Health & Wellness Highlight: Cathy Sinnott

Why are you a member of the ICSD team?
Sinnott: I was excited to see the school district expand the role of ‘head nurse’ to reflect the responsibility of the school district to look at the health and wellness of all its members. The new position of coordinator of health services and wellness provides oversight to the health of students, staff, and the community. Each group benefits by the health of the others. By honoring this and collaborating with others, we break down silos and create better and healthier ways of learning for our students.
What do you try to accomplish within the first 45 minutes of each school day?
Sinnott: Nursing is the type of profession in which things can turn on a dime. A calm, steady day can turn hectic in minutes when there is an emergency with a student or a sudden request that needs immediate action. Hence, I like to plan out my day by prioritizing what I need to accomplish. I make phone calls and send emails early in the day before things get hectic.
Tell us about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
Sinnott: My three sons! I have loved every minute of parenting and I’m excited to share their journey into adulthood. My oldest son, Jeff, loved putting puzzles together when he was young. He enjoyed mystery novels and crime shows as a teenager. He will be studying forensic science in graduate school this fall at Buffalo State College. Eric is a sophomore at SUNY Cobleskill, studying aquaculture and fisheries. It is amazing that he found a college program that gives him college credits for playing with fish - his favorite thing in the entire world! My youngest son, Zach, is a sophomore at Dryden High School. He is a three-season athlete and scout who can disassemble/reassemble anything mechanical.
How can humankind be improved?
Sinnott: I think our culture struggles with direct communication. Life is so different from when I was in high school. We didn’t have cell phones and our televisions had about 10 channels to choose from! It has become too easy to communicate indirectly via emails and texts. We need to work harder at communicating our ideas and feelings in a meaningful way. This means we need to practice collaborating directly with others, whether it be at school, work, or at home. We are richer for the relationships we grow, and we learn to be better people through the experiences we have with others.
Describe yourself.
Sinnott: I see myself as a motivated, smart individual. I have a deep passion for helping others be their best selves. Education is very important to me. I believe it is the key to happiness and fulfillment in life. That doesn’t necessarily mean a formal education. When I was a stay-at-home mom, I taught myself how to make candles. I developed a business in which I sold candles at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market, as well as through a website. I thoroughly enjoyed this business and was able to include my children. I loved developing my creative side and being able to share it with others.
Are you a leader or a follower?
Sinnott: I'm a leader. I like to be in charge - whether in my professional role or personal life. I feel that I can see the ‘big picture’ and enjoy leading others to common goals.
What does your future hold?
Sinnott: My immediate future will be very busy as I learn about ICSD and get to know my new job. I am excited to take on the role of coordinator of health services and wellness. I have so many ideas for staff and student wellness. My long term future will hopefully include a doctorate degree in public health - and, some grandchildren!