Meet the 2018 National Teacher of the Year: Mandy Manning

Only on "CBS This Morning," we are proud to announce the 2018 teacher of the year: Mandy Manning of Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington. This exceptional educator, who teaches English and math to refugee and immigrant students, will spend the next year as an advocate for more than three million teachers and 50 million public school students across the country. 

In her role as National Teacher of the Year, Manning said she wants to share her students' stories "because I think it's vitally important, especially right now." She is often the first teacher her students have when they come to the U.S. 

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Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year CBS News

"I want to encourage people to have experiences outside of their understanding, and I want educators to provide students with that opportunity. Because we fear what we don't understand, and so experience is really, really important. And so that's what I'm advocating," Manning said Friday on "CBS This Morning.

Manning was chosen by the non-profit Council of Chief State School Officers based on her effective work inside the classroom.

A number of her former students, who Manning said have had "experiences that no young person should have to go through," also spoke about her impact. 

"Ms. Manning taught me confidence," Hussein Al Khazraji said. 

"I always wanted to be a doctor. But she inspired me. She convinced me to do it," Tamara Jubran said. 

"She don't care about where you come from, how your background is. She just helps," Solomon Katmbi said. 

Manning said many of her students are "so excited and hopeful" about being in the United States.

"No one wants to leave their home. No one wants to do that. They're forced to leave wherever they're from, whether they're immigrants or refugees. And so they've come to the United States with this hope that it's going to be somehow different," Manning said. "And I continue to hear that from the students. They're like, 'This is my chance.' 'This is where I have an opportunity to have dreams and to actually achieve those dreams.' And so they're extremely focused and they want to learn and they want to be here and it's amazing." 

Manning also said she loves teenagers because "there's so much possibility all the time."

"And life... hasn't yet happened. They think so in the moment and that's also like awesome to watch. But, you know, there's so much ahead and just that potential is so exciting," Manning said.

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Mandy Manning with a student CBS News