He’s the ‘Man’ahan: Former local resident, international educator is new charter school director | SierraSun.com

He’s the ‘Man’ahan: Former local resident, international educator is new charter school director

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

David Manahan

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; School district approval? Check. Start-up funding? Check. New school site? Check. Hiring a director to manage K-5 students, three teachers, a new hands-on curriculum, and miles and miles of administrative logistical issues and paperwork? As of June, check.

Less than two months away from an Aug. 25 opening, Sierra Expeditionary Learning School and#8212; an independent Tahoe Truckee Unified School District charter school based in hands-on learning and#8212; recently announced it will operate out of Sierra Mountain Community Education Center in Truckee and it had hired David Manahan as its founding director.

Manahan takes the job after nearly 20 years of educational experience. Though Manahan has lived in the Tahoe Truckee area before, his most recent job was director and site manager for the Center for Rainforest Studies in Queensland, Australia, where he managed operations, programming and staff of the small teaching and learning research facility.

As a classroom educator, Manahan has taught fifth grade, and has trained teachers in math, science and social studies methods, while teaching geography and environmental studies in higher education. His education includes a masterand#8217;s of science in experiential education and a Ph.D. in geography.

In an interview last week, Manahan said he is excited about his new position at charter and praised its unique learning curriculum.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s such a great concept educationally. Its the kind of education Iand#8217;ve been practicing for the last 15 years and this is the formal way of applying it into the public school system,and#8221; said Manahan.

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Manahan said he is working with the charter schooland#8217;s school board to finalize the hiring of the schooland#8217;s three teachers and retrieve necessary classroom supplies for students.

and#8220;It is sort of a two-pronged job,and#8221; he said of his position. and#8220;The main reason is because my focus is for the school to have quality learning experience for the students. And the other aspect is to perform all the administrative tasks.and#8221;

Beside his daily administrative tasks, Manahan said he will work to promote the schooland#8217;s curriculum and learning model, something he said is trend setting in its combination of basic education and themes such as community service, the environment and hands-on learning.

and#8220;My position really, in a sense, is selling our school, teaching people to trust in the unknown,and#8221; he said.

Manahan said he sees the school as another option for parents who want an academic environment that promotes standardized state education and yet incorporates service, hands-on exploration and character building at the same time.

and#8220;I think itand#8217;s an exciting program and I think its a nice option for residents to choose,and#8221; he said.