Spokane teacher Mandy Manning, who works at the Newcomer Center at Ferris High, is one of four finalists to be the National Teacher of the Year.

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Spokane teacher Mandy Manning, who works at the Newcomer Center at Ferris High, is one of four finalists in the 2018 National Teacher of the Year competition.

She was named Washington Teacher of the Year in September.

Manning teaches English and math to refugee and immigrant students.

She first taught in the Peace Corps in Armenia. Manning arrived in Spokane in 2008 after teaching stints in Texas, New York and Japan.

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In 2011, she started working at the Newcomer Center, where every semester she has a few dozen students from several different countries.

When she won the state award, officials praised her work not only in her classroom but in the school.

Manning has been involved in changing school policies, including the successful push to change the discipline plan to include more voices from educational and parent groups.

As a result, the number of suspensions decreased by 74 percent in the first year.

Manning also coaches softball and basketball and is an adviser for the high school’s writing club and Gay-Straight Alliance.

The National Teacher of the Year program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The winner will be announced at the White House in the spring.