From teacher to principal – Spotlight

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Keen to take the next step in an education career - Sharon Fischer looks forward to her new position as principal of Stettler Middle School. Her new challenge officially begins in September.

JULIE BERTRAND/Independent reporter

The last days of June were very busy for Sharon Fischer. Not only did she have to grade the final exams and projects of her Grade 5 group at Stettler Elementary School, but she also had to move her things one door up the street to Stettler Middle School.

Clearview Public Schools announced on June 28 that Fischer would be the new Stettler Middle School principal, replacing Dave Garbutt.

“I’m extremely excited. I’m looking forward to the new position and to September so that we can get started,” said Fischer.

“In the classroom, I feel that I can hopefully, positively influence the lives of 20 to 30 students every year. As an administrator, I can hopefully have a hand in setting the climate for 300 students.”

A graduate of the University of Alberta and San Diego State University, she has been has been a teacher for 19 years.

She first started working in Clearview Public Schools in 1997, after spending five years in Northern Alberta.

“I wanted to move more centrally. My sister was living in Stettler at the time as a RCMP officer here,” said Fischer. “I decided to explore this area.”

Since all the job vacancies were administration, she applied and got the principalship at Byemoor School, where she remained until 2002.

“Then, I resigned to spend more time with my children. They were young and getting involved in lots of activities,” said Fischer.

“I needed to be a mother first. Now that they’re older, I want to get back into administration.”

In her 14 years at Clearview, Fischer has built a reputation as a strong supporter of and an advocate for education. She is involved in numerous activities in her community and school. As a lifelong learner, she has written projects for the Alberta Social Studies Online Guide Development Team, worked with Smart Learning, become a facilitator for All Kinds of Minds, and attended many workshops and conferences including Leading and Learning and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. She is also on the Threat Assessment Team, on the division’s Crisis Response Team and a member of Clearview’s Professional Development Committee.

Her path to becoming a teacher and a principal wasn’t always straight.

“I don’t know that I decided to be a teacher as much it decided for me,” said Fischer.

“I didn’t grow up with desks in the basement, wanting to be a teacher with dolls and all that.”

She will keep teaching at Stettler Middle School.

“I love working with the students. Seeing the light bulb go on, the enjoyment and the interaction,” said Fischer.

“I really enjoy the rapport that you can build with the students and the parents.“

She believes that a principal should keep teaching in order to relate to the school staff and interact with the students.

Her summer will be spent familiarizing herself with the school.

“I’m excited about stepping in there, finding out what is working really well, where are there changes that need to be made or little tweaks and we can work on doing those things,” said Fischer.

“Right now, I just need to dive in and find out what is going to happen and where those areas of concern are.”

She will meet again with many familiar faces in September.

“I graduated with this bunch so we’re celebrating together. We’re all going up to Stettler Middle School together,” concluded Fischer.

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