‘Teacher of ability and conviction’
Cliff Hannon draws on Manchester experience
Cliff Hannon carries a lot of Manchester lessons through life, but there’s one that guides him every day: Whatever you do, do it well.
The 2012 Manchester graduate is doing a lot of things well these days. He’s a social studies teacher at East Noble Middle School where he coaches the football team and is winning the admiration of colleagues and his principal, Andrew Deming. “Cliff is a tremendous asset to East Noble and the education profession in general,” says Deming. “He is constantly striving to hone his skills to become the best teacher, colleague and role model he can be.”
Hannon knew he wanted to teach when he came to Manchester from nearby Carroll High School. “I had a passion for history,” he says, “but what I fell in love with was the process of education, the methods and the pedagogy.” He started to see how much work goes into teaching and became fascinated with the different ways educators use to reach different kinds of students.
The mix of classroom teaching and coaching is particularly rewarding for Hannon, who played offensive line all four years for the football Spartans. “I love being able to interact with kids in different settings,” he says, well aware that lessons learned in athletics — time management, teamwork, character, work ethic — can be just as important as lessons learned in the classroom. Hannon knows that most of his middle school players won’t play high school football, so it’s important to him “that they leave this experience a better person.”
Hannon says Manchester made him better person. “I had an awesome experience,” he says, especially the close relationships with classmates, teammates, coaches and faculty. “I would recommend Manchester to anyone. I miss it.”
Hannon has particularly high praise for MU’s Education Department, which gets students into the classroom right away and prepares them for everything from classroom management to job interviews. And that praise goes both ways. “I haven’t worked with many people who take teaching as seriously as Cliff does,” says Mike Martynowicz, instructor of education. “Cliff embodies everything we want our teacher candidates to be. He connects with students naturally, engages them with creative lesson planning, and is a consistently positive role model.”
Hannon is one of many young alums making Manchester proud. “Cliff lives the mission every single day,” says Martynowicz. “He is a teacher of ability and conviction.”