Longtime reading teacher and mentor is newest Heroes and Heroines Society member

WEST COLUMBIA, SC – A longtime reading teacher and mentor to many educators has been recognized with one of the district’s most prestigious honors.

The late Eleanor Mann, who taught Lexington Two students for nearly four decades – including six years after her official retirement from the district – was inducted into the Heroes and Heroines Society during a reception before the March 21 board meeting, attended by many of the society’s members.  Eleanor’s husband, Steve Mann, son Thomas Mann, and daughter Frances Medley and her family attended the event to accept the award in her honor. Both of the Manns’ children attended and graduated from Lexington Two schools.

Eleanor was a Bamberg native and graduate of Clemson University. She took her first job in 1978 at Lexington Two’s then-Saluda River Elementary, first working in special education and later teaching second and third grades. She was a certified reading recovery teacher and an instructional facilitator, still working in reading but also math and other areas. She mentored younger teachers and did professional development to help educators hone their classroom skills. When she retired from the district in 2010-2011, she soon returned to teach in the SMART Room at Springdale Elementary. 

A portion of her nomination read:  “Eleanor considered her teaching career to be more than a profession. It was a ministry that drove her to give all of herself to those around her, both students and faculty members alike. She was committed to being a mentor to others in the teaching profession. She told her colleagues many times that she was blessed with wonderful mentors when she started out and felt led to ‘give back’ all that she could. … Her only desire was the reward of watching children grow and learn.” 

Thomas Mann previously noted that his mother “had a servant’s heart that made an impact in the lives of many, many children.”

“Frances and I were lucky to call her mom,” he added, “but she served in a motherly role to many children, too many to count.”

The Heroes and Heroines Society was started in the 1990-1991 school year to recognize retired educators from Lexington Two who dedicated their lives to service in the classroom, guidance or media center.  Mann is the 38th honoree chosen for induction into the society representing the “best of the best” in Lexington Two schools.