LEBANON, Mo. – KOLR10’s Frances Lin introduces us to our fourth candidate, Dr. Sheila Moore, a woman who has spent her entire life dedicated to educating young children.
She started in Lebanon R-III schools in 1989 as a third-grade teacher, and eventually became lead principal.
Just four years ago, she decided to take on the role of director of early childhood services.
“If there’s anything to be said about my mom, is that she’s a very lead-by-example kind of person,” said Savannah Moore when she nominated her mom for remarkable women.
“It is challenging to be a woman leader,” Sheila Moore said.
Moore spent decades making sure young kids receive a quality education.
“This has not been a job for me. It’s a passion,” Moore said.
And the kids, “she always is making sure workers like me and other kindergarteners and first graders are doing our job,” said Arik Rains, one of Moore’s students.
“She always encourages other kids whenever they need it,” said Anna Forshee, another student.
Definitely enjoy her positive attitude, “she always smiles, and she always very happy,” said Rains.
“She gives hugs whenever others are sad,” Forshee said.
“I was her former student back in 1992,” said Becca Forshee, “Mrs. Moore always made us feel, each of us, made us feel special.”
One of the best moments of her professional career was the day she achieved her biggest accomplishment, “two years ago, we were able to create universal preschools for all of the four-year-olds in our community. And that means no waiting list,” Moore said.
And it’s not easy balancing work and home life, especially as a woman, “I’ve worked on three separate degrees, I did that while working full time, while trying to be the very best leader for my team that I could be and while trying to be a mother,” Moore said, “make sure that I juggled that as a woman, as a mother, and making sure I’m giving the very best that I can to not only those at home but those that I serve.”
But her ability to do-it-all encouraged many others to do the same.
“As a woman, she inspires me in many ways. Wow-what a difference she’s making in a lot of kid’s lives. Dr. Moore truly has a passion,” said Jennifer Hite, a Speech-Language Pathology Implementor at Lebanon R-III Schools.
“I was always inspired by her enthusiasm, by her love of learning, by her love of the students,” said Michele Hedges, retired assistance superintendent at the Lebanon R-III school district.
“There weren’t very many male administrators and something that I would like to do as well, and I watched her, she can successfully do it, then I can do it as well,” said Jenna Uder, library media specialist at Esther Elementary School.
And Moore’s passion to help doesn’t end at school.
“33 years of being a teacher, vs. Administrator, coach, mentor, guidance, counselor,” Savannah Moore said, “she runs things for our church, she volunteers with Missouri state which is just down the road from us, she is really invested in the 417 community as a whole, and so I thought, what a remarkable woman!”
“My husband and I had looked to adopt for many years. I adopted the little girls thanks to Dr. Moore and the connection she made between the two families,” Uder said.
“I’ve been very pleased to have been able to be just a tiny part of that. Making a difference in a child’s life,” Moore said.
And people who know her, all say her dedication to others will never end.
“I don’t think there is stopping her,” Becca Forshee said.
Dr. Moore has also been active in organizations including the red cross and was one of the team’s from First Freewill Baptist that was honored as Hometown Hero after the ice storms of 2007.
She is also a licensed cosmetologist who helped families when they couldn’t afford a haircut.
She also donated a kidney to her sister.
She says her life had been filled with amazing adventures and it all stemmed from working in the education field.