Teacher Tanya Maness, who transferred from Arlington HS to MHS this year, sponsors Academic Decathlon and teaches biology.
Q: What was your favorite class or teacher when you were a student?
A: AP biology. (The teacher) was very intense and definitely knew his stuff, so I felt like I gained a lot of knowledge from taking his class.
Q: What kind of high school student would you have described yourself as?
A: Pretty conscious of my grades. I was into a lot of different clubs and was a pretty well-rounded student. I was in student council, not the class, but the club. I was also in Key Club and Young Life.
Q: Describe some of your most memorable memories of high school.
A: I was the stat girl for the baseball team. We went to state so that was a really exciting experience my junior year. (I also had) good friends and was involved with everything. I had friends who were really smart, friends who were the jocks and friends who were everywhere.
Q: What were some of your favorite books? Music? TV shows?
A: Patricia Cornwell. She writes mystery books and suspense. She has a series and has the same main character throughout it. U2 was my favorite band of all time and TV shows I liked were Seinfield, Who’s the Boss, Cheers and The Wonder Years.
Q: Did you have a job during high school or college?
A: Right when I turned 16, I was a hostess for Olive Garden and I worked there three days a week.
Q: Did you have any challenges during highschool that shaped you or influenced you in your classroom?
A: I had to quit the varsity tennis team because of the coach. I really liked tennis, but (many) of us had to quit. That was eye-opening on learning how to deal with difficult situations.
Q: What college did you attend and why?
A: UT Arlington. It was kind of close so it was convenient and a little less expensive than Baylor. I wanted to get into science and UT Arlington has a good science program. My other choice to go to was Baylor.
Q: Explain what led you to teach.
A: I knew in high school I wanted to make a difference in the world. A lot of people talked me out of (teaching) and said that it’s not enough money, you have to deal with kids who think they know everything and you have to deal with parents. So people talked me out of it and when I went into the workforce, I ran a doctor’s office for a few years. Once I got to know everything about instruments, hiring and scheduling nurses, I then got bored. Finally, I (asked myself) “What do I really what to do for the rest of my life?” So I went back to teaching.
Q: What are you most excited for this year?
A: New school and new experiences. Mansfield High has a great reputation.
Q: Do you have any advice for students at our school?
A: Always try your best, but you don’t have to be perfect.