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Get to Know Our 20 Finalists!
Michael Manke has been teaching at Rockford Christian Schools nearly 11 years. He teaches 7th grade Physical Science. Michael says, “the more we learn about children and their culture, the unique motivations of their hearts, and the functions of their brains as they learn, the more challenging and rewarding the task of teaching them becomes.” He continually seeks to “best help my students use and apply what they learn in the ever changing and expanding field of science.” He has been “amazed at the innovation that takes place when you provide students with opportunities and they walk through the gate of opportunity” as a result of adding extracurricular activities and competition opportunities for the students. Michael says “[his] constant goal is to move students to marvel at the wonders of the natural world and see how they relate to it.” The parent of one of his former students shared that in her essay on her college applications, his daughter wrote of Mr. Manke that he “shaped me from a nature-loving seedling, into a full grown tree who understands the scientific complexities of nature and wants to continue learning…without Mr. Manke, I wouldn’t have known this love for science that has shaped who I am today and who I want to become.”