Meet Dr. Jacqueline O’Mara, recipient of the 2021 ACE Faculty Excellence Award! Dr. O’Mara is known for the exceptional support she provides both to her students and to new faculty members. Her students celebrate her for her authenticity and her detail-oriented preparation. We spoke with Dr. O’Mara to learn more about her inspiring career.
ACE: Congratulations on receiving the 2021 ACE Faculty Excellence Award! What does receiving this award mean to you?
Dr. Jacqueline O’Mara (JO): It is an unexpected honor. Since joining ACE’s faculty four years ago, I have been very proud of the high quality of education that we provide. Our faculty is continually trying to find ways to inspire and mentor our students. That collegiality and passion to encourage excellence and leadership are what makes our team so special. In receiving this award, I give full credit to my ACE colleagues and my talented students who challenge and continue to inspire me.
ACE: Can you tell us a little about your career and what led you to ACE?
JO: I am passionate about education and have devoted 27 years of my professional life – as both a faculty member and administrator – to inspiring both students and teachers. I began my career as a high school teacher and spent eight years in the classroom before making the transition into school administration. I have served as a high school associate principal, an intermediate school associate principal and am about to begin my 13th year as an elementary school principal supervising faculty and scholars in a K-4th grade school near Akron, Ohio. I also hold a superintendent’s license in the State of Ohio.
While I worked full time for the Nordonia Hills City School District, I earned my master’s in education degree from Cleveland State University in 1998 and then my doctorate in educational leadership from Walden University in 2012. I discovered ACE from a trusted colleague, who suggested my educational skills might be a great fit. In 2018, I was honored with the ACE Celebrity Award and was also named Educator of Year in the Nordonia Hills City School District.
“Many of us have personal experience with online education as we also achieved our master’s and doctorate degrees online. We know what adult learners need and expect as they move through the ACE curriculum and into higher management roles in their careers.”
ACE: What have you enjoyed the most about being part of ACE’s instructional faculty?
JO: The ACE instructional leadership team is remarkably talented, dedicated and passionate about giving our students the tools and perspective to succeed. Many of us have personal experience with online education as we also achieved our master’s and doctorate degrees online. We know what adult learners need and expect as they move through the ACE curriculum and into higher management roles in their careers. I am continually impressed with the collaboration, esprit de corps and collegiality of our instructional faculty team.
ACE: What advice do you have for educators who would like to one day teach at the higher education level?
JO: My advice is to go slowly by teaching one or two courses as you begin. You need to be realistic about your personal and family needs before you take on the challenges, time requirements and responsibilities of a full course load. I’m fortunate in that ACE provides excellent mentors and great technical support to its faculty. I’m extremely proud to serve our students alongside so many bright, articulate, dedicated people who share my passion for education.
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