Name: Cindi Shear (Cole)
Pledge Class: Spring 1979
As a prospective officer & leader of the ODPAA, what do you consider your greatest strengths? Weaknesses?
I believe that my greatest strength is my dedication and perseverance to get the job done. I worked in an elementary school for 34 years and was very successful as both a teacher and academic coach, working with students and staff to achieve specific goals.
I would consider my tendency to procrastinate to be a weakness. I sometimes overthink things and as a result tend to work long hours right before a project is due to ensure the deadline it met.
If elected or re-elected to the position you seek, what is your commitment to serving out the full term?
I fully intend on serving out the full term. I like to finish what I start.
Please describe accomplishments in your career and personal life that would benefit the ODPAA.
My biggest accomplishments are my family and how well adjusted and driven my son is. I was also very fortunate to have had a great career in teaching, spending my tenure at the same Rochester City School. I was elected to the School Based Planning Team for over 2 decades and served/led many committees throughout my career. I was promoted to lead teacher and helped to mentor new professionals. I served as union representative at both the building and district level. I worked as test coordinator and facilitated state and local assessments. I provided numerous in-services throughout the district. I also continued my education and received an administrative certificate. After graduating from Potsdam, I enlisted in the Army Reserve and served with distinction. I retired from the Rochester City School District over 2 years ago and currently work as a per-diem teacher,
What is your vision for the future of the ODPAA? What changes would you advocate and why?
I would love to see the ODPAA continue to grow and reach out to all alumni and encourage participation in the organization. I believe that we need to embrace our uniqueness and strive to achieve our goals by working as a cohesive unit for the benefit of our sisterhood. We have a rich history in Omega and every sister, past and present, brings a rich background of experiences and talents. It is my hope that we all learn to embrace this and move forward as one sisterhood.
If elected or re-elected, please describe what you seek to accomplish:
- Within your first 90 days
In the first 90 days, if I am elected, I believe I would want to familiarize myself with how the organization works and reach out to my constituents to build a communication bridge that provides openness and a venue for expressing views and opinions.
- Within your first year
My role in the first year would be to represent the ladies of the seventies and ensure that I continue to be sensitive and reflect the goals and concerns of this group as well to work collaboratively with all members of the ODPAA and the board. I also believe that open communication will facilitate trust and transparency.
- Within full term
I believe that I would like to ensure that our association is financially responsible, and we continue to strengthen the bonds of sisterhood to ensure that Omega is strong and thrives into the future. As I progress through my term, I am sure that needs will arise that we will need to address as we move forward.
What does Omega Delta Phi mean to you? Please describe your experience as both an active member and an alumnus.
Omega has influenced my life in many ways. As an active sister I learned how to follow rules, work with many different women and to maintain a house by performing daily chores along many day long work sessions. I learned how to work collaboratively, The sisterhood bonds have continued throughout my life and I treasure my time with sisters.
How would your sisters describe you?
This is a tough question because I guess it really depends on who you ask. I would like to think that most would describe me as hard working, caring, dependable and smart, with a side order of fun thrown in for good measure.
Please describe your approach to communicating and working with the active membership.
I think we need to be sensitive in our communication with the active members. I see our role as supportive and providing actives with mentoring and advice,
What are the top 3 thing you would like the ODPAA and active membership to accomplish together?
- Building a healthy structure that we can all be proud of
- Working towards encouraging active members to be a part of the alumni association when they graduate.
How do you deal with difficult people and situations? Please describe a situation in which you took a position that upset someone else, and explain how you handled it.
When I was working a teacher, I had a principal that was difficult to deal with. We always seemed to butt heads. On one occasion she questioned a grade I gave a student of mine. I decided to determine why she was so against the grade that I gave her. She told me she wanted me to use the reading test score that the student received very early in the quarter as a basis for the reading grade. I politely explained to her how this student had shown huge improvements over the last few weeks. I then realized that she was concerned that someone might question an “A” when her test score showed her reading below grade level. I shared the documentation with her and promised to note in my comments that her reading score reflected some end of quarter gains and would expect her next assessment to reflect her on grade status. The student, did indeed, excel on her next reading assessment.
How do you motivate others?
I motivate others by building relationships. I believe that to motivate someone you must understand what their needs and wants are so, that you can better adapt your approach to meet the uniqueness of the individual or the situation.
How do you handle criticism?
I believe that I handle criticism in a professional manner. As I have gotten older I have learned to listen more and talk less. I try to understand the context of the criticism and apply the parts that will help me to become a better person. In the past I would become very defensive and I have learned to not take things I don’t agree with so personally and to value other people’s opinions.
What top three qualities do you think a leader should have?
I think an effective leader should be organized, able to motivate others, and understand and articulate the needs/mission of the organization.
Would you rather be liked or respected?
I would prefer to be respected. As a teacher, I know the importance of building relationships and setting a good example by modeling responsible behavior in my actions and treatment of others.
How do you spend your free time?
In my free time I enjoy running long distance races. I also coach new runners in how to prepare to these distance runs. I enjoy swimming and biking. I am working with my husband and son to start a home automation/security business so I have been taking several courses including electrical systems, building/fire codes, and security. I volunteer in classrooms and love spending time with my family. Since my retirement I have learned how to play mah jong and enjoy weekly matches.