LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Dr. Tonya Manago

Position: Business Teacher
School: Dr. Henry Wise High School
School District: Prince George's County Public Schools
City, State: Upper Marlboro, MD

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Dr. Tonya Manago was nominated by her colleague, Keishia Thorpe.

Dr. Manago has been teaching for over 12 years. She is also the advisor for her school's chapters of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). Dr. Manago is a recent graduate from Regent University with an Ed.D and Ed.S in K-12 Educational Leadership. Currently, she teaches Business Management Capstone, Entrepreneurship I/II, Advanced Business Management, and Office Systems Management.

Dr. Manago is a certified Administrator I/II, Project Management Professional (PMP), Microsoft Educator (MCE), and USATF Track & Field Official. She's a level 1 coach certified by the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) Accredited (AIC) and (CIC) Interscholastic Coach. Dr. Manago is also a passionate basketball and track & field coach who enjoys empowering and motivating students to achieve their acadmeic and athletic dreams by using sports as the foundation for character development.

Dr. Manago comes from very humble beginnings. She grew up on a farm in Virginia and moved to the projects of King Square in Landover, MD at the age of eight. Her biggest challenge growing up was surviving constant threats of drugs, police raids, fights, and poverty. Her community did not have a traditional grocery store, library, or community center. She had to walk from Dodge Park to Palmer Park to participate in sports. She was one of two girls that played on an all-boys basketball team at the age of 11. This started her journey to becoming a student-athlete. She overcame these challenges by focusing on her academics and basketball. Dr. Manago was an honor roll student every year and graduated as valedictorian with a 4.67 GPA. She continued to excel in sports and in the classroom throughout college.

Dr. Manago’s journey consisted of some of the most amazing teachers and coaches, who had a tremendous impact on her life. Her mom had the biggest influence in her life. She gave Dr. Manago a solid foundation on which to build by working endless hours, setting an example of hard work, stressing the importance of education, and being of good character. Her mom was passionate about academics and its ability to ensure that Dr. Manago would have the tools to get out of poverty. Dr. Manago started working at the age of 14 while excelling in academics and sports. She was a hard worker and was promoted to assistant manager at the age of 16 at Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Throughout her remarkable journey, there were many trials and tribulations that continued to shape her into the woman she is today. Dr. Manago’s academic success and competitive nature propelled her leadership and management skills. 

Dr. Manago has been an avid tutor and mentor since the seventh grade. She truly enjoys helping people achieve success in their academic and athletic endeavors. As a scholar-athlete in school, she knew the importance of creating multiple opportunities to achieve success.

Dr. Manago received both an academic and athletic scholarship to Mount Saint Mary’s University. When her brother became ill, she transferred to Bowie State University, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice in three years. She became the first person in her mother’s immediate family to obtain a college degree. Dr. Manago began coaching basketball in 1993 and track in 2000. She enjoys sharing her gifts with others in hopes of teaching them the principles of hard work, sportsmanship, and using sports as an opportunity to excel at the next level.

Dr. Manago is the head coach of Vision Elite Track Club and Commissioner/Coach of Marlboro Boys & Girls Club, where she impacts over 400 kids annually through these community programs. In addition to coaching for these two organizations, she coaches high school basketball, cross-country, and track & field for Prince George’s County Public Schools. Dr. Manago uses these platforms to help shape the future leaders in her community, allowing them to use sports as a platform to excel and learn life lessons that help them develop character and sportsmanship by becoming leaders within their community. 

Dr. Manago was so passionate about the correlation between academics and fitness that she and her sister opened Youth Visions, a “Kids Only Gym” in Upper Marlboro from 2006-2010. It provided opportunities for school-aged youth to develop self-knowledge, self-confidence, and leadership skills by overcoming self-imposed limitations, barriers, and fears.  Dr. Manago takes pride in watching students grow physically, emotionally, and socially in a safe, fun, and affirming environment. She believes in working with children to help boost their self-esteem, develop social skills, learn the fundamentals of sports and fitness, and best of all, have fun. The signature part of the business was the after-school fitness program, where Dr. Manago was able to continue tutoring, mentoring, and coaching children, inspiring them to achieve academic success and become future leaders.

Dr. Manago is an amazing teacher, coach, and mentor who shares her passion for education, business, and sports with her students, athletes, and colleagues by educating, encouraging, inspiring, and helping others to conceptualize their success in the classroom, on the court, and/or on the track & field. She is a true example of a servant-leader who shares her gifts with others, helping them grow into amazing people who develop their own passions and desires to give back to their community. Dr. Manago not only has a passion for coaching and mentoring children, but she also enjoys training other teachers and coaches, helping them become better in their respective content areas. Dr. Manago enjoys helping her students and athletes achieve success by helping them accomplish their goals, thereby making their dreams become a reality. She changes the lives of others by teaching them things they did not know and exposing them to opportunities that may have otherwise been out of reach or unknown. She does this by pushing them to step out of their comfort zone, utilize the principles of hard work, and demonstrate sportsmanship and character while invoking positive change within their community. 

Dr. Manago constantly goes above and beyond for her students, parents, colleagues, and community by offering additional tutoring, training, and mentoring opportunities. She gives unselfishly to everyone by coming in early, staying late, and offering additional opportunities for support. She's constantly sharing her gifts and passion for academics or sports with others. Dr. Manago has helped several students become industry certified in Microsoft Office, Entrepreneurship/Small Business, and Communication Skills in Business. Some of her students have gone to college on both academic and athletic scholarships, and several of her athletes have become professional athletes. Dr. Manago was the 2012 Prince George County Boys & Girls Club Woman of the Year and the 2020 Maryland FBLA Advisor of the Year. 

