Mr. Shear's roots in Rockford are very deep as both of his parents graduated from Rockford in the early 1950s. Mr. Shear, however, graduated from Brooklyn Columbia Central High School in 1975. While in high school he was involved in band and choir, theatre, and athletics.
He graduated from Central Michigan University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree. His major was Choral Music and his minor was Instrumental Music. While at CMU Mr. Shear sang in the university's Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He toured Romania with the Concert Choir in 1976. He also had experience with the Opera Workshop and university theatre productions and sang in two church choirs.
Mr. Shear started his teaching career by teaching vocal music for grades 7-12 in Mt. Morris, Michigan. He taught there from 1980-85 and also directed the high school's plays and musicals, coached track, and was the stadium announcer for varsity football, basketball and swimming. He also worked with a community theatre group in Clio, Michigan called Cast and Crew.
He was the Michigan School Vocal Music Association's (MSVMA) District 3 Manager from 1983-85. He also served as the MSVMA State Junior High SATB Honors Choir Supervisor from 1985-87.
From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Shear taught vocal music in Hillsdale, Michigan. While there, he also coached track, announced for varsity football and basketball and served on the school district's K-12 Curriculum Council. He also designed and helped the district implement an Administrative Intern Program in which he and six other teachers participated. He also worked with a community theatre group and directed two church choirs.
Mr. Shear got married in 1987 (his wife's name is Patty) and he completed his Master's Degree from Michigan State University in 1989. Mr. and Mrs. Shear now have five (six) children (Kris (his wife, Lauren), Jessi, Nick, Alli, and Chloe). All of the Shear children are graduates of or currently enrolled in Rockford schools. Kris is married and working and living in Arizona. Jessi is working in the health care field. Nick is living and working in Florida. Alli is a student at Kuyper College. Chloe will be a 9th grader at the Freshmen Center in Rockford.
In January of 1990, Mr. Shear became the Principal at Cedar Springs Middle School in Cedar Springs, Michigan. He served there until the fall of 1993.
In the fall of 1993 he came to Rockford and taught vocal music for grades 7-12. He also was the director for the high school musicals. In the fall of 1999, Mr. Shear, wanting to spend more time with his young and growing family, stepped down from the RHS choir director's position to become the middle school choir director and in the fall of 2000, he moved to North Rockford Middle School where he is still teaching today.
During the summers of 2000 and 2001, Mr. Shear was a choir director for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
Choirs under Mr. Shear's direction have consistently earned top ratings at district and state festivals and have been invited to perform at numerous locations. His choirs have performed in Chicago; Toronto, Canada; and Great Britain. One of his choirs even performed on stage with Reba McIntyre at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Many of his students have been selected to perform with MSVMA Regional and State Honors Choirs. His choirs have also performed the National Anthem for the West Michigan Whitecaps and the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Mr. Shear is the Electives Department Head for NRMS and also currently works part-time as an announcer for WCSG-FM (91.3) and is involved in leadership and directs an adult choir at his church (West Cannon Baptist). He is thankful to be so blessed to be working with the outstanding students, parents, and educators in Rockford.