Once a Panther, always a Panther

Chance Manternach
As a coach and educator, Manternach renews his sense of community pride
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     This is a five-week series, highlighting Monticello High School graduates who have returned to teach within the Monticello Community School District.

   The 2022-23 school year saw five former Monticello students come back to serve their alma mater. The Express wanted to share their stories…

   Chance Manternach, a 2012 graduate of Monticello High School, spent the last five years coaching for the MCSD. This school year, he took on a full-time teaching position as the sixth-grade science and social studies teacher.

   “I’ve always felt like Monticello is the place I wanted to spend my life,” he said of expanding his role here as an educator. “I really enjoy being part of this community as a whole.”

   After so many years of coaching, Manternach added, “I just knew I wanted to be a part of this district in an even bigger way.”

   Over the last five years, Manternach has coached or assisted in coaching a variety of sports, including:

   • Boys basketball

   • Varsity baseball

   • 9-10 baseball

   • Eighth-grade girls and boys basketball

   • Middle school boys track

   Prior to taking a teaching job with the MCSD, Manternach taught health classes at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Dubuque.

   He earned his teaching degree in physical education and health for K-12 at the University of Dubuque.

   As for why he pursued a career in education, Manternach shared that he’s always enjoyed working with children, whether it was coaching youth sports or helping younger students with their homework.

   “It always made me feel good when I could help another person succeed. When I would see how excited they got learning a new skill, it really made me want to become a teacher.”

   Manternach said it’s a role reversal now being a teacher versus a student of the MCSD.

   “You see a whole different side of the school. As a student, you don’t see all of the hard work that teachers are putting in outside of the school day.”

   He now knows that, as a teacher, extra time and work is required when it comes to “shaping the young minds of tomorrow.”

   Manternach praised the teachers he had growing up.

   “They helped shape me into the person that I am today!”

   He wants to pass that same impression onto his students.

   “I want to help shape the future of this community in any way that I can,” said Manternach.

   Working alongside some of the very teachers he had in school, Manternach said they will always be viewed as “teachers.” Though it has been an adjustment seeing them as co-workers and friends now.

   “It helps to be able to lean on them for advice whenever I have a question,” he said. “Using their expertise helps me to become a better teacher, and the relationships you build with your co-workers makes it a good learning environment for the students.”

   Having been a MCSD student and athlete, and now a coach and teacher, Manternach said it brings him great pride to be part of a group of returning graduates who just want to make a difference in their community.

   “Monticello has always been a special place to me. Now, being an educator here makes me even more proud to be a part of this great community.”


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