Inspiring Words article

About the author & webmaster:

Cynthia J. O'Hora is a graduate of State College Area High School, State College, PA. and a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Nursing.

She worked seventeen years primarily in Emergency Nursing. She was the first nurse in her hospital to earn certification as an Emergency Nurse. This was accomplished at her own initiative and expense. She studied all the material on her own. She then founded the Seven Mountains Chapter of the Emergency Nurses Association and served as a delegate in the state wide organization. She was ACLS certified and became a CPR and ACLS certified trainer. In addition to Emergency Nursing, she worked as a nurse educator both to patients, community members, and to other health care professionals. She served as an inservice coordinator for three years. She taught several continuing education classes for Pennsylvania State University.

Eventually, she held the position of Nurse Manager of the Emergency Department, ICU and Step Down Units of a hospital in a suburb of Philadelphia. She lead the ER through a successful certification by the national Osteopathic organization. She implemented a highly successful cost savings program for supplies and medications. She conducted a department run staff development program that had a better than 95% participation rate. The program targeted QI identified issues. Significant improvements in the quality of documentation and care were realized. She also implemented her passion, a patient education program that was developed in concert with the professional nursing staff .

In 1993 Cindy left nursing, moved to Conestoga, PA and chose to redirect her energies to her family and her children's elementary school. She founded and chaired for five years the school's Computer Committee. The group purchased 13 Macs, gotten over twenty Apples donated, and contributed thousands of dollars in educational software and hardware to the school. Cindy also provided several after-school computer classes for the students.

Cindy created two large HyperStudio projects for the students. One is all about Pennsylvania. It uses a multimedia format to teach students about the symbols, geography, natural resources and over sixty famous Pennsylvanians. The other project is about the Solar System. It was made specifically to meet the needs of the third grade's solar system studies.

Mrs. O'Hora provided volunteer tech support and training to the school's staff. She set up and maintained the AppleTalk LAN's of Macs and printers, as well as, the school library's Internet access. She founded and worked with the students on the school's fourth grade Tech Team. She worked with the fifth graders to create Ulysses S. Grant, the school's first educational web project. It is part of a national project about the U. S. Presidents.

In addition, Cindy served as Vice President and then President of the PTO. She chaired the major fund raising auction for two years. She ran four book fairs to build the resources of the library. She contributed many hours as an assistant in the classrooms.

She designed and acted as webmaster for the school's web site for four years. She collaborated with the teachers to create Internet integrated lesson plans. She also provided the desktop publishing of her son's middle school's newsletter. Her contributions were recognized in the school district's Above and Beyond publication. She was nominated for the Jefferson Award for Excellence in Public Service.

Cindy's article on parent volunteering has been published at WWW4Teachers and the Well Connected Educator site.

In 1997, Mrs. O'Hora began to share her tips through her web site Macintosh Tips and Tutorials. The site offered over 200 tips. There were many handy templates which teachers could use to integrate AppleWorks/ClarisWorks into their classroom. Several of her fun tips are posted in the AppleWorks site at Apple Computer, Inc.

Cindy was also the webmaster for the Lancaster County Apple Corps the local Macintosh user group. She wrote reviews and new user how to articles as well as serving as editor for the club's monthly newsletter, Peelings. She offers private tutoring on ClarisWorks and helps many new Macintosh users improve their computing skills. She was also a User Group Network Affiliate.

For eighteen months, Mrs. O'Hora was employed at a local middle school. She provided 1 to 1 support to a blind, disabled student and to several other learning support students.

1999 -2000

Cindy collaborated with the principal of the elementary school to initiate the principal's reading program called "Baggy Books to Go". Cindy is using her tech skills to create databases, solicitation letter templates, and contents lists. She is sending out donation solicitation letters. She teamed up with her daughter to contribute a butterfly themed bag.

She is also running the Cans for Computers, Scholastic Software, and Cartridges for kids fund raisers. She continues to build the school's web site in concert with the teachers and PTO. She is providing monthly Internet scavenger hunts to help the students gain experience with the net. She also helps the students build their tech skills. She provides support to students and teachers using the computers or Internet.

Her favorite project this year is the nature showcase she creates monthly at Conestoga Elementary School. Called "Outside - In", it is based on one or two nature topics like seeds, monarch butterflies, owls and bats, fungus, butterflies, or bluebirds. The students and teachers look forward to checking out the facts. Cindy also makes a crossword puzzle or word search to compliment the topic of the month. The subjects are preparing the students to participate in the Lancaster County Envirothon 2000 in May. ( I was not associated with the LCEE organization when I made these projects.) Habitat tour.

