• Kelly McManus, eighth-grade math teacher, Bellefonte Area Middle School

    kellym20 At one time, Kelly McManus believed he’d be in the computer science field. That was until he realized just how “awful” he said it was being at a computer regularly for eight hours straight. He added that the brief time he spent in the insurance industry after graduating from Penn State “trumped sitting in front of a computer” for that long.

    With a new plan for his future that was realized sometime after his junior year in college, the now longtime teacher is heading into his 16th year in eighth-grade math at Bellefonte Area Middle School. It’s where he’s spent all of his professional teaching career.

    “One thing I can say about teaching is that it’s not dull at all,” McManus said. “My mother is a teacher so I knew about the perks and also the amount of work it entailed. … The biggest appeal is that it’s new every day, and my approach is all about consistency with the kids, so they know what to expect and keep them engaged and moving forward where they need to be.”

    McManus received his undergraduate degree in math from Penn State and master’s degree and teaching certificate from Bloomsburg University.

    Known around school to many students as the “cool” teacher, McManus, said he prides himself on a mix of learning while having fun and getting to know the students on a personal level.

    “I would definitely say that trying to connect with the kids and find out what their interests are, whether it’s track or swimming or drama, is important,” he said. “I kind of pride myself on remembering those things very well and having those personal connections with them throughout the year.”

    Outside of school, McManus said he’s the handyman at home doing his part to finish home improvement and woodworking projects. He also said he enjoys boating with his family at Bald Eagle State Park and on the Niagara River near Buffalo where his wife, Emily, was raised. She is also a teacher in the district – Spanish at Bellefonte Area High School. They have two children – a daughter heading into first grade at Bellefonte Elementary School and a 4-year-old son.

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD