Appointed to the faculty at Notre Dame in 1988, Sr. Sharon Slear was charged with developing graduate programs in education. Notre Dame now offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs in education at its Charles Street camps and seven other sites across the state. Sr. Sharon also spearheaded development of the University's first doctoral program, the Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership for Changing Populations, with the first degrees awarded in 2008.
During her tenure, Sr. Sharon led the Education Department as it sought and received national accreditation (NCATE) for all graduate and undergraduate education programs. Notre Dame was the first private college or university in Maryland to receive this recognition. In 2011, when the college became Notre Dame of Maryland University and the Education Department became the School of Education, Sr. Sharon was appointed founding Dean.
An authority on educational leadership, Sr. Sharon teaches in Notre Dame's Ph.D. program and has taught courses in all Notre Dame divisions: Undergraduate Studies, Adult Undergraduate Studies, and Graduate Studies. She has instructed students in administration and educational leadership, mathematics, computer science, and chemistry, and has supervised student teachers in secondary school internship experiences. Dozens of her students have gone on to be named Teacher of the Year, including Josh Park M ’10, Maryland Teacher of the Year.
Sr. Sharon was voted one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women three times and became a member of the Maryland Circle of Excellence (2009) in recognition of her professional contributions and achievements. In 2009, she received the NCEA Educator of the Year award. In 2012, she received the President's Medal from Notre Dame of Maryland University.