The New and Improved Mr. Manuel

Jacob Robbins
Courtney Arison

One of Trumbull High’s most beloved teachers is no longer teaching. But no need to fear- Mr. Todd Manuel is still here. From business teacher to C-House principal, Mr. Manuel has taken on a new role in the THS community. The transition for all 300 accounting, marketing, and entrepreneurship students has not been easy but after talking to the man himself, it is evident that this transition will take him beyond his hopes. From affecting the lives of 300 students, he will now be affecting the lives of over 2000 students. What the remarkable Mr. Manuel had to say about his past and future at Trumbull High is one of a kind.

Mr. Manuel starts off describing his unique childhood. “I attended the University of Miami on scholarship for Division 1 basketball, with a major in Education and a minor in Business. However, I got injured, and was forced to take a break during my Sophomore year. I had received a medical red shirt from the NCAA. At this time, my father had a severe heart attack and he continued to tell me that all he wanted was to see me play.”

Sadness consumes Mr. Manuel as he continues on saying, “I had to make a decision of staying at UMiami and not getting much play time, or leaving and attending a different college, where I would be able to play more. I was able to transfer to St. Anslem College. Even if it meant switching from a D1 to a D2 school, it meant that my father would finally get to see me do what I love.”

Mr. Manuel’s face now brightens and starts off describing his life post college. “I got the opportunity to travel to Europe for 4 and ½ years to play basketball.” Suddenly, his face glooms again. “While in Europe, I got a call one day from a family member telling me my mom had become ill. She had suddenly passed, and I ended up in Connecticut where she lived. My at-the-time girlfriend, and now wife, is what ultimately kept me here. I finished my Education major at University of Bridgeport, and jumped on the opportunity of becoming the new JV basketball coach at THS. Two months after I became coach, I was offered a student teaching job. I was then given the opportunity to become a full time teacher. ”

A bright green button hanging in the top left corner of a bulletin board in Mr. Manuel’s office stands out. Bold black letters read, “Education is the foundation.” This statement summarizes exactly what Mr. Manuel proceeds to confess. “What I tell my students, and continually tell myself is ‘Put yourself in position to have opportunities.’”

Mr. Manuel describes his process of gaining his new position . This summer, I went through a grueling interview, being interrogated by more than 14 people, including teachers, administrators, parents, and students. I then made it to the next round, where I met with the superintendent and the principal, and was officially offered the job.”

Mr. Manuel continues to tie back into his ideals. “This job would still allow me to continue what I do the best. I had a micro approach in the classroom and now I can have a macro approach as principal. Education is everything to me, and I can still enforce that, just at a new level.”

Mr. Manuel’s newly personalized office, although a work in progress, is full of character. With something as simple as two family portraits framed and hung, and a single green button tacked into a bulletin board, Mr. Manuel’s beliefs are no longer an idea, but are now apart of Trumbull High School. Looking back at the intense discussion, it is clear that the reason for Mr. Manuel’s intentions is to satisfy his family and loved ones. Mr. Manuel shares his ideas, previously through teaching and now through being the C-House principal, by waking up everyday and doing what he does best.

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