Education & Social Sciences

Education - Alumni Teacher of the Year

The Warren K. and Helen J. Garner Alumni Teacher of the Year award honors a Manchester University teacher education alumnus/alumnae who is currently active in classroom teaching in preschool through grade 12, who:

  • has made significant contributions to education
  • provides exceptional service to the profession
  • is deeply concerned for the individual students
  • is able to inspire learning


Warren K. and Helen J. Garner Alumni Teacher of the Year Honorees:

2023Joel Eichenauer '91Elementary

Michelle Keim ‘05

2019Stacey Morgan '09English/Language Arts 
2017Marie Snyder ’67 HarrisElementary
2015Jody Sarber '07Secondary Math

Ryan S. Evans '07

2013Paige Keim ’95Elementary
2012Kacina Peters ’06 PfeifferElementary
2011Connie Hicks ’74 PipherElementary
2010Portia Price ’86 CoeElementary
2005Phil Sheets '71 '75
 Pam Nussbaum Sheets'72 '75Third Grade
2003David McKenzie ’83English and Speech
2001Beth Jones ’85Elementary
2000Michael Hummer ’72Elementary
1999Daniel Tyree ’76English and Speech
1997Kermit Eby III '80Social Studies
1995Dean Beery ’65Fourth Grade
1994Robert Harkness ’68Third Grade
1993Kay Browning ’68 SponsellerEnglish
1992Larry Baker ’62Language Arts and Drama
1991Nelda Brandeberry ’55 SniderHome Economics
1990Joann Fisher ’54 OwenThird Grade
1989Glen Dillman ’69Social Studies
1988Ruth Brown ’40 Brubaker
*The award was not presented in 2018 and 2020. 

2023 Alumni Teacher of the Year

Joel Eichenauer is a 1991 graduate of Manchester College, now University. Upon graduation, Joel taught 5th grade at Harrison Elementary in Warsaw, Indiana. After that year, he moved to Michigan when his wife, Lori, went to medical school. Joel then taught for seven more years until he decided to stay home to raise their three children, as well as teach at the preschool they attended.  Joel returned to the public-school classroom, teaching 4th grade at Manchester Elementary School in 2006. In 2018, Joel started a STEM program for Manchester Elementary School where he teaches students STEM activities. In this position, Joel has worked to develop an Outdoor Learning Lab. His vision of local STEM has grown into authentic learning experiences for Pre-K through 3rd grade students. Through grant funding, MES received a hoop house that Joel, with a team of volunteers, built. Joel also worked with high school industrial technology students, their teacher and members of Boys Scout Troop 465 (pursuing Eagle Scout) to construct raised bed gardens, benches, and a trail through a wooded area on school grounds. The trail is now part of our annual Earth Day Celebration, which Joel coordinates for the entire elementary school.

Joel is also in his 12th season of coaching girls' high school tennis. He also coached boys' high school tennis for 5 years, and coached tennis at Manchester University for 2 different seasons. A co-worker described him well, saying, “Joel has a special gift for creating curiosity and wonder. His enthusiasm for all things science is contagious. He refers to his students as young scientists and engineers and works hard to make sure that the lessons he creates lead students to ask questions and make connections.”