2000 - 2001

Due to my spouse's employment goals I have moved to Central Pa. My time is currently devoted to web site development, gardening, and unpacking. The house we purchased is a fixer upper. I'm fixin. I volunteer two times a week as a Helping Hand at the Selinsgrove Area Middle School. I work with students who are struggling with language arts or social studies. I also developed a web site for my son's wrestling team.

I am writing Macintosh articles for a professional education publication called MasterTeacher. I'm making new monthly Internet scavenger hunts. I am offering workshops to teachers about harnessing and creating their own hunts.

2001 - 2002

My time is currently devoted to web site development, gardening, and family. The house we purchased is a fixer upper. I'm still fixin. I volunteer as a web developer and writer for the Selinsgrove Area School District. I developed a web site for my son's football team. I continue to grow the wrestling one. I also developed online educational resources for the Lancaster County Envirothon 2002.

I worked with a group of eighth graders to make their own Internet hunts based on literature they had read.

My husband helped me build bluebird houses. I got permission from SASD to mount them around the campus. They hosted several bluebird families the first spring! I developed a web site about the bluebird project complete with a peek inside an occupied box. I am responsible for maintaining the trail.

When I'm not working with Macs or kids, you will find me in a garden. I am establishing a new habitat garden at our home.

2002 - 2003

I continue to volunteer as the volunteer web site developer for the SASD. I write news articles about the educational program and students. I also maintain the menus, the board agendas and minutes, the calendar, and many other online resources. I developed the online resources for kindergarten registration. I have just completed developing the High School's Course list web pages.

Penn State did a feature article on my web site volunteer efforts. WBRE did a feature on the hunts.

I developed the web site for my son's football team. I continue to grow the wrestling one. My daughter's Forensics Team also now has a web site.

I am continuing to develop new Internet Hunts and maintain current ones. I have been restoring some of my AppleWorks lessons to the site. I am adding new online crossword puzzles that compliment areas of the site.

2003-2004

Milkweed & Monarch Butterfly Mania goes online along with Make your Own Database. I continue to do wrestling team's site. I am currently collaborating with an outstanding local teacher to put his entire physics course online. We are both excited about the project. I also sit on several committees in the school district.

Check out the site's newest area Problem based Learning.

2004-2005

I worked with two outstanding high school science teachers to put their course resources online. physics / biology

I am the volunteer webmaster for the Friends of the Selinsgrove Community Library I am also a member of the Friends Board.

I am continuing to develop new Internet Hunts and maintain current ones. I have been restoring some of my AppleWorks lessons to the site.
I am adding new
online crossword puzzles that compliment areas of the site.

My special project for this year is Prominent Pennsylvanians.

On March 3rd, I officially became a candidate for the local school board.

2005

I am working on a special project called Plants and People

I am continuing to develop new Internet Hunts and maintain current ones.

I am serving on the local school board. I am on the Policy & Education, Technology & Extracurricular Committees

2006 - 2007

I am working on a special project called Plants and People

I developed a Water study unit that includes a Lentic and Lotic Ecosystem project

I am continuing to develop new Internet Hunts and maintain current ones.

I am developing resources for Problem based learning activities

I am developing resources for study units relevant to Pennsylvania

I am developing resources for Civics studies with a focus on primary documents and current events

I am on the local school board.

2008

School Board service continues. I am the Chair the of the Extracurricular Committee. I actively participated in the Strategic Planning process and the Wellness Committee. I chair the Dual Enrollment program and am the board rep. in the annual Professional Growth Incentive process.

Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly Mania - math & science lessons build

Energy & Alternative Renewable Energy studies and lessons

2009

School Board Service continues. I am the Chair the of the School Board's Extracurricular Committee. I chair the Dual Enrollment program and am the board rep. in the annual Professional Growth Incentive process.

Fields, Meadows and Fencerows EcoStudy Unit extensive resources and rigor raised

Wetlands EcoStudy Units

Bluebirds Project an EcoStudy Unit - higher order thinking skills and problem based learning focus.

Developed - Science Observation Skill Builders activites .

December 2009 - My 4 year term on school board is over. I am not seeking reelection.


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Updated 1/2010 by Cindy O'Hora / FAQ