Mother of Mercy Teacher Named Outstanding Educator | Schools
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Mother of Mercy High School is pleased to announce that The Outstanding Teachers Award Program has named Science Teacher Sharon Harris an Outstanding Educator. The Cincinnatus Foundation, Northern Kentucky University, University of Cincinnati and Xavier University sponsor the awards program. Sharon will be honored on February 12 at a dinner hosted by the University of Cincinnati.
A graduate of Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a Master of Science in Biology, Sharon has been a member of Mercy’s faculty since 1995. She is also an adjunct instructor in Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College.
The award honors teachers based on a series of criteria including exceptional knowledge of subject matter, use of innovative methods in teaching students, support of students to succeed in and out of the classroom, participation in the school community beyond teaching duties and taking part in professional development activities that improve teaching and learning while keeping current with educational trends. Mother of Mercy principal Dave Mueller nominated Sharon for this year’s Outstanding Educator Award. “Sharon is an outstanding teacher and role model for her students and colleagues,” said Mr. Mueller. “I have observed her teaching solid course content while giving students continual practice in 21st Century skills such as inquiry, collaboration, data gathering and interpretation, and communication. Her devotion to her students, her commitment to ongoing learning and her spirit of discovery and adventure are evident in the fact that she has been the recipient of two highly competitive professional development experiences.”
In 1999, Sharon was one of only eight teachers in the United States chosen for the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica Program, a scientific expedition where she conducted bacteriological research with a team of scientists from Princeton University. More recently, Sharon was one of 65 teachers in the country to participate in the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, a professional development program funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program included several components beginning with an 8-week online course aimed at globalizing teaching and learning in U.S. classrooms and she attended a Global Education Symposium in Washington, D.C.. In the Spring, Sharon participated in an international field experience in Ukraine
where she delved into the education system and conducted research on a global education essential question. This past Fall, Sharon completed the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program by contributing to an extensive Global Education Resource Guide. She collected and synthesized resources to create a guide tailored specifically to Mercy’s local community.
Beyond the classroom, Sharon is engaged in a variety of volunteer opportunities. For more than 15 years she has accompanied students on religious retreats, has led PALs, a club through which students give the gift of their presence to shut-in senior citizens and has administered a summer work-study program. Sharon also coordinates opportunities for students to shadow health professionals at Mercy Hospital Western Hills through a career exploration program. Mr. Mueller noted, “Through all these activities, Sharon has earned the respect and admiration of students.”
Additionally, Sharon has been recognized for her patience and positive spirit. She devotes much time to meeting with students for extra help outside of class. As a gifted listener and mediator, Sharon has found the best ways to help a student finally understand a difficult topic. She succeeds in teaching students of all levels and abilities.
Mr. Mueller concluded his nomination by stating that he is “grateful the students of Mercy have the opportunity to learn biology, chemistry and 21st Century skills from Ms. Harris. I am grateful, too, that students have an opportunity to learn to be like Ms. Harris.”