One-on-One with Ms. Manning

Royson Folas, Managing Editor

Q: What are your interests, or what is something that you enjoy?

A: I play golf. I watch a lot of HG TV. It goes without saying dogs and cats. All different kinds of music. Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, Earth Wind and Fire, Macklemore, Post Malone.

Q: Where did you study?

A: I went to college at Princeton.  I worked very, very hard in high school. I was also an athlete in high school. I was a field hockey goalie and I was a shot put, javelin and discus. Princeton recruited me for track, of course they don’t give scholarships for track so I had to wow them with academics. I was on the track team for the first couple years but then I got hurt, but I still loved Princeton. I made lifelong friends and had a lot of fun. It was more a social experience than focusing solely on academics which is what most of my high school career focused on.

Q: How long have you been working in education? At WOHS?

A: I did my student teaching here. After being involved in many other professions such as being a paralegal in Washington D.C. and working with my brother at a consulting business in auto leasing, I decided to come back and teach when I was 31 because it was what I had always wanted to do.

Q: What courses have you taught at WOHS?

A: I’ve taught AP US GOV Politics, Elective Power in Politics, and World history U.S. I and II.

Q: What is different about WOHS now than 10 or 20 years ago?

A: When I started there was a very diverse student body. I believe they said there were over 100 countries being represented and the school has only become more diverse. The behavior of the kids hasn’t changed that much but the cell phones have created a new variable that has made it more difficult in the social studies classroom. Social studies is a unique course in that you want students to talk, and if you want them to talk you have to put them in interactive conditions. With that said, managing the classroom is more challenging. People will say that children are a lot more disrespectful today but I don’t know if it’s that so much. I think it’s just that there are a lot more variables that make it more complex to keep the attention of students.

Q: If you weren’t a teacher, what would you see yourself doing?

A: I think a detective. You know how I like to collar the criminals. CSI, all that, I’d love to do all that stuff.

Q: What will you miss most about WOHS?

A: The kids and my colleagues. Nobody understands what it’s like to be in front of the classroom for 54 minutes and maintain the attention of students. I think just because we share that experience, I will miss talking to people who truly understand what we do. I have some of my closest friends here: Mrs Morais-Lawerence, Ms. Feehan, Mr. Evans, Ms. Elkadi, Ms. Kelleher, and Mr. Alcindor are just a few. There are a lot more I can’t think off the top of my head, but I am very fortunate to work with some real stellar individuals who I can have intelligent conversations with.

Q: What’s one piece of advice that you would give to your current and past students?

A: There are two conversations I have frequently with students. One’s about picking your battles and not taking such a strong stand on minor issues and this is to help them grow as individuals. If you do something wrong, admit it and move on. The second thing I mention every year is that it’s important to figure out what your sense of personal integrity is so you stay true to yourself and make decisions that reflect your values and beliefs. Everybody makes mistakes, but if you have a strong sense of who you are and what you think is right and wrong it really helps get through all different experiences in life. You’re gonna make mistakes but mistakes are the best learning experience.

Q: What do you plan to do or catch up on while being retired?

A: Reading. I’ll definitely be doing a lot of that. I’ll be playing a lot of golf. I think I’ll be binge watching all these shows on netflix everyone talks about.