSA. She said she contributes her success to God and it is no coincidence that “Faith” is her middle name, as it’s a spiritual belief that guides her daily.

“Servant leadership is something I hold dear to my heart,” she said. “I love having the opportunity to help upcoming generations to develop their skills.”