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Teacher Highlight: Teacher Manny

Every month we will highlight one of our amazing teachers here at Cullinan. This month, we highlight Teacher Manny!

Q. Tell us about yourself! (I.e. name, family, hobbies, etc.)
A. My legal name is Maynard and it made for some difficult times growing up. I have a younger brother named Omar and my mom’s name is Lillian. Madison is my 12 year
old daughter and she is awesome beyond words. I’m a Murderino (google it) and enjoy reading about history and the weird things that have happened on the planet. I
brew beer and mead with my brother and have 3 dogs. A boxer named Roxy, Boston terrier named Bailey, and a Chihuahua mix we found in our neighborhood that never
left named Maritza. (I didn’t name her) I’m a curious person that always wants to know how that works and what happened here.What is your role here at Cullinan?
I wear several hats here at Cullinan but my official role is Programs Specialist. I mostly
work with math students and their teachers. Although if you have and IT issue or need
help finding a resource, I’m more than happy to help.

Q. What is your teaching background? 
A. I taught in the classroom for 15 years in Riverside Ca for the Alvord Unified School District before moving back to Fresno. I was a 4/5 combo for 3 years then taught just
5 th grade for 2 before moving up to 6 th grade History and Literature for almost 10 years. Shortly after moving to Fresno, I was hired by Michelle here at Cullinan.

Q.How long have you been teaching at Cullinan?
A. I’ve been teaching here almost 9 years I believe. I’m not too sure. Time flies here and I enjoy it so much I’ve lost count.

Q. What subject(s) do you teach at Cullinan?
A. I teach multiple subjects here. Mostly math and some OG. I get a lot of multiple subject HW students too. Making each lesson a new adventure.

Q. What is the most rewarding part of teaching at Cullinan?
A. The a-ha moments. The moment your student does it on his or her own. Seeing the academic scars theses students carry start to heal and their confidence start to grow.
When you see them start to take chances and trust their own ideas and thoughts. That’s what’s rewarding to me. When they go from a consistent “I can’t” to “I’ll try”.

Q.What are some challenges that you or your students have faced since teaching here?
A. Overcoming academic scaring and low self-esteem. Many of our students have the ability to succeed in the classroom. Their academic scaring or low self-esteem can lessen their desire to learn, their ability to focus, and their willingness to take risks. Building them up to believe in themselves sometimes needs to be prioritized before we start to get results.

Q. What is one piece of advice you give to students who are struggling and/or want to give up?
A. If you feel like giving up, I get it but it’s not your fault. You’re not born knowing these things and it’s our job to find the way you’ll learn this. If you give me a chance, I
promise I’ll do everything in my power to make this as easy as possible. I know it’s hard right now and I know you want to quit but I promise I won’t quit on you and I’ll be there until you get it.

Q. What is one piece of advice you would give PARENTS who are struggling with their child’s education?
A. Get educated about your rights as a parent and hold the school system accountable for your child’s education. At the same time be accountable of your time and efforts to
help your child. Are you reading with your child? Are you becoming involved with the school and learning what resources are available for you and your child? Although we
want to blame the school system, we need to make sure as parents that we’re doing our part. Ask the questions you need answered to better educate yourself about the
school system and how it works.

Q. Why should parents choose Cullinan to help their child succeed in the classroom?
A. Cullinan is dedicated to simplifying the complicated school system and provide the support every child needs to succeed in school. One on one lessons are very productive and give the teacher insight that could be missed in a classroom. Here at Cullinan, we take the time and efforts needed to cater to your students’ needs until
they can perform independently and succeed. Who wouldn’t want that for their child?

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