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Staff Spotlight - Travis Newman

Travis NewmanEvery year, teachers and educational professionals from each Freehold Regional High School District school are selected to be honored in the Monmouth County Governor's Educator of the Year Program. We are recognizing each of the 2022-2023 recipients in a Staff Spotlight series. This week, we are highlighting Travis Newman, a special education teacher at Manalapan High School.  

Mr. Newman has taught at Manalapan High School since 2012, where he runs the Student Transition Employment Program (STEP). As part of STEP, Mr. Newman helps run the School Store at Manalapan and takes pride in the wide variety of snacks and apparel that they offer on a daily basis. In addition to STEP, Mr. Newman teaches a Social & Conversation Skills course to RAP and RLA students and is the Structured Learning Experience Coordinator for Science & Engineering Magnet Program students that take an internship as part of their senior project. Mr. Newman has also been active with the weekly Bravecast and is the advisor for Student Government.

It was a bit overwhelming when Mr. Newman heard his name announced as Teacher of the Year, but he enjoyed the special moment, especially when his family surprised him at the celebration. 

"Over and over, year after year, my proudest accomplishments in this profession are getting students to a point they never thought possible. I teach primarily in a special education setting that focuses on preparing students for a successful life after graduation. That looks dramatically different for each and every student that comes through the door in September, and what I like best about my role here is that I am able to meet the needs of each child in unique ways that make a real impact on them," Mr. Newman said.

When asked what his advice would be for a new teacher, Mr. Newman said to make your next lesson your top priority. 

"It sounds so simple, but it is important that we as teachers, at all stages in our careers, don’t let the countless other tasks and responsibilities derail us from our primary objective," he said.  

Mr. Newman noted that new teachers can sometimes feel overwhelmed, but said a plan for solid classroom instruction goes a long way. He said the time spent with students between the bells can fly and making the most of that time is important.