“Dr. Manago prides herself on creating well-rounded scholar-athletes who understand how to use the platforms of academics, sports, business, and leadership to shape and mold our future sports leaders," said Thorpe.



Comments (12)


Arnetta V. Thornton Posted 12 months ago

Dr. Manago is a true champion in my book!!! We, in the Business Department, call her Magic Manago! She lives up to this title because everything she does is exceptional and she works magic regarding any situation that deals with her students, colleagues, the guidance counselors, and APs! She's a great coach, team leader, competitor and her energy is "off the chain"! She goes above and beyond for everyone in her life and she makes a tremendous difference! She is a lot of fun, lol, I mean absolutely hilarious!!! She loves kids and she thrives on encouraging others to reach their full potential in all aspects of their lives! She's a tech guru and eagerly helps others who are not as tech savvy as she is. She teaches various, engaging tech workshops and has a lot of patience when doing so. I'm so glad I have met her and work with her in the Business Department! I will never forget that I went to her room one day and she was on the phone handling an extremely important call. I was getting ready to leave and she motioned for me to sit down. I sat down and when she finished her call, she took time out of her busy schedule to help me with the BOY forms in eDoctrina. She made sure I understood everything - step by step. She helped decorate my room at the beginning of the year because I was moved to a different, much bigger room this school year. She brings snacks for the team and shares her knowledge and resources with us all the time. She is phenomenal and I thank God for her! She definitely deserves this honor!! Congratulations Manago!!! I am so happy for and proud of YOU!!!! :-D :-D :-D May the blessings of the Lord continue to flow in your life! :-D

Joseph Housey III Posted 12 months ago

Dr. Manago is a great colleague that really loves her job. She's very spirited, and her dedication to the students of Dr. Henry A Wise Jr High School is unparalleled. Congratulations on your nomination. It is well deserved.

Michelle Goslee Posted 12 months ago

Congratulations on this Nomination, you are 100% deserving. Your resume is AMAZING and I want to "Thank You" for imparting your great leadership skills. Our journey started four years ago when you interviewed me. Next, you welcomed me to the team and began grooming and mentoring me every step of the way. This is a demonstration of your dedication and commitment. Our team operates in excellence because of your passion and drive. I thought I was busy, until I met you! Earning you the title of Dr. "Magic Manago" because you MAKE the MAGIC HAPPEN ALL around you! Wishing you continued success. Ms. Goslee

Tanya Ramseur Posted over a year ago

I would like to thank Dr. Manago for being a great mentor for my daughter throughout her time at Wise High School. Dr. Manago encouraged and assisted my daughter wit her studies. She was a positive force that made a difference in my daughter’s life. I have known Dr. Manago for several years. She is very dedicated to assisting students achieve their potential. I enjoy being in her presence. Her positivity to helping students succeed is seen in everything she works on. Good luck Dr. Manago.

Joseph Williams Posted over a year ago

This is a great day-I tell you….THANKYOU DR.Tanya for your lifelong dedication & spirit

Jenna Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Coach Tonya! I can’t think of a more deserving person to receive this nomination! Your love for the kids is undeniable. You not only see the best in them, but you help them to bring it out. You’re amazing!! Keep letting your light shine!

Janet Parks Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Coach Tonya, this award is well deserved. Not only have you touched my daughter Kaitlyn’s life in so many ways but so many other young ladies too. Without all your dedication, hardwork, support but most of all the love you have taught Kaitlyn she would never of been so successful in school, soccer, basketball and in her life. Thanks so much. We love you Coach!

Bridgette Sims Posted over a year ago

Yes, Tonya does go above and beyond the call of parenting, teaching, coaching, encouraging and motivating all whom she comes in contact with. She is always willing to give and support parents and students. She has done it for me and my daughter Janaya during her years of playing AAU.. Dr. Tonya it is an honor to have been in your presents!! Congratulations ????and continue to be great!!! We love ?? you…

Alvin Morgan Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Dr. Manago aka Coach Tonya. This is a well deserved nomination because you are a well respected community leader who continues to impact lives in major ways. Thank you for all times you inspired my daughter to believe in herself. Also, your example encourages me to contribute and serve the community more. Thank you for all of your leadership.

Shamika oliver Posted over a year ago

Congratulations to my cousin on all her great accomplishments we are proud of you love you

Alante Pritchett Posted over a year ago

To me she’s Dr Manago, Coach Tonya, Mom….First my track coach back in 2006, over the last 16 years she has done many things to impact my life in a great way. She introduced me to my first employer, she provided employment for me, assisted me in navigating through my professional and academic career, she introduced me to coaching which helped me grow from a volunteer assistant coach to a varsity HS head coach. Dr Manago even opened her home to me. There’s a million things I’ve seen Dr Manago do over the time I’ve known her. She’s always putting others first, the most selfless person I’ve ever met. She does all the things she does for her community without asking for a thing in return. It’s really amazing. I’m forever grateful for being able to have Dr Manago in my life. I wish I had time to make a cleaner post to be able to better explain how important she is to the community but I know so many people know this and she does too.

Dawn Butler Posted over a year ago

Congratulations Tonya!! This award could not have gone to a more worthy person!! You have impacted me and my family in so many positive ways from Adrianna's daycare at age 4, to her aging out of your track and basketball programs to great positions for my entire family. I cannot thank you enough! Continue to be great Dr. Manago. We love you to pieces! ??????