Manual adds three new ECE assistants


The 2019-2020 school year will see new faces within our student body and faculty, including three new Exceptional Child Education (ECE) assistants.

These teachers will work around the building and rotate in and out of the building by the day. Here’s a little about each teacher and what they will be doing this year. 

Tiffany Schnieder 

Tiffany Schnieder has been drawn to working with special needs kids her whole life. “My heart’s always been with special needs kiddos,” Schnieder said. 

Schnieder chose to teach at Manual because it was a good opportunity for her. “I couldn’t say no,” Schnieder said. 

While she believes the ECE program is better at Manual, Schnieder helps bring attention to the need for Manual to better integrate ECE students with the larger student body.

“Other students are a little scared being around them, but I think once you get to know them, you’ll see you’ve got a lot in common with them” Schnieder said.

“There’s a great team here and a lot of support so our kids are pushed to be the best that they can be,” Schnieder said.

Carrie Thomas

Carrie Thomas is coming to Manual from Meyzeek Middle School, where she worked with a student one on one throughout the year, and at Manual she is the ECE implementation coach. 

Thomas got into this position after the student she was working individually with graduated at Meyzeek and seeing that Manual was looking to grow their ECE staff.

In addition to working at Meyzeek, Thomas has worked with multiple schools for younger children.

“I’ve always been a people person and it’s a helping profession. [I have a] degree in social work so I always saw myself working with people in some capacity,” Thomas said.

While Thomas may be new to Manual as a staff member, she is familiar with the community. She has a son who currently attends the school which emphasizes her family oriented life.

“I’m the ultimate soccer mom, and my daughter’s a gymnast,” Thomas said. “We’re pretty tight at home when we get the chance to see each other.”

Thomas took many years off of working to raise her kids, but now that they are more independent, she is carrying over her skills to help students reach their fullest potential. 

“All of this stuff feels very natural to me, sometimes it doesn’t even feel like a job. I like just being helpful. I’m grateful to have the ability to be able to choose this and be with my kids at other times,” Thomas said. 

“It was such a no-brainer. Manual is such an awesome school and anybody would be lucky to work here,” J

Dwyana Garrett 

While Garrett has spent the past six years working in special education, her initial involvement with ECE came by surprise.

“I worked at a middle school and was actually hired there as a cheerleading coach, and the principal wanted me to do something in-house, so I took a job as an instructional assistant and I really liked it, so that was actually what connected me to special education,” Garrett said.

Although it was unexpected, Garrett feels working with ECE students is personal after she learned she could have been like the students she works with. 

“I was actually supposed to be born in the category of special education and after hearing that story from my parents and not coming out as ‘normal,’ I realized I should probably give back,” Garrett said. 

Garrett credits her past to working in this field but also credits her parents for being supportive of her both when she was young and even today. 

“My parents have always supported me throughout everything. They attended all my games, all my sports events and even now as an adult. They support whatever school I work at so they’re really into whatever I do,” Garrett said. 

You can find her in the building every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the attendance office.

“I really like being around the kids here, I like the environment, everyone I’ve met here at Manual is really nice so I’m just excited to be here and be somewhere different,” Garrett said.