Heather Manuel

Liberty University
BS Early Childhood Education
What were you like as a child?
Believe it or not, I was extremely shy and reserved as a child.  My Kindergarten year, my mom, who was a single mother, had to drop me off every morning if before-care where I attached myself to the teacher's side and cried until school started ... every day, all year long.  Even though I know that was so tiring, I don't remember ever feeling like Miss Ann was frustrated or tired of me.  I felt loved and cared for.  I outgrew the crying, but it wasn't until 6th grade that I moved beyond my timidity and insecurities because a teacher fostered a gift she saw in me that I didn't know I had.  She gave me a monologue to perform in front of about 600 people at our school's Christmas program.  It was an incredible turning point for me.  Those two teachers will never know how powerful their affirmations were in my life!
Why did you become a teacher?
The influence my own teachers had on my life is simply profound.  I can't imagine investing my life in anything more worthwhile.  I became a teacher precisely to do what the SRCS vision statement so eloquently puts to words:  "to produce graduates who are passionate about God and His church and who are equipped to thrive in higher education, create healthy families, and bring the joy and peace of the gospel to a broken world." 
What do you most enjoy about your job?
Preschool: It is an incredible privilege to provide many of these children and their families with their first school experience.  I love seeking ways to engage their little minds in learning, ignite their imaginations, and spark their curiosity.  It is a joy to walk alongside the parents as well, providing tools and resources to assist them in the monumental task of raising children.
Drama: In addition to providing another outlet for upper school students to express their creativity through fine arts, I love that our theater program instills character through perseverance, fosters a team player mindset, and builds confidence and presence that will give them an edge in whatever profession they choose.