Petaluma educator receives international recognition
Sandra Fernandez O’Hare, retired educator for the Cinnabar Elementary School District, has been chosen Educator of the Year for 2021 by the International Association of Top Professionals for her outstanding leadership, dedication and commitment to education.
While inclusion in the IAOTPN is an honor in itself, only a few members in each discipline are chosen for distinction as person of the year in their profession. The honorees are chosen for their academic achievements, leadership abilities, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. All honorees are invited to attend the IAOTP annual awards gala at the end of the year.
With more than 40 years professional experience, O’Hare has proven herself an accomplished and expert educator. She is a proven leader with success throughout her career before retiring from the Cinnabar School District in 2005.
Her impressive career included teaching at several public schools in California and New York. She taught classes for Chapman College, Santa Rosa Junior College and Colegio Salesiano in Rota, Spain. She is a Bilingual Language Development Specialist, and was an adult education instructor in Guam Mariana Islands and at the Spanish Speaking Center in Harrisburg, Penn.
Before beginning her career in education, O’Hare had an interest in becoming a translator or interpreter for the United Nations. She chose education, and her teaching career allowed her to work and travel, following her husband, a naval officer.
.She earned a Bachelor in Arts Degree from Marymount College in Tarrytown. N.Y. and a Master of Arts Degree from the University of San Francisco. She completed her junior year at the University of Madrid with Georgetown School of Foreign Service.
She became a Sarah D. Barder fellow at John Hopkins University in 1990 and, in 1996, received a National Endowment for the Humanities stipend for Harvard University.
O’Hare has been active in community activities in a number of communities. She was affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America in Petaluma, Monterey and Machaznicsburg, Penn. She was an active member of the American Red Cross for the Asian Relief Committee in Harrisburg. Since 2008, she has served as a docent for the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance at Shollenberger Park. She was a member of the Adult Literacy League, the Summer Science “Connections Institute at Sonoma State University, the Math Curriculum Committee and the Sonoma County Math project.
Throughout her career, O’Hare has received a multitude of awards and accolades, and has been recognized worldwide for her outstanding leadership and commitment to education.
Commented Stephanie Cirami, president of IAOTP, “Choosing Ms. O’Hare for this award was an easy decision for our panel to make. She is brilliant at what she does, has tremendous foresight and continues to educate those she serves.”
O’Hare attributes her success to her perseverance, her integrity and her highly regarded reputation for her diversified career in education. She said she hopes to encourage others to encourage others to pursue a career in education.
When not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.