Brian Manley, an automotive teacher for the Cherry Creek School District, was honored as Trade and Industrial Education Division Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) on Nov. 30 at the ACTE Vision Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The award recognizes the finest career and technical education (CTE) teachers at the middle and high school level who have demonstrated innovation in the classroom, commitment to their students and dedication to the improvement of CTE in their institutions and communities.
Manley says his love of cars guided him into his initial CTE experience at Warren Tech, which led him to a 35-year career as a Master Automobile Technician and a 24-year teaching career in Cherry Creek Schools. (He’s also been a cross country and track coach at Smoky Hill High School for 23 years!)
In 1997, Manley orchestrated the initial National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) certification of the automotive facilities at Smoky Hill High School. In subsequent years, he facilitated five-year renewals of the NATEF certification for the automotive training facility, curriculum, instructors, equipment, tools and administrative services. For 20 years, Manley has served as an NATEF Evaluation Team Leader, certifying over 30 high school and college-level automotive training programs.
Over the years, Manley has prepared CCSD students to compete in the Ford/AAA Auto Skills Contest, where they diagnose and repair “bugged” vehicles while racing against the clock. Manley’s students have earned 13 top-three places at the state level, including four firsts, and they have received thousands of dollars in scholarships. Many have earned industry certifications and gone on to rewarding careers in the automotive industry.
Outside of the classroom, Manley represented Cherry Creek Schools on the state Educator Effectiveness Committee, which explored how districts would implement Colorado’s Educator Effectiveness legislation. He has also served as treasurer and president of the Colorado Auto Teachers Society.
A lifelong learner, Manley is currently working on his doctoral degree. He is also leading the development of the automotive program at the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, a new, state-of-the-art college and career preparedness facility, which will open in August 2019.