Position: Retiring Assistant Superintendent
School: Plainfield CCSD #202
School District: Plainfield CCSD #202
City, State: Plainfield, IL
Music that Describes Anthony
Anthony Manville was nominated by his colleague, Cindy Westfall.
Mr. Manville is an exemplary educator and leader. He started out in his district approximately 20 years ago. He was a teacher at the high school level teaching social studies and psychology. Mr. Manville was also a baseball coach, and he spent many hours with the students. Then, he became a dean of students, where he could guide the students and help them get on the right path.
Then, Mr. Manville was asked to help open up a new middle school in his district as an assistant principal. He did it graciously. He spent countless hours hiring teachers for the building, putting student desks and chairs together, and getting the course schedules ready for the start of the school year. The principal of that buiding left after the first year, and Mr. Manville was able to step up and take on the role of principal to keep continuity in the building. The teachers and staff were very relieved when they found out he would be continuing on as their leader. At the end of every year, he would hold a staff BBQ and provide lunch for them as a way of saying thank you.
After spending seven years at the middle school, Mr. Manville was asked to open up the new high school that was being built. He was able to have a year of planning for this new building. He hired the entire staff for the building, helped to pick out the furniture, oversaw the interior design, and built the character of the building. The high school opened up with freshmen and sophomores.
Whenever a new school opens, there is always some uneasiness and discomfort among the community because students will be moved around to a different building. Knowing the apprehension the students would be feeling, Mr. Manville had a meeting with all of the sophomore students letting them know they were the leaders of the building. As classes were added each year, he would meet with them as a school and let them know that being in high school was their career at that time. He would give them inspirational thoughts each week and tell them that not everyone is meant to go to college, and that some people are meant to go into trades, restaurants, hair salons, etc. He told students to never underestimate themselves, to have goals in life, and that nothing was out of their reach.
Mr. Manville had a slogan put on the walls that the students would see everyday as they walked to the academic hallway. It read, "You came as boys and girls, and if you work and struggle, you will leave as men and women." These students put so much pride into this saying. They would put it in their commencement speeches and use it amongst themselves while talking with their friends. Every year, after graduation practice, Mr. Manville would hold a BBQ for the seniors. It was his way of saying thank you to them for doing a great job in high school. Mr. Manville had a way of making everyone feel like they were part of a family. That was his goal in life. He treated everyone with respect, no matter what their role was.
After a while, a new opportunity arose, and Mr. Manville was given the role of assistant superintendent of administration and personnel. The students, teachers and staff were very sad to see him leave the high school. However, it was the perfect role for him, as he is a people person.
"I cannot tell you how many people have said that he is so nice and easy to talk to when you have questions," said Westfall. "After all, he was the one who was helping them with their careers, retirements, and life choices. They used his guidance and knowledge as they planned ahead."
Mr. Manville made everyone feel like they mattered and they were important. He would remind people how important their roles were in the district. It didn't matter if you were at the very top or the very bottom - to Mr. Manville, everyone mattered. Without you, he would say, this wouldn't work. He makes the time for you. He answers your questions, and if he doesn't have an answer at the time of your meeting, he will find the answer and get back to you.
"Mr. Manville is retiring at the end of this year, and he will be dearly missed by so many. He has touched thousands of lives in his career," said Westfall. "I know he has made a lasting impression on many students across the district. So many students would come back from college to visit with him and tell him what they have decided to do in life. They always said, 'Mr. Manville I thought of you when I decided to do this.' He has shown many people the correct way of treating others, which is with respect, no matter who you are. A hand shake, a pat on the back and a smile goes a long way."