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:


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. 

2022 Alumni Teacher of the Year

Michelle Keim graduated in 2005 with degrees in both Elementary Education and French, spending her junior year in France. Since then, she has taught in Chicago first as a preschool teacher, then as a classroom teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. 

Today, she teaches social studies and reading to 6th graders at Alain Locke Charter Academy in Chicago. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and a senior fellow for the Chicago Foundation for Education Action Research Leadership Institute.

Not only does she take enthusiasm and positivity into the classroom, she also takes on additional organizational and logistical responsibilities in her school building. She is an effective leader, passionate child advocate, and exceptional colleague. To offer the best education she can for her students, who often live in poverty, Michelle has written and secured several grants. This funding has provided her students with the newest technology, reading materials and even African-American art for their classroom.

2019 Alumni Teacher of the Year

Stacey Morgan graduated summa cum laude from Manchester University in 2009 with an English/Language Arts education degree. Stacey is completing her tenth year as an English/language arts teacher in the Wa-Nee School Corporation, where her dedication to her students, commitment to strengthening the school culture, and actively engaging in her community are evident. She was the 2016 Nappanee Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year and has received the Microsoft Innovated Educator Expert award from 2017-2019. Among the committees she serves are the Attendance Committee, Student Inspiration Committee, and Grant Committee. While on the Grant Committee, she helped secure grants to fund sensory room materials, new FACS room equipment and whole school professional development. Stacey also serves as the Spell Bowl Coach and organized a grade wide fundraiser with Charity: Water, raising over $2,000.00. Stacey and her husband, David Morgan, are parents to two children, Evelyn, 6, and Eleanor, 2.

2017 Alumni Teacher of the Year

With a fund created by Helen and Warren Garner, 1950 Manchester College graduates and long-time educators, each year the department recognizes an Alumni Teacher of the Year.

Marie Harris has a long lineage tied to Manchester University. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Manchester College (now University) in 1967. While here, she met her husband, Allan Harris ’66. In addition, her parents met while attending Manchester, and two of her brothers, one sister-in-law and one daughter are all Manchester graduates. Marie also earned her Master’s Degree from St. Francis in 1969.

Upon graduation from Manchester, Marie taught in the MSD Corporation of Wabash County and Wabash City Schools before finding her home in the West Noble School Corporation, where she has been teaching since 1977. She has taught kindergarten, 1st grade readiness, 1st grade, 3rd grade and 2nd grade, where she is currently the team leader. Manchester values the partnership she has continued with our education students, allowing her class to be pen pals with our teacher candidates, bringing her students to campus and allowing our students into her classroom for various activities. She is a member of NEA, ISTA, the School Leadership Council and the Ligonier UMC.

Marie has three daughters, Rebekah, Sarah and Abigail. She also has five grandchildren, Katherine, David, John Benjamin, Matthew, Elizabeth, and another one due this month.