Cindy Warner educates on education
By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist
Cindy Warner educates the people of Shelby County on education. She has been the public education and community education supervisor for the Shelby County School System for 11 years.
Warner oversees communication efforts and media relations, serving as the spokesperson for the district.
She composes press releases and produces brochures and newsletters along with serving as the leadership chair for the communication aspect of the district’s strategic plan.
She oversees the community education department, which coordinates all the after school care programs, youth and adult enrichment programs.
In leading such programs, Warner defines leadership as “a set of skills and personality traits, which enables a person to help lead a team of people in accomplishing a desired goal or outcome.” She said her boss, Superintendent Randy Fuller, believes in everyone being a leader, leading from anywhere in the organization — as a teacher, bus driver, principal or custodian. That is team leadership.
Warner advises young people who want to become leaders to “find a mentor within your organization that you personally admire and soak up every ‘word of wisdom’ that you can from that individual.” She advises them to get in involved in their organization or church or volunteer for jobs that give them experience. Attending professional development training and reading books on leadership is something she advises because we are all lifelong learners. “Leadership, like any skill, needs to be nurtured and developed over time,” Warner said.
Warner learned a strong work ethic from her parents and grandparents. When she was younger, she helped her grandfather harvest his garden and haul hay. Her first job was at Fred’s Department Store at the age of 15 and she continued to work her way through college.
Warner was greatly influenced by John Wright, who recently retired as deputy superintendent and was her supervisor. He was an enormous encourager and guide for her.
Warner is a member of the Shelby County Literacy Program and Valleydale Baptist Church. She and husband, Mark, have one son and live in North Shelby County.
Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a community columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.