LANCASTER, Pa. — A Lancaster County autistic support teacher was recently named an All-Pro Teacher by the Philadelphia Eagles and the chemical company Nouryon.
Ashley Mansfield is in her eighth year on the faculty at McCaskey High School. A 2014 alum and current graduate student at Millersville University, Mansfield is one of 10 educators named to the All-Pro Teacher team, which honors exceptional 5th through 12th-grade teachers in the region for their commitment to education.
“It is a great honor to be named a Nouryon All-Pro Teacher for the Philadelphia Eagles," Mansfield said in a Millersville University press release. "I am humbled, and it is an incredible feeling to be among the other educators who have been named to this team."
Mansfield’s passion for teaching is inspired by her parents, who were lifelong teachers. She uses creative and out-of-the-box teaching methods to help her students achieve independence and master necessary life skills.
By combining various teaching techniques, she has been able to not only promote independent work but also encourage the students to engage in group dynamics. Many activities are designed to get the students out of their seats and working together.
Mansfield's students have played a crucial role in her personal life. In 2019, her wife, Jen, gave birth to their son, Adam, at 24 weeks gestation. Mansfield spent her days with her students and her nights and weekends at the NICU with her family. Adam passed away in March 2020 after three and a half months of life.
The perseverance and love she sees every day in the classroom got Mansfield through and helped her prepare for the birth of her healthy and happy second son, Spencer, in November of 2021.
Mansfield also credits her Millersville University education with preparing her for the rigors of her career choice.
“When you go into teaching, you already have an idea of what a classroom setting will look like," Mansfield said. "But, when you go into special education, it is an environment in which few people have experience. Millersville did an amazing job with field experiences that put me in special education settings to prepare me for my career as a teacher. The connection between classroom learning and real-world experience is just one of the many reasons Millersville produces some of the best teachers in the state."
Mansfield will graduate with a master’s degree in sports administration in May.
“I would like to thank the professors in the early childhood and special education program and the professors in the sports administration graduate program for allowing me to grow into the professional I have become today,” said Mansfield.