Ashley Mann, a gifted and special education teacher in Monroe County, has earned West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Above and Beyond Award for September 2022, which recognizes excellence and creativity of Mountain State teachers.
Mann was presented the award during a surprise assembly by WVPB’s Education Director Maggie Holley. She received a monetary award and a signature Blenko Glass blue apple paperweight. The award is sponsored by the West Virginia State Treasurers Office, presenter of the SMART529 college savings program in the Mountain State.
Mann had just returned from a Model United Nations (UN) debate in Georgia the previous night with her students. One of those students, Braydie Carr, volunteered to speak about the positive impact Mann has had on his life and those of his peers since he’d known her since 7th grade. Carr, now a senior, gave a special thanks to Mann for motivating him when he needed it most because it would help him with his future.
Carr will be joining the other Model UN James Monroe students in January 2023 to attend Harvard’s Model United Nations conference for the third time. One of Mann’s most proud opportunities is to take her students to this event and join more than 4,000 other students from around the world. James Monroe is said to be the only West Virginia high school to be selected for this esteemed event since it began in the 1950s.
Ashley Mann goes above and beyond when providing a wide variety of experiences in fields as diverse as literature, civics, history and STEM. Not only has Mann been involved in Model UN, but she also helped form a Youth Leadership Association chapter at James Monroe High School in 2013, that has grown from one student to over 70 today.
She helps prepare the students and take them to other events such as the History Bowl and Spelling Bee competitions, as well as West Virginia Youth Government and Youth in Government conferences in Charleston. Other experiences include travel to the American Shakespeare Center for plays and theater workshops and participation in the Rocket Boys Festival. She especially appreciates the History Bowl, because it is the first event of the academic year that “starts the foundation and builds relationships for the rest of the year.”
Mann spoke very highly of her students and her passion for teaching is evident.
“You guys make it all worthwhile and easier to be away from family even when it’s hard at times,” Mann said. “I can’t wait to see what you all will do with your future, and I know it’ll be great things. I am so proud of you all and will always be in your corner.”
Each month WVPB has an esteemed panel of judges that select one deserving teacher who goes above and beyond for the students in West Virginia.
If you know of a deserving teacher that goes “Above and Beyond,” please click here to nominate them.