By Deb Larkin, Environmental Educator, Bluegrass Greensource 

Emily Manier grew up near Crab Orchard, KY.  She attended Crab Orchard Elementary from Kindergarten through 8th grade.  Her goal, from the time she realized that she wanted to teach, was to come back and teach at her alma mater, her “home” school.  Her teachers there had inspired her, and after graduating from Berea College, she came back.  She has always loved the friendly, welcoming atmosphere and the compassion shown the children at the school.  “The school is just small enough that you get to know the students well even before they get to your grade level”, she says.  All three of her own children have now graduated from 5th Grade at Crab Orchard Elementary.

She feels that the “Leader in Me” and “Crayons to College” programs, as well as partnerships with outside organizations like 4-H and Bluegrass GreenSource, help their students branch out and find the leadership qualities that make them successful.  She says that “these wonderful resources allow our students to learn, broaden their perspectives, and be active in their community.” 

Ms. Manier has worked with Bluegrass GreenSource for the last 8 years of her 18 years teaching at Crab Orchard Elementary.  I have worked with her Science classes for 7 of those years, with monthly classes focused on Recycling (she sponsors the Recycling Team), Litter Abatement (her students do an annual litter clean up of the school grounds) and Water Quality.  This year her classes will also be participating in BGGS’s DEDI and Toyota Energy programs.  Working with Ms. Manier and her students is a highlight of each month for me.   They exemplify the “friendly, welcoming atmosphere” and an excitement about learning that keep me looking forward to returning.  Ms. Manier is carrying on the tradition as an inspiration for her students.