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Cook Manning has passions for travel, politics

Josh Manning, a fifth-grade teacher at McLaughlin Elementary School, said he isn’t your typical sports fan, chili cook and political junky, he also has a passion that knows no borders.
Josh moved to Mobridge from his home town of Machesney Park, Ill., via the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 2018. He currently lives in the Bridge City with his orange and gray cat, Pumpkin.
Particularly fond of baseball and football, Josh can be counted on to root for the Chicago Cubs and the Bears no matter what the stats. In his family, where there’s football in the cold winter months, there’s his dad’s chili.
On his mom’s side of the family however, corn casserole is a must-have at every gathering.
“We usually have to make multiples of them because of how beloved it is,” said Josh. “I have learned some(cooking) from my mom, my dad, and my late grandmother all of whom are far better cooks than I am.”
He also considers himself a political junky.
“I am always reading articles and stories about what is happening in the world,” Josh said. “I am very interested in politics and follow it very closely.”
He also serves on an alumni board for his chapter of the Zeta Psi Fraternity.
But his favorite thing to do is travel. In high school he spent a year in Brazil as an international exchange student thanks to the high school foreign exchange program sponsored by Rotary International.
“While I am not a Rotarian currently, I have a lot of respect and admiration for the Rotary clubs,” Josh said.
He attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign until 2018 where he studied global studies and political science. His main studies focused around development and education policies. He is a current corps member in Teach for America – South Dakota.
In college, Josh spent a semester in Kenya studying their education system and human rights. He interned at the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya, an advocate organization that also provides micro loans to help Kenyans with disabilities start their own businesses.
In India he studied the effects of globalization on modernizing India, specifically on the difficulties in forming a uniform education system across the country.
“There are over 1,000 different languages and dialects in India” said Josh. “A former professor framed it as trying to put the whole European Union into one county and make them unify and get along.”
For three weeks in South Africa, Josh immersed himself in learning about the country pre- and post-Apartheid, specifically what has changed and what still hasn’t. He has also traveled to Paraguay, Canada, and many places in the United States. His fondest travel is an excursion he took traveling down the Amazon River.
These experiences helped to form Josh’s love of travel and his devotion to global studies.
“I believe that all opportunity comes from students having access to a quality education, and I am very interested in how education policies affect student’s long-term ability to succeed,” said Josh.
What else did Josh take away from all his time abroad?
“Chicken heart is delicious,” he laughed, “Goat intestine is not.”

Josh Manning’s Recipes

Corn Casserole
1 stick of butter (melt in 9×13 pan)
1 can cream style corn
1 can sweet corn
8 oz sour cream
1 box corn bread mix
Bake together at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes. It’s that simple!

My Dad’s Chili
2 lbs. hamburger
2 cans tomato juice
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 big can chili beans in sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2-3 hot peppers of your choice
Chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic powder all used a little at a time until it tastes how you enjoy.
Brown the hamburger and drain fat. Add tomato juice, chopped peppers, and beans. Add the all other seasonings to taste. Keep tasting until it is perfect for you. I prefer mine a bit spicy. Simmer for half-hour to an hour. Pairs great with green onion, cheese, sour cream, crackers or however you like it!

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake
1 package of Oreos
5 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 8-oz container of Cool Whip
Crush up 25 or so Oreos into fine pieces. Mix with melted butter and press into 9 in. pie pan. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer in a large bowl. Chop 8 of the Oreos into coarse pieces. Add to mixing bowl and mix in with the mixer until combined. This will break up some of the chunks into smaller pieces. Fold in the Cool Whip. Spread filling into prepared pie crust. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. Before serving, crush the remaining 2 Oreos. Top with more whipped topping and the crushed Oreos. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

My Favorite Long Island Iced Tea
1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz rum
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz tequila
1/2 oz triple sec
1-3 oz sweet and sour mix (depending on your taste)
1 oz. cola
1 lemon slice
Shake it up over ice with all but the cola and lemon. Add the cola over top and garnish with lemon.