The College of Education’s Office of Innovation and Inspiration found an innovative way to thank area teachers for their military service by surprising them with an Education Salute award during class.
The teachers who received the awards on Sept. 30 were Manhattan High School’s Ed Chandler, David Jordan, Pat McKinney and Eunice Rivera. Tonnie Martinez, assistant professor and coordinator of the Office of Innovation and Inspiration, developed the ongoing program as a means to demonstrate the wealth of knowledge many teachers bring to the classroom.
Martinez invited two officers from the Big Red One to help present the awards. They were First Lt. Anthony Magallanes and First Lt. Jessica Deason.
“A lot of the students in the classes looked like they had no idea that their teachers even served,” Deason said.
According to Martinez, that was exactly the point.
“Teachers bring an amazing amount of talent and experience to the classroom, but they rarely talk about themselves because they are so humble,” Martinez said. “It was so great to see the expressions on the students’ faces because they truly had no idea the types of missions their teachers had been on. Many of those students will look at their teachers in a whole new light.”