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