The National Teacher of the Year, who is from Spokane, joined fellow educators on the picket lines in Western Washington as teachers continued to strike.
Mandy Manning joined educators from the Tacoma and Tumwater school districts Monday.
"It's so powerful because we're watching educators own their power, use their collective voice to make a difference for students," said Manning, who visited Western Washington for a ceremony Monday afternoon for the 2019 state Teacher of the Year.
Manning retweeted a message from Nate Bowling, 2016 Washington state Teacher of the Year from Tacoma's Lincoln High School, about her decision to join teachers on the picket lines. She wrote, “#solidarity #UnionStrong.”
She teaches immigrant and refugee students at Ferris High School’s Newcomer Center in Spokane. She also serves as a basketball coach and adviser to student groups on campus. She recently met Bill Gates, and said the two chatted about the need for a focus on communication and connection in education.
Before new contracts were approved, the state experienced the most teacher strikes since 1983. The state set aside $2 billion for teacher salaries in the current budget. Educators across the state argued for better compensation heading into the new school year.