Publication Date: Friday, December 03, 2004
Fisher leaving school board
Fisher leaving school board
(December 03, 2004) Education advocate retires to spend time with family
By Julie O'Shea
Carol Fisher has helped oversee the education of 4,300 children in the Mountain View-Whisman School District for the past six years. She said she has loved the job, but now it's time to narrow down her focus to just two children -- her son and daughter.
"My days with the children at home is limited," said Fisher, who estimates her commitment on the school board probably sucked up a year's worth of family dinners, sporting events and bonding time.
"It just consumes a huge amount of time," added Fisher, who was first appointed to a two-year spot on the school board in 1998. "I need a year to focus on family."
With a 13-year-old daughter at Graham Middle School and a 15-year-old son at Mountain View High School, Fisher, 46, said she just has a few short years left with her teenagers before they head off to college.
"Carol ... is the most balanced, fair and thoughtful person I know," said Gloria Higgins, who has served on the board with Fisher since 2002. "She seeks first to understand before asking to be understood. She keeps students as her priority. She is able to disagree agreeably."
Following her appointment to the school board, Fisher helped institute the governance standards, essentially the school board's code of conduct.
"When you have a board that works constructively, you really set the tone for the rest of the district," Fisher said.
In addition, Higgins noted that Fisher was "the primary force behind the recently adopted benchmarks for English language arts, mathematics and English language development."
Fisher grew up in Los Gatos and graduated from Stanford with a chemical engineering degree before moving to the East Coast. She received an MBA from Cornell University before moving back to California with her husband in 1986. They settled in Mountain View and never left.
Her children entered kindergarten at Bubb Elementary School, and shortly after, Fisher's involvement with the city's public school system began. She began her education leadership as the chair of the school's walkathon and later served on Bubb's school site council.
It was there that "I learned a lot about how education worked at a school level," Fisher said. The experience also made her curious about the big picture and what happens at the district level.
An opportunity to make that discovery came in 1996, when a spot opened up on the school board. Fisher was the only one to run for the two-year term and was appointed to the seat.
During her six years on the board, Fisher said she never lost sight of her most important goals: improving student achievement for all students in the district.
"I'm going to miss the people. We have the most amazing staff ... fabulous principals," Fisher said. "I'm going to miss the kids there, the energy and enthusiasm."
E-mail Julie O'Shea at firstname.lastname@example.org